You-review-it Monday

December 22, 2008
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I like to think of myself as a realist.

So I know that this is unlikely to have been the busiest weekend for arts activity. Still, there may be some of you who warmed themselves by the light of the ISO, the IRT, ATI or another company offering holiday fare. Maybe you were in the crowd at the Celine Dion concert. Or maybe you hit a comedy club.

Perhaps you celebrated your shopping completion with a museum stop. (Remember: the "12 Free Days of Christmas" promo is still going on. Today, it's the Indiana State Museum.)

Whatever the case--or even if you limited yourself to holiday shows on TV--let us know what you saw or did this weekend.

Me, I finally got around to watching "The Lady Eve," a Preston Sturges comedy that had been on my list for years but somehow dodged me. Great fun. And I zoomed through about half of David Koenig's book "Realityland," about the business side of the creation of Walt Disney World--a subject I'm inexplicably fascinated by.

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  • The highlight of my weekend was hearing a brilliant guitarist--just turned 16--at a meeting of the Indiana Society of the Classical Guitar (www.indianaguitar.org). Chacconne Klaverenga of Lafayette played a brief set that revealed why this gifted artist is gaining worldwide attention. Her rendering of La Catedral by Augustin Barrios showed plenty of technique, but beyond that, deep introspection and plenty of range.

    Ms. Klaverenga has won numerous competitions and no doubt is headed for a significant concert career. We look forward to hearing her play a full program and to enjoying her CD (Debut--available at http://cdbaby.com/cd/klaverenga). The recording includes excellent tracks of her playing piano, which she has studied since age two.

    Chaconne (whose parents, no surprise, are both musicians) has a strong presence on You Tube (http://www.youtube.com/klaverenga). I urge you to take a look and listen. As Guitar Society president Tom Fowler commented after she played yesterday at Circle UU Fellowship, prospects for classical guitar are very encouraging for at least the next generation.
    dh
  • Apologies to Chaconne for putting an extra c in her name!
  • We took in the Celine Dion concert and thought it was fabulous. She is a very talented artist. What struck us also was the sincerity in her apology for having to reschedule and her heartfelt appreciation that many of us came out to see her on the rescheduled date. Well worth the time and effort to see.
  • We caught the Nutcracker at the Scottish Right Cathedral on Friday night. Nutcracker is a seasonal favorite of mine, but being new in town, seeing it without knowing the cast is something new for me. The Grand Pas de Deux was beautifully presented and the kids are always entertaining.

    On Sunday, I took my visiting sister-in-law to her first live theatre experience ever. We took in the Civic Theatre's Wizard of Oz and she was able to get a T-shirt and autographs, much to her delight. This was also a first for me - the first time the fire alarm ever went off during a production with me in the audience! Apparently the smoke effects used in the tornado scene triggered the smoke alarm. So, we got to see Glinda fly in twice and the munchkins got to sing Ding-dong the Witch is Dead a second time around. The real joy of live theatre is that you never know what's going to happen.
  • Checked out a sneak preview of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and liked it so well I read the F Scott Fitzgerald short story --check it out here http://xroads.virginia.edu/~Hyper/Fitzgerald/jazz/benjamin/benjamin1.htm
    The movie takes only the basic story line, but Brad Pitt ages amazingly--there'd better be a nomination for special events in store. Also checked out the mall for my once a year excursion to Castleton (which reminds me why I DON'T shop there). Finished up a few more handmade gifts--and the whirlwind of Christmas continues.
  • I judged an Encore show and saw ATI's Frog and Toad. Lou, you were right: it is wonderful! I look forward to seeing it again next year!

    I also caught part of the offerings at the Fringe Friday event at the headquarters of the Indianapolis Fringe Festival:

    I heard and loved two songs from the forthcoming production of Edges: A Song Cycle, which a new theatre company called Programs will produce for five performances only at Theatre on the Square, January 2-4.

    I also particularly enjoyed the IndyProv comedy group. I enjoyed seeing the veteran members as always, but I was also delighted by the natural comedic ability of the new members.

    Hope Baugh
    www.IndyTheatreHabit.com

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