A&E priority list for April 4-10

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Highlights for this week include a controversial artist at the IMA, an edgy hit play at the Phoenix, and more.

Indiana Artisan Marketplace

April 6-7

Indiana State Fairgrounds

Growing to encompass more than 150 artisans from around the state (and a few slipping in across the borders), this third annual event offers a few new twists this time around. In addition to the usual booths of hand-crafted food and goods, look for Indiana Artisan showrooms designed using local furniture, textiles, etc. Plus, there’s now a pre-event “Taste of the Indiana Marketplace” party offering upgraded ticket buyers a sneak preview of the goods, plus food and drink and music from the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. Details here.  http://www.indianaartisan.org/indiana-artisan-marketplace/

“Clybourne Park” 

April 4-May 5

Phoenix Theatre

In 1959, residents of an all-white community try to talk a homeowner out of selling to a black family. Fifty years later, in the same house, a white couple looks to buy into what is now a largely black neighborhood. Bruce Norris’ “Clybourne Park,” the Best Play Tony-award winner, clearly has struck nerves, becoming one of the most-performed plays in the country this season (as I predicted when I reviewed the Broadway production here. http://www.ibj.com/lou-harry-s-a-e-2012-07-24-out-of-town-review–broadway-s–clybourne-park-/PARAMS/post/35688) But I wasn’t going far out on a limb back then. With potential combustibility packed into nearly every sentence—and with surprising humor—the play opens the door to issues of race and real estate without ever becoming a position paper. Give yourself plenty of time for discussion afterward. And bring your neighbors. Details here. www.phoenixtheatre.org

“Ai Weiwei: According to What?”

April 5-July 21

IndianapolisMuseumof Art

Can you separate the art from the activism? The artist from the activist? Is attending an art exhibition an act of social protest? Welcome to the world of Ai Weiwei, the artist famously detained by Chinese authorities and denied the chance to see his work celebrated in an exhibition at Washington, D.C.’s Hirshhorn Museum. That show moves to Indianapolis this week—one of only five U.S. stops—where you can see more than 30 of Ai Weiwei’s sculptural works. Among them: pieces built from stools, bicycles and ceramic crabs. Details here. http://www.imamuseum.org/exhibitions/aiweiwei/about

First Friday

April 5

Various locations

The first First Friday of spring brings dozens of art options, with gallery events throughout downtown. Some stops to consider: Herron Gallery for recent ceramic sculptures by Melissa Parrot Quimby (details here), landscape architecture designs at the Vonnegut Library (details here. http://www.vonnegutlibrary.org/events/) and, at the Harrison Center, “Contents May Have Shifted,” featuring installations by Australian artist Berenice Rarig (details here. http://harrisoncenter.org/).

Also this week

Broadway star Caissie Levy (“Hair,” “Ghost”) joins composer Scott Alan for an evening of his tunes April 5-6 at the Cabaret at the Columbia Club. Details here

On April 5-6 at the Indiana Historical Society, vocalists Claire Wilcher and Jacquelynne Fontaine join the Indianapolis Men’s Chorus for “From the West End,” a celebration of London-launched musical theater. Details here

Comedian Joe Rogan plays the Murat Theatre April 6. Details here

“An Evening of Bluegrass” features Noam Pikelny, Ronnie McCoury and more April 10 at Deluxe at Old National Centre. Details here

Singer-songwriter Liz Janes and writer Peter Rollins are among those participating in “Living Into the Edge,” presented April 9 by the Spirit & Place Festival and Christian Theological Seminary at CTS’ Shelton Auditorium. Details here

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