You-review-it Monday

March 15, 2009
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Friday night at the opera. Saturday triple-header at the Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville. Sunday night catching up on back episodes of "How I Met Your Mother." (Okay, so I'm about three years behind, but the sitcom is terrific.) 

How about you? Did you do any of the above? Or catch Encore Vocal Arts? Spend time with $3 Bill comedy? Hang out with "The Ladies Man" at the IRT?

How did you spend your weekend?
  • Pirates of Penzance by Indianapolis Opera (Friday) was delightful. The Ladies' Man at IRT (Sunday) was a fast-paced howler of farce. Carmina Burana by Encore Vocal arts (Saturday), though was unforgettable. Chris Ludwa is a gifted conductor with a talent for inspired programming. Here, he married a fine chamber choir with four percussionists, tympani and duo pianists for a vigorous reading of Karl Orff's popular masterwork.

    What transformed this Carmina Burana was the added element of gymnasts using the floor, a trapeze/ring apparatus and two pairs of streamers suspended from somewhere hidden in the stage rigging. Their aerial dancing added visually, physically to the sung story. For me--and, evidently, for the large, enthusiastic audience in Shortridge's Caleb Mills Auditorium--it all added up to more than the sum of the parts.

    Next up for Encore Vocal Arts: May 2 and 3, a program of the singers' favorites--likely to be ours, as well.
    (Formerly a choir dad--now just a fan)
  • I heard Megan McKinney interviewing someone from the Encore Vocal Arts show about the music and the aerial gymnasts on her radio show on the Fine Arts Society channel (88.7 FM/HD) this past weekend. I was sorry I couldn't go to the show. I'm glad it was good. Thanks, Dan, for writing about it!

    I listened to 88.7 a lot last week on my way to and from theatres. A week ago Sunday when we were at the IRT, my friend Adrienne introduced me to someone named Meridith. Adrienne had been in a show with his wife. He is an announcer for 88.7.

    So far, I haven't heard Meredith, but I have enjoyed every FAS show I've tuned into. Such a wide variety of music! My new favorite song is one I heard on Friday night, I think it was. It is a folksy song whose chorus includes, Do you color outside of the lines? I scribbled down the artist's name at a stoplight: Bucky Hawker.

    This weekend I saw and judged two Encore Association community theatre shows. I also saw West Side Story at the Indianapolis Civic Theatre. I will write about it on my own blog soon, so I'll just say here that it was a very satisfying production - somehow both fresh and reliable, if that makes sense. The first weekend was almost sold out, so I encourage people to make reservations right away if they are thinking of going.

    I also laughed and cried while reading a wonderful novel called FLIP, by Wendylyn Van Draanen (Knopf 2001.) It was written for middle schoolers, but if you have ever been 13 years old yourself, I bet you would enjoy it. It is told from two points of view: a boy and a girl who live across from each other.

    I also stressed about my lack of time to do yard work, but that is a topic for a different blog.

    Hope Baugh
    Indy Theatre Habit
  • Hope:
    The classical announcer you refer to Meredith Granger, who is quite knowledgeable and professional (also a fun and witty guy, for those who have the pleasure of knowing him.)

    Glad you enjoy the Fine Arts Society. Not enough people support them (or WICR or WFYI, for that matter.) Those who enjoy the programming need to understand that the Fine Arts Society ( is a separate organization, distinct from WICR but in partnership with them and supplying programming that many of us enjoy every day.

    (That's a heartfelt plug, Meredith. You're welcome)
  • Few things make me laugh. W. C. Fields, David Sedaris and The Marx Brothers are three who do. I've now discovered that a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, in the right hands, will also cause me to laugh out loud. My wife, daughter and I took in Pirates of Penzance at Clowes on Sunday. I was expecting to be entertained, as few Clowes productions miss the mark, but I wasn't prepared for laugh out loud entertainment. It was one of those magic afternoons when it all came together the way it was supposed to; even the weather cooperated. It was a good day and I'm grateful for the Indianapolis Opera and the production they bring our way.
  • The 22nd Art and Antiques Show at the State Fairgrounds was a feast for the senses. Oil painters Doug David and an up-and-coming artist named Forrest Formsma each composed a demonstration painting. Forrest painted a scene the Broad Ripple Canal area and it sold immediately thereafter. Also, loved the vintage Chanel bags and could have spent the entire weekend pouring over antique maps. What a story they tell! Despite this economic Pearl Harbor we're in, it appears investors are looking at other opportunities. I was happy for the exhibitors to see the show so well-attended.

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  1. Really, taking someone managing the regulation of Alcohol and making himthe President of an IVY Tech regional campus. Does he have an education background?

  2. Jan, great rant. Now how about you review the report and offer rebuttal of the memo. This might be more conducive to civil discourse than a wild rant with no supporting facts. Perhaps some links to support your assertions would be helpful

  3. I've lived in Indianapolis my whole and been to the track 3 times. Once for a Brickyard, once last year on a practice day for Indy 500, and once when I was a high school student to pick up trash for community service. In the past 11 years, I would say while the IMS is a great venue, there are some upgrades that would show that it's changing with the times, just like the city is. First, take out the bleachers and put in individual seats. Kentucky Motor Speedway has individual seats and they look cool. Fix up the restrooms. Add wi-fi. Like others have suggested, look at bringing in concerts leading up to events. Don't just stick with the country music genre. Pop music would work well too I believe. This will attract more young celebrities to the Indy 500 like the kind that go to the Kentucky Derby. Work with Indy Go to increase the frequency of the bus route to the track during high end events. That way people have other options than worrying about where to park and paying for parking. Then after all of this, look at getting night lights. I think the aforementioned strategies are more necessary than night racing at this point in time.

  4. Talking about congestion ANYWHERE in Indianapolis is absolutely laughable. Sure you may have to wait in 5 minutes of traffic to travel down BR avenue during *peak* times. But that is absolutely nothing compared to actual big cities. Indy is way too suburban to have actual congestion problems. So please, never bring up "congestion" as an excuse to avoid development in Indianapolis. If anything, we could use a little more.

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