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In addition to its slate of plays and musicals, Indianapolis Civic Theatre will be adding a pair of concerts to the upcoming season.
Currently being considered are concert versions of “Hair,” and “Rent.” Tickets will be $24 with performances Oct. 2-4 and Feb. 12-14. No decision yet on which show will go in which slot.
Unlike traditional productions, these concert versions are presented with musicians on stage, minimal blocking and little or no scenery. Actors often carry their scripts.
If you saw the recent PBS presentation of “Chess” (be thankful if you didn’t), you know the format. Better examples include the ISO’s “Guys and Dolls” and many of the productions at Encores at City Center in New York (including the ones that launched the revivals of “Chicago” and “Gypsy”).
In the right hands, there’s something magical about these productions that put voice and music at the forefront. The question is whether or not “Rent” and “Hair” — two shows that are on local theater schedules already — are good choices for it.