You-review-it Monday

June 28, 2009
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Were you first in line to see the boy king at the Children's Museum? Check out more Rickeys at the Indianapolis Art Center? Or take advantage of the no-cover Friday night performance at the now-smoke-free Jazz Kitchen?

I caught up with King Tut, but missed the rest of Indy's offerings. Instead, after stopping in at PBS Kids in the Park, I took a Southern Indiana road trip to see the new open-air show at Lincoln State Park and to find out whether or not I could survive the new Pilgrims Plunge ride at Holiday World (more on both in an upcoming issue).

Don't be shy. Let our readers (a rapidly expanding population) know what you saw, heard or did this weekend.

Oh, and check out my latest reviews at www.ibj.com/arts. And if you are in a Twittering mode, sign on to IBJarts.

Your thoughts?
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  • I drove down to Martinsville to Duck Soup presented by the Merry MAC Players. It was a really wonderful production! The talent in the cast was amazing - the three guys playing the Marx Brothers were some of the most talented actors I've seen in awhile - and this was some of the best acting overall I've ever seen in local theater. All the actors were strong in their parts and everyone seemed to really enjoy working together. I also noticed that the technical people kept all the sound cues right on target - and there were many, which I found very impressive. I'm a fan of old movies, but I have yet to see a Marx Brothers film. I'm definately going to check them out after seeing this play. The political satire and humor seems as relevant today as it must have when it was originally written. The only downside to the whole production was that the stage seemed too small to contain this cast that was bursting at the seams. Even with that they did a great job with all the physical comedy and musical numbers. I would hope some day that that could do this same production on a bigger stage - it would be great to see again!
  • What a great weekend in Indianapolis! We took in King Tut (very cool artifacts, great information--proof that Ancient Egypt is one of the most fascinating cultures), saw Field of Dreams outside at the IMA (still great, even though you can't bring in your own alcohol), and watched the Indians at Victory Field (my favorite outdoor activity in the summer).
  • We saw King Tut. It is a spectacular exhibit, that is appropriate for anyone school age and up (or perhaps even younger depending on their patience and interest). We were told that this may be one of the last times that such an exhibit is available in the U.S. and the presence of these ancient artifacts, in magnificant condition, should not be missed in our own backyard.

    Truly a great find by the Museum and puts the CM on the map as a general destination - not just a place for kids!
  • We took in the Zionsville Gallery Walk Friday night. My observation is that there are more galleries in downtown Z-ville than on Mass Ave. It was a beautiful night for art and music. This year they had a number of artists painting Plein Air - a fancy schmancy French term for painting outside. It was fun, interesting and education to see how 2 artists painting the same thing interpret it differently on their canvases.

    On Sunday we went to the opening of the George Rickey exhibit at the Indianapolis Art Center. 5 of Rickey's large kenetic sculptures are set in the beautiful grounds of the Artspark. It was a windy day which was perfect to see how their arms/circles/squares/cheverons moved in juxtaposition with each other. Just when you think 2 will collide they gracefully swoop/twirl away. Inside, 2 of the galleries are filled with models of his larger pieces as well as several of his paintings. It is not to be missed. It's here until August 23.

    And, as you enter the main hall at the Art Center, spend some time with the paintings of Melissa Sarat. These large, vibrant oils are her representation of Mardi Gras. Each one contains hundreds of images - come back several times and you'll find something new in each one.
  • I did not buy (literally, as you mentioned last week $90 for a family of four) into the media hype and see Egyptian graverobbings. Too bad local arts organizations can't get that kind of coverage for their locally produced performances and exhibits by resident Indiana artisans. What is it about bright shiny objects from out of town that makes the local media go ga-ga? Be it a special exhibit or any touring company, their coverage is assured while Hoosiers working to make a living in the arts in Indiana must claw for every scrap of publicity they can.
  • Wow Jim... I'm sad for you that you don't understand the scope of the artistry and history of ancient Egypt. The world must be very narrow for you. I even find it insulting that you refer to the exhibit as bright shiny objects from out of town. The artistry required to create these items in the time period in which they were made is extraordinary. This exhibit is something spectacular that you mostly can't see outside of Egypt. I guess unless it's, Midwestern art you can't relate to it? Is that it? It's not an us versus them kinda of thing. Art is art no matter what culture produced it or when. It's fine if you don't like it or care to see it, but relegating it to bright shiny objects is just downright ignorant.
  • Hey Jim, I'm sorry, but I'm going to go ahead and guess that most of the Hoosier artists don't have thousands of years of history behind them either. Not knocking them... but thousands of years of history, in my opinion, trumps any artist in Indiana. But wait, Jim, we've been a state for almost 200 years, and a country for just a little more than that... that should surely compare with the Egyptians, right? (I hope the sarcasm is coming through)

    Jim, this exhibit may not be your cup of tea... but comparing this exhibit to Hoosier artists is not a comparison.
  • I traveled up north to visit my parents over the weekend, and we attended this great little art fair in Wabash called the Charley Creek Arts Fest. There were only about 20 booths, but I kind of liked that it was less crowded and less overwhelming than other art fairs I have attended. I walked away with a great wooden bangle bracelet that was handmade from Brazilian wood by Indiana artist David Mann. We also made a stop at the Honeywell Center to view the Wabash Valley Art Guild's juried exhibit in their Clark Gallery.
  • I tried to see Annie a second time at Beef and Boards Sunday night, but they were sold out! I was disappointed for myself but delighted for B&B. I also judged one Encore community theatre show (about which I'm not allowed to write) and put in a lot of hours at my day job. So...I don't have much theatre news to share this week.

    However, I did visit a new sushi restaurant in Carmel and loved the quirky, artistic qualities of both the food and the decor.

    The place is called Isushi Cafe (isushicafe dot com). It is in one of the new, mostly still empty, banks of stores and restaurants on 116th, between Guilford and College Avenues. I think the only other thing in there right now is some kind of sub shop.

    Anyway, if you're driving along 116th, you can see isushi in big letters in the window. You can go in that door if you're on foot, but the front door is actually around back, where there is plenty of free parking.

    I love, love, love the feel of this little sushi place. If I lived in this neighborhood, I would be here every week. The decorator had subtle wit. The place feels authentic, but not rustic, if that makes sense. Adventurous, yet comfortable.

    And the space itself is intimate, in a way that somehow reminds me of my neighborhood sushi places was when I was living in Tokyo, yet is spacious enough to satisfy my American core, which craves elbow room. There are only ten comfy stools at the sushi bar and only four tables (3x4 chairs and 1x6 chairs) on the floor.

    I have actually eaten at Isushi Cafe twice, now, and both times the sushi was fresh, delicious, and beautifully presented. The miso soup is milder than I'm used to, but still yummy. The hot green tea is only slightly bitter, and comes in a snazzy glass pot. You get a very cute little glass cup with a metal handle from which to drink the tea.

    I asked the sushi chef where he had learned how to make sushi. He said, The Internet! (Hah!) He told me that Isushi has only been in there in Carmel for two months, but that he and his wife have also run a restaurant in Brownsburg for the past three years. They moved to Brownsburg five years ago to be closer to her family.

    My favorite kind of sushi is uni (sea urchin) but the waitress said they usually only get that in on Fridays. I told her I would be back!

    Hope Baugh
    Indy Theatre Habit

    P.S. - Speaking of oceanic offerings, I'm going to see Octopus for a fourth time at the Phoenix Theatre tonight. It's a special Cheap Seats Night since there will be no performance this Saturday night. Bring on the water metaphors!

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