You-review-it Monday

August 17, 2008
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I spend more time than I expected to this weekend soaking up Gen Con--including a performance of "Video Games Live" with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. More on the concert--and some great family board games I discovered--in this week's print column. (See this week's reviews of Beef & Board's "The Producers" and the IU Maureen McGovern concert at

I also served as emcee for an evening of pub trivia at Pat Flynn's to benefit the Heartland Actors Repertory Theatre. (FYI if your not-for-profit is looking for a host, panel member, judge, etc., drop me an e-mail at Given the schedule here, I can't promise anything, but I try to help whenever possible.)

So what were you up to this weekend? Did you catch "American Teen"? The last weekend of Theatre on the Square's outrageous "Scientology Pageant"? Or maybe Gregory Hancock's "Superhero" revisit?

  • We saw The Dark Knight on Friday. It was a very intense movie and kept me riveted the whole time. Heath Ledger gives an amazing, disturbing, funny, frightening performance as the Joker. His Joker makes Jack Nicholson's look like a clown. I had read some reviews that mentioned the husky voice of Batman and I have to say I think it was a wee bit over the top. Other than that, I thought the movie was excellent.

    Sunday we saw the Gingerbread Lady at Center Stage in Lebanon. I think they have one of the nicest community theaters. We enjoyed the play. I think the fist act might've dragged a little but the 2nd and 3rd were very good. Someone mentioned to me that the blocking looked a little wooden in some parts, but I'm not that technical. I enjoyed the play and thought it was well written and there were many funny quips to lighten the mood in the heavier parts. All the actors to me seemed quite strong and had good chemisty together. It's running through next weekend if anyone is interested in taking it in.
  • I went to the BlogIndiana conference - it was fabulous!
  • I agree: the Blog Indiana conference was EXCELLENT. (And Stacy, it was fun meeting you!)

    Lou, I found myself mentioning your blog quite a bit to other conference-goers, by the way.

    Because I was at the 2-day conference, I only went to one show: The Dastardly Ficus and Other Comedic Tales of Woe & Misery, by Emily Schwartz. It was presented by the Spotlight Players in Beech Grove. It was bizarre and fun: an American gothic story.

    I also started reading PEOPLE OF THE BOOK, a new novel by Geraldine Brooks (Viking 2008.) It is about a rare book expert who gets to work on a newly-found, long-thought-lost, Haggadah (a Jewish book used during Passover ceremonies.) The novel goes back and forth in time, and through Bosnia, Venice, Boston, and maybe other places, as the expert tries to figure out where the book has been.

    I am not doing a good job of explaining how entrancing a story it is.

    Firewoman, thanks for telling about The Gingerbread Lady. I wish I had time to go see that! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    Hope Baugh
  • Your performance of the emcee honors for HART's Trivia Night was far above and beyond the call of duty, Lou. You truly made the event lively and entertaining, and kept people laughing and puzzling for three solid hours. We're going to have to get you back whenever we do this in the future!

    (Brian G. Hartz, Board Vice President, Heartland Actors' Repertory Theatre)

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  1. to mention the rest of Molly's experience- she served as Communications Director for the Indianapolis Department of Public Works and also did communications for the state. She's incredibly qualified for this role and has a real love for Indianapolis and Indiana. Best of luck to her!

  2. Shall we not demand the same scrutiny for law schools, med schools, heaven forbid, business schools, etc.? How many law school grads are servers? How many business start ups fail and how many business grads get low paying jobs because there are so few high paying positions available? Why does our legislature continue to demean public schools and give taxpayer dollars to charters and private schools, ($171 million last year), rather than investing in our community schools? We are on a course of disaster regarding our public school attitudes unless we change our thinking in a short time.

  3. I agree with the other reader's comment about the chunky tomato soup. I found myself wanting a breadstick to dip into it. It tasted more like a marinara sauce; I couldn't eat it as a soup. In general, I liked the place... but doubt that I'll frequent it once the novelty wears off.

  4. The Indiana toll road used to have some of the cleanest bathrooms you could find on the road. After the lease they went downhill quickly. While not the grossest you'll see, they hover a bit below average. Am not sure if this is indicative of the entire deal or merely a portion of it. But the goals of anyone taking over the lease will always be at odds. The fewer repairs they make, the more money they earn since they have a virtual monopoly on travel from Cleveland to Chicago. So they only comply to satisfy the rules. It's hard to hand public works over to private enterprise. The incentives are misaligned. In true competition, you'd have multiple roads, each build by different companies motivated to make theirs more attractive. Working to attract customers is very different than working to maximize profit on people who have no choice but to choose your road. Of course, we all know two roads would be even more ridiculous.

  5. The State is in a perfect position. The consortium overpaid for leasing the toll road. Good for the State. The money they paid is being used across the State to upgrade roads and bridges and employ people at at time most of the country is scrambling to fund basic repairs. Good for the State. Indiana taxpayers are no longer subsidizing the toll roads to the tune of millions a year as we had for the last 20 years because the legislature did not have the guts to raise tolls. Good for the State. If the consortium fails, they either find another operator, acceptable to the State, to buy them out or the road gets turned back over to the State and we keep the Billions. Good for the State. Pat Bauer is no longer the Majority or Minority Leader of the House. Good for the State. Anyway you look at this, the State received billions of dollars for an assett the taxpayers were subsidizing, the State does not have to pay to maintain the road for 70 years. I am having trouble seeing the downside.