Indianapolis theater watches will recall the names Bob Harbin and John Austin Butsch from their work at the former American Cabaret Theatre, which up until about a year ago had a long history of staging revues and musicals at the Atheneaum. (Not to be confused with the Cabaret at the Columbia Club, the latest permutation of ACT that is now housed on Monument Circle, where it focuses on presenting cabaret acts).
Harbin and Butsch just announced that they are joining with producer Joyce Licorish to bring musical revues and other entertainment back to the Athenaeum. Their first show, "Classic Soul," featuring the music of Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and more is slated to run April 2-11. The cast includes ACT favorite Karlton D. Turner.
Under the company name Bobdirex, Harbin, a former casting V.P. for the Fox Network in Los Angeles, will also be presenting a summer run of the musical comedy "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," beginning July 16. More info here.
With little being heard from some of the small, local companies that have been birthed in Indy over the last few years (HART? Sapphire?), it's good to see some initiative being taken even in these tough economic times.
Here's hoping for engaging productions, satisfied audiences, and a healthy run for the fledgling company.