You-review-it Monday

June 14, 2009
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This week, for me, included Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre's "India Ever After" and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra's tribute to Irving Berlin. More on both in the upcoming IBJ print edition.

I also enjoyed strolling through White River State Park for the annual Liver Walk on Saturday morning and stopping in at Pride Fest (which, because of the crowd and the number of vendors, could really use another block of city park next year).

What about you? Did you get to the Phoenix Theatre for "Octopus"? Try out the new balloon adventure at Conner Prairie? Hit the Jazz Kitchen or your favorite comedy club?

Let's hear it. Share your weekend A&E experiences here.

Your thoughts
  • I also had the pleasure of witnessing Jack Everly and the ISO pay tribute to the diverse and wonderful music of Irving Berlin. The guest vocalists were marvelous and well-chosen for this program. I especially enjoyed watching Tony DeSare on the piano and hearing Ashley Brown belt out the tunes again after seeing her amazing performance as Mary Poppins on Broadway early last year. I found the Irving Berlin's America medley quite moving in light of current world events, and I choked up during that finale - and again just now as I wrote of my experience...

    What a delightful evening - and entire Pops season for that matter! Can't wait for next season with Maureen McGovern, Florence Henderson, and return performances by Marvin Hamlisch, Tony DeSare, and Michael Cavanaugh. I count Jack and the innovative ISO Pops series as one of the distinct cultural joys of living in Indianapolis!!!
  • I didn't get to see all of the shows that I wanted to see this past weekend, unfortunately, but I did get to see opening night of the Midwest premiere of Steve Yockey's Octopus at the Phoenix Theatre.

    I wrote about it in detail on my own blog and only scratched the surface of my responses to the show, which are continuing to unfold, so I'll just say here that Octopus is so very much more than a gay issues play. And there are satisfying surprises in both the story and the staging of it.

    I loved the unique theatrical special effects, but I promised not to give away any details about them. (A promise I am finding very hard to keep!)

    I also loved that while the play explores many themes in a thought-provoking way - including themes related to faithfulness and courage - what it is really about, at least for me, is the importance of paying attention to the messages we receive from The Universe or God or whatever through our relationships and other vehicles.

    There ARE gorgeous naked men kissing each other in this show, but if that bothers you, don't let it keep you from going, especially if you are also interested in seing the very cool theatrical special effects. There is only one nude scene.

    By the way, I got to interview the playwright, Steve Yockey, before the show. That conversation is on my blog, too.

    Hope Baugh
    Indy Theatre Habit
  • In between performances of Octopus I was able to make it to Pride for the parade and for the festivities. I had a great time promoting the show and seeing friends. Definitely agree, Lou, that the festival should extend into more park land next year. It's amazing how much the festival has grown in such a short time.

    Still 4 weekends left for Octopus at the Phoenix Theatre. I will say that I've never been more proud of a show. There's something for everyone, and it will leave you thinking.
  • We went to Goodguys. These cars are certainly pieces of art. So many to see and hear. We think they are as exciting as the symphony or the opera.
  • I went to see Wicked this weekend and really enjoyed it. I am not a theater critic and I am sure those of you reading this who are can find negative things to say about it but I don’t care. I loved it and went away wanting to see it again. Elphaba and Glenda were great. There were some really funny parts – laugh out loud funny. This is one of them and Glinda is talking about Elphaba’s broom:
    Glinda: You're still riding that old thing?
    Elphaba: Yea, well, not everyone can travel by bubble!
    Glinda talking about the Wizard leaving Oz
    Well... a regime change caused by a bizarre and unexpected twister of fate.
  • I attended the Circle City IN Pride 2009 Festival. Yes it was a huge crowd but other than close to the stage, I moved with ease as I checked out the booths. I don't think it's too big for University Park yet. If they moved to Obelisk Park, there's less grass so it would be hotter and harder on the booths. The entertainment, however, was mediocre this year - definitely a huge step down from previous years. So much of it sounded alike. They should have had DJ Logan and DJ Deanne program all the music, not just their too-short DJ battle.
  • Hazel, I loved Wicked here, too. Absolutely and completely loved it. But even if I hadn't, I would be delighted to read that you had had such a wonderful experience. There is NOTHING like going to a live show that you really love. I wish that experience for everyone, again and again and again.

    So thanks for taking the time to write about your experience. I laughed out loud at those particular lines, too! Thanks for reminding me/us of them.

    Hope Baugh
    Indy Theatre Habit
  • Hazel,
    Glad you enjoyed Wicked. My thoughts on the show can be found here:
  • ...watched Andy Griffith.
  • Lou,
    thank you for including Circle City Pride festival in your rundown of weekend events. Unfortunately, the city of Indianapolis and the mainstream media are reluctant to acknowledge the contributions that the local glbt community have made and continue to make to Indy's cultural and economic well being. This year's festival was by far the biggest to date and has become (IMHO) one of the best, if not the best festival and parade this city offers.

    I would love to see an economic impact study done on Pride, as I talked to several people who came down from all over the state and even the midwest, just for this event and were spending the weekend.
  • Yeah, Kevin. Ya know, I understand that perhaps the mainstream media doesn't want to talk about something that may make a lot of viewers uncomfortable for 90 seconds in their LazyBoys. But I am personally hurt by it, since I am a part of the community that is apparently an embarrassment to the rest of the area. ...I also believe that protection may be one of the motives behind the media's ignoring us; I don't doubt that some scary super conservative would consider coming out to harm to one or all of us. Then again, a couple fest-goers said they felt bad for the two dejected protesters they saw just sitting on the sidewalk, obviously unsuccessful; so my pals gave them a little food.
    Anyway, it was a fun, fun day. I'm glad I went. Everyone is simply joyous and supportive!
  • Chiming in a little late, but I went to the ISO last Saturday night and completely agree with IndyMuttMom. It also served as a reminder as to why the tunes of of Berlin's era live on in our era. Melodies that soar and allow for many interrpretations should live forever - or at least I thing they will. Also, a show that OPENS with There's No Business Like Show Business indicates there's no dearth of material. And the choices made for the rest of the evening proved that!

    Sunday afternoon I went to Landmark cinema (Keystone at the Crossing). Has anyone else seen Every Little Step, the documentary about the casting process for the 2007 revival of A Chorus Line. It was facinating, and since it included audio from the orignal Michael Bennett recording session, a fascinating look at how some of the songs and characters came to be. Having many of the living collaborators adding their comments along with several of the original cast members kept the interest high. For instance, I had no idea that Donna McKechnie and Michael Bennett had been dancing partners before either became well known including a clip them from an old TV show. The audition of the person who was cast as Paul was a very touching moment. They're not going to carry it over to next week, so tonight will be the last chance to see it - that is before it comes out on DVD.

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