I'll cut right to the news-you-can-use part of today's blog: If you are downtown this evening and want to have your mind briefly blown by an outstanding, innovative, highlight theatrical music-like-you've-never-seen-or-heard-it-before group, visit the Artsgarden at 9:30, 10, 10:30 or 11 for a 25-minute free set by Squonk Opera.
The company is in town as part of the Midwest Arts Conference, a gathering of performers looking for presenters and presenters looking for performers.
I caught their set last night and was knocked out. It was the first time I had seen the Pittsburgh-based company's work since they played Indy about 15 years or so ago. And what a difference a decade and a half makes. In the time between, they've evolved into something really special. I don't want to give away more than that. I'll only say that, if you go tonight, don't walk in mid-set. Hang out in the mall until the next set begins. The opening bit is a blast--and it only gets better.
Also highlighting the day (but not open to the public): An empowering talk from jazz great Nnenna Freelon that included a stunning rendition of "Skylark." And a fun-but-too-brief appearance from Tony-nominted actress/singer Sally Mayes at the Cabaret at the Columbia Club.