Critics conference journal #3: Cole Porter Room, IRT and Columbia Club shine

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For the American Theater Critics Association conference here in Indy, Friday began in the Cole Porter Room of the Indiana Historical Society and ended with songs and drinks around Hoagy Carmichael's piano, courtesy of The Cabaret at the Columbia Club. 

These stops (bookends to a day that included a reading at the Vonnegut Library and performances by Dance Kaleidoscope and the Indiana Repertory Theatre) were reminders of how Indianapolis can creatively step beyond expectations. That room at the Historical Society could have been just another display of pictures and text. The Columbia Club could easily do without a first-class cabaret series.

But they don't. Decisions were made at both to go beyond the expected. Settling for "good enough" was an option not chosen. 

The day also served to remind me to continue to appreciate our venues. The Cabaret, the History Center and the IRT are glorious spaces. Seeing them through a few dozen sets of fresh eyes has been, well, eye-opening.

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