You-review-it Monday

October 5, 2008
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For me, the weekend (I'm counting Thursday evening in this) included a stop at "Chocolate: The Exhibition" at the Indiana State Museum, a visit to Indianapolis Opera's "Il Trovatore" at Clowes Hall and, in between, a run to Dearborn, Michigan, for the Great Lakes Booksellers trade show (I was wearing both my book writer and journalist hat while there).

Life, in my view, is a lot beter when you've got a stack of books you are looking forward to reading. Having the latest from Malcolm Gladwell, Walter Mosely, and Oscar Hijuelos piled on my nightstand is a major mood booster. Look for thoughts on these and other upcoming books in future blogs and print columns.

Until then, share what you saw this weekend. Did you get to Robert Klein at Morty's? Robin Williams at Purdue? Finally see "November" at the Phoenix? (It just got extended to Oct. 18, so you still have a chance.)

Tell.
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  • I headed to Butler University on Sunday to hear Ensemble 48, a student-led new music ensemble, and they were simply superb. They improvised a score to a Dziga Vertov silent film, Man with a Movie Camera. It knocked my socks off---they are an intelligent, innovative and thoughtful group of musicians, not to mention highly skilled as well.

    I also got to hear the newest member of the ISO viola section, Sheldon Person, give a terrific recital Sunday. He obviously won the orchestra committee over with his orchestral chops, and last night he showed his solo chops to be darn good too!
  • I heard the UINDY Symphonic Wind Ensemble yesterday play a tribute to Sousa. Very nice performance, and the price was right.
  • I finally saw November and must admit I haven't laughed that hard since Assholes and Aeroles (did I spell that right?) at the Fringe Festival. I loved it.

    Reading the 2 reviews above though really has me thinking that I need to start paying better attention to our local college scene. Butler, UIndy, Anderson, IU, Ball State, etc.... we have some amazing opportunities to see innovative work from extremely talented people at college prices. For instance, I'm looking forward to seeing what UIndy does with INTO THE WOODS.
  • Yes, you absolutely should keep an eye on work at area colleges. It's where I've find some of the most exciting and original work in the area. And IU, Purdue, and Ball State aren't that far, really. (Or course, Butler, UofI and others are even closer.)

    In this week's print IBJ, I wrote about work being done in the galleries, in cyberspace, and on stage at Ball State (you can find the review at www.ibj.com/arts). And I'm hoping to get to Butler U's Phedre and IU's The Wild Party in the next few weeks.

    And it's great to hear about offerings I missed, so keep on chiming in on Mondays. Or e-mail me at lharry@ibj.com.

    Thanks,

    Lou
  • Lou, pouring my heart out in response to your post about the hand-written Bible tour a few days ago must have put me in God Squad mode. That, or dinner theatre mode.

    On Saturday night I went to see the nuns in The Sound of Music at Beef'n'Boards Dinner Theatre. The next day I drove out to Hillsboro to see South Pacific at the Christian-oriented Myers Dinner Theatre. I enjoyed both experiences, for different reasons, and will have posts up about them on my own blog in a day or two.

    I also read, and loved, a book called THE GOOD THIEF, by Hannah Tinti (Dial Press 2008.) It is a sort-of-historical, sort-of-horror novel about an orphan with only one hand who has been raised by neglectful monks in 19th-century New England. He gets picked for adoption by a man claiming to be his older brother but who really just wants him to help with his begging and grave robbing business. The boy tries to align what he has been taught about morality with what is going on in his life. If you like rags-to-riches stories with plot twists and pragmatic philosophy, you might like this one. I know that I could not put it down is a cliche, but I could not.

    Now I am reading THE LACE READER, by Brunonia Barry (William Morrow 2008.) It is a contemporary novel about a family of supposedly crazy women living in Salam, Massachusetts, who can read the future in the hand-made lace they produce. They battle a truly crazy, Puritanical religious cult led by a guy named Cal. I find it very easy to put this one down - maybe the storytelling style is just too literary for me - but I can't quite give up on it completely. It might turn into a murder mystery and it sort of reminds me of THE DOUBLE BIND, by Chris Bohjalian. In the meantime, I am charmed by the bits of lace-reading advice that begin each chapter.

    Life is, indeed, better when you've got a stack of books that you're looking forward to reading.

    By the way, I agree with everyone here about the importance of keeping an eye on the artistic output of college students - as playwrights, too.

    Hope Baugh
    www.IndyTheatreHabit.com

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  1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

  5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.

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