IBJOpinion

LOU'S VIEWS: Teaching the ISO new tricks

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Lou Harry

With “Mysterioso” (Oct 30-Nov. 1) Principal Pops Conductor Jack Everly and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra attempted to combine magic and music into an evening of entertainment that enhanced both the tricks and the tunes.

Part of the Symphonic Pops Consortium, created by Everly, which produces original shows and makes them available to its five member orchestras, “Mysterioso” was a crowd-pleaser—but there was a strong sense throughout that the elements could have combined differently to greater impact. Just as a pair of onstage magicians at one point tore apart sheet music and then miraculously put it back together, I think strong consideration should be given to taking apart this show’s elements and reconstituting them before it heads to its next stage.

That’s not to say that there weren’t thrills throughout. Anyone who has seen the sports arena half-time antics of quick-change artists David & Dania can vouch for their odd but compelling talents. At one point, a costume change was accomplished with nothing blocking the view but a cascade of glittering confetti. Remarkable—but I couldn’t tell you what music was playing while they were doing it.

David & Dania brought their quick-change act to the Hilbert Circle Theatre as part of “Mysterioso.” (Photo/Thomas J. Russo)

The very-Vegas Joseph Gabriel (looking like a Michael Feinstein clone), pulled off some impressive dove diversions while world-weary Les Arnold and his goofball assistant Dazzle (really his daughter) left jaws agape with a trick involving a live duck appearing in a basket held by an audience member. I’m still trying to figure that one out, even after having watched too many episodes of “Magic’s Biggest Secrets Revealed.” Here, too, though, the symphony seemed to disappear.

The ISO took the lead in an opening medley, hitting its stride with a zesty “I Dream of Jeannie” theme. Later in the act, for its presentation of music from the Hitchcock film “Spellbound,” the ISO was upstaged by a theremin. That’s a science-fictiony instrument, played with obvious skill by Charles Richard Lester, that got annoying well before its concerto was complete.

The first act also introduced Christina Bianco—as a hypnotized audience member led by Gabriel to channel the likes of various female vocalists. Once the audience caught on to the fact that she was a ringer, it was difficult to warm up to the bit, despite strong impressions of Barbra Streisand and a remarkably well-received Bernadette Peters. (Her takes on Celine Dion and Judy Garland were less effective.)

She and the ISO fared much better in Act II, where they combined beautifully on an uncluttered, lovely “It’s Magic”/”Bewitched Bothered and Bewildered” pairing and an equally strong, if more Broadway dramatic “Neverland”/”Defying Gravity.” I was glad to see restraint exercised: Bianco’s feet remained on the floor, with nary a flight harness in sight.

The talented, accessible singer—with an eclectic resume ranging from the lead in “Dora the Explorer Live” to “Forbidden Broadway”—could be the key to a coherent reboot of “Mysterioso.” Her numbers, in which the ISO proved an equal partner rather than a backup band, could be the key to a thrilling, classy framework within which to insert the vaudeville and Vegas magic.

Upcoming pops concerts include a Nov. 20-22 visit by Florence Henderson and, of course, Yuletide Celebration, this year headlined by Maureen McGovern. It runs Dec. 4-23. You can find more information on the entire season at www.indianapolissymphony.org. •

__________

Visit ibj.com/arts for additional reviews, previews and arts discussion. Twitter: IBJarts

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. why oh why does this state continue to elect these people....do you wonder how much was graft out of the 3.8 billion?

  2. i too think this is a great idea. I think the vision and need is there as well. But also agree with Wendy that there may be better location in our city to fulfill this vision and help grow the sports of hockey and figure skating in Indy. Also to help further develop other parts of the city that seem often forgotten. Any of the other 6 townships out side of the three northernmost could benefit greatly from a facility and a vision like this. For a vision that sounds philanthropic, the location is appears more about the money. Would really like to see it elsewhere, but still wish the development the best of luck, as we can always use more ice in the city. As for the Ice growth when they return, if schedules can be coordinated with the Fuel, what could be better than to have high level hockey available to go see every weekend of the season? Good luck with the development and the return of the Ice.

  3. How many parking spaces do they have at Ironworks? Will residents have reserved spaces or will they have to troll for a space among the people that are there at Ruth Chris & Sangiovese?

  4. You do not get speeding ticket first time you speed and this is not first time Mr.Page has speed. One act should not define a man and this one act won't. He got off with a slap on the wrist. I agree with judge no person was injured by his actions. The state was robbed of money by paying too much rent for a building and that money could have been used for social services. The Page family maybe "generous" with their money but for most part all of it is dirty money that he obtained for sources that are not on the upright. Page is the kind of lawyer that gives lawyers a bad name. He paid off this judge like he has many other tine and walked away. Does he still have his license. I believe so. Hire him to get you confiscated drug money back. He will. It will cost you.

  5. I remain amazed at the level of expertise of the average Internet Television Executive. Obviously they have all the answers and know the business inside and out.

ADVERTISEMENT