You-review-it Monday

May 4, 2008
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So I've been away from town for a few days and had to skip the weekend arts and entertainment activity in Indy.

So what did I miss?

Were you at Clowes Hall for Indianapolis Opera's "Tales of Hoffman"? Catch the new comic books show athe the Children's Museum? Did you visit the Charity by Numbers benefit exhibition at Domont Studio Gallery? (Don't worry if you missed it--the show runs through the end of the month. I had it wrong in my e-mail blast on Thursday. Apologies.)

Let's hear about your weekend experiences.
  • I was fortunate to have a wonderful friend invite me to IO's Tales of Hoffman. This was my first opera experience and I throughly enjoyed it! I can't believe I've never ventured out to the opera before and plan to not make it my last. I had always thought having to read the subtitles, watch the performers and listen to the music would be distracting, but it worked out beautifully. Nothing I should have worried about! Even when the projection got out of sync for a brief time, it wasn't a problem. Reading the synopsis before hand told what the story was about and it was easy to follow.

    The singers were excellent, the performances very well done and believable, set design and costumes very well done, and an overall quality production. Our little groups' discussion about what the highest note that was sung was fun, too. Whatever it was, I don't think I could have hit it with the quality, accuracy and support she did. Wonderful overall performance by all.
  • Went to the Comic Book Heroe's exhibit at TCM this weekend and it was everything you expect from an one of their exhibits - Awesome for grown-ups and kids alike!
    Unlike the exhibits that come from the Minnesota Children's Museum, or any other Children's Museum for that matter, it was thoughtful, interactive, detailed, a full rich experience for everybody.
    I'm not saying other Children's Museums are bad or of poor quality, they just don't/can't compare to ours. In every city I've been to, if there was a Children's Museum I've seen it. Our Children's Museum is truly first rate and first class, we are very fortunate to have them here!
  • I saw two plays and got to interview two playwrights! It was an especially exciting arts weekend for me. I will share more about this on my blog over the next few days.

    I also read:

    GO WITH ME: A NOVEL, by Castle Freeman Jr. (Steerforth2008) - This is an odd little book with a sometimes annoying writing style - lots of one-sentence dialogue exchanges - but I couldn't stop reading it. It is about some Vermont rednecks who help a woman go after her stalker. A friend says she thinks the writer was trying to write like Elmore Leonard but didn't make it.

    CHEER!: THREE TEAMS ON A QUEST FOR COLLEGE CHEERLEADING'S ULTIMATE PRIZE, by Kate Torgovnick. (Touchstone 2008) - A fascinating look at unusual athletes.

    CERTAIN GIRLS: A NOVEL, by Jennifer Weiner (Atria 2008) - This is the sequel to GOOD IN BED. I think it would stand alone, too. I am 4/5 finished reading it. It is ten years later and Cannie is happily married, but with a daughter who is preparing for her bat mitzvah and not speaking to her mother. Also, Cannie's husband would like her to consider hiring a surrogate for them to have a second baby.

    Chapter voices alternate between mother and daughter, and sometimes they sound too much alike, but I am loving finding out what happened to all of the characters from the first book. I also love that both mother and daughter are the likable one and the frustrating one.

    Firewoman, thanks for mentioning Indy Hostel last week. I did not get a chance to go there, but your description and its website ( make me want to give it a try some day!

    Hope Baugh
  • We were also able to experience Indianapolis Opera's fantastic production of The Tales of Hoffmann this past weekend. As opera aficionados, we have always been impressed with the care and quality our local professional opera company takes in producing top-notch operas. Hoffmann may be one of the best yet! Such a strong ensemble of singers. Everyone was wowed by Rachel Gilmore's mechanical doll. She hit an a-flat above high-C that was spectacular clear and thrilling. Jane Dutton, Laura Pederson and Kirsten Gunlogson were equally as exciting and compelling in their presentations.
    The heft of the evening, of course, is carried by Hoffmann and the Villian. Gran Wilson and Arthur Woodley never fail to provide superb portrayals and their singing was, once again, lush and wonderful. We can't wait for next season and more Indianapolis Opera productions..often, the best in town!

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