Theatre Review: “Victor Victoria” at the ACT

On Friday night (4-25-08) I arranged to leave a little early from my day job so that I could go to the opening night of “Victor Victoria” at the American Cabaret Theatre downtown.  Seeing the “opening weekend” sign hanging down in front of the theatre gave me a thrill.

I came away with a headache, though, and almost asked for my money back, because of the noise bleed from the musical event going on next door.  I assume it was the “Polka Boys” playing at the Rathskeller Restaurant’s Biergarten, but in any case I thought I was going to go crazy trying to concentrate on “Victor” with a relentless, discordant, throbbing bass going on at the same time.

However, I stayed put, and other than that one horrible distraction, enjoyed the show very much.  If I had the chance to go again, I would ask for a seat on the right side of the house (stage left.)  The house was too full on Friday night for me to just move myself, but I think that would have helped.

It really is a lovely show, in any case:  funny and beautiful and touching, with lots of crush potential.

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Theatre Review: “Iron Kisses” at the IRT

On Thursday night (4-24-08) I drove downtown to the Upperstage of the Indiana Repertory Theatre to see “Iron Kisses” by James Still.  It was directed by David Bradley.  The artistic director of the IRT is Janet Allen.  Steven Stolen is the managing director.

James Still has been the IRT’s playwright-in-residence for the past ten years, but “Iron Kisses” is the first play by him that I have seen.

It is an interesting and cathartic 90 minutes.   I want to write about all of it, so I am warning you here that there are spoilers in this review.

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Theatre Review: “Two Orphans” at the Belfry

Last Sunday afternoon (4/20/08) I drove over to Noblesville to the Belfry Theatre to see “Two Orphans or In the Hands of Heaven,” by Eugene Corman & Adolphe Philippe D’Ennery as adapted from N. Hart Jackson’s 1879 translation from the French.

This melodrama was directed by Christy Clinton with two assistant directors:  Ryan Shelton and Connie Laycock.  Frank Hindes was the producer and Jim Williams was the technical director.

Ryan Shelton was also the Stage Manager and for this show, the stage manager’s duties included wearing a peasant costume and warming up the audience.  Shelton moved around the house as people were finding their seats, schmoozing and teasing and encouraging people to boo the bad guys and cheer for the good.

So we did!  It was a lot of fun. 

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Theatre Review: “Ordinary People” at Spotlight

Last Saturday night (4/19/08) I drove over to Beech Grove to see the Spotlight Players’ production of “Ordinary People.”  The script was written by Nancy Gilsenan, based on the novel by Judith Guest.  Brent Wooldridge directed, with Debby Lovell as producer.

I have been meaning to read the novel for years now, ever since I saw the Academy Award-winning movie.  That movie was very difficult to watch, and yet so powerful that I had to watch it several times.  I would like to watch it again.

Spotlight’s stage version is also powerful, but in a different way.  I thought I might spend the whole time comparing the Spotlight actors with the ones in the movie – Mary Tyler Moore as the mother, Donald Sutherland as the father, Judd Hirsch as the therapist, and Timothy Hutton as the son – but I did not.  In fact, I quickly forgot all about the movie stars and got caught up with the family that was on stage. 

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Theatre Review: “Black Gold” at the Phoenix Theatre

Last Thursday night (4/17/08) I went to the Phoenix Theatre to see the rolling world premiere of Seth Rozin’s new satire, “Black Gold.”    It was directed by Brian Fonseca.  

A gentle African-American man, Curtis Walker (Kahlil Jahiz), buys an oil rig on e-Bay and installs it in his back yard in a depressed neighborhood in Detroit.  Turns out, there is an ocean of oil down there!  He and his family are going to be rich!

Aren’t they?

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“Midwestern Hemisphere” and “The Job”

Sam Fain in “Midwestern Hemisphere”Last Sunday evening (4/13/08), I went to the Artsgarden to see “Midwestern Hemisphere” a second time.  I didn’t think it was possible to enjoy the piece more than I had the first time, but I did.   What an enjoyable show!

I appreciated the deftness of Laura Glover’s lighting design even more this time.

And I fell in love with the six actors – Sam Fain as Harrison, Robert Neal as Jerry, Kelsie Coughlin as Miranda, Claire Wilcher as Rebekka, Frank Shelton as Tommy, and Megan McKinney as Sue – all over again.

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Theatre Review: “Die! Mommy! Die!” at Theatre on the Square

Last Sunday afternoon I went to Theatre on the Square to see “Die! Mommy! Die!” It was written by Charles Busch and directed by Ed Mobley. 

This is one bizarre and titillating show.   

I am telling you right now that this review includes spoilers because I want to record them, so go see the show first and then let’s compare notes.

Here: I’ll put my usual ending at the beginning, so you don’t have to scroll down unless you want to: 

“Die! Mommie! Die!” runs through Saturday, April 26, 2008 at Theatre on the Square.   Order tickets online or call 317-635-TOTS.  There is a 5:00 performance this afternoon, but not next Sunday.

 Okay.  Here is what I want to record about this piece:

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2008 Going Deep – “Helen’s Troy,” by Megan Wells

Storyteller Megan WellsLast Saturday evening, after a second, and even longer and deeper than yesterday’s, massage that left me feeling euphoric and toxin-free and wondering why I don’t get massages more often, I bundled up and made my way again to the old schoolhouse to hear Megan Wells tell “Helen’s Troy.”  It would be the third and final storytelling piece in the 2008 “Going Deep: Long Traditional Story Festival” in Bethlehem, Indiana.

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2008 Going Deep – “Queen Berta and King Pippin,” by Priscilla Howe

Storyteller Priscilla HoweLast Friday night, after a pummeling massage that left me groggy followed by a light nap and a delicious dinner at the Storyteller’s Riverhouse, I grabbed my umbrella out of my car and walked over to the antique school house for the second night of storytelling at the “Going Deep: Long Traditional Story Festival” in Bethlehem, Indiana.  Tonight we would hear Priscilla Howe tell her version of the medieval story of “Queen Berta and King Pippin.”

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2008 Going Deep: “The Aztec Creation,” by Olga Loya

Storyteller Olga LoyaLast Thursday night I walked from the Storyteller’s Riverhouse, past the big tree house, past the tiny post office, past the big field, to the old school house to hear the first storytelling piece of the “Going Deep: Long Traditional Story Festival” in Bethlehem, Indiana.  Olga Loya would share her version of “The Aztec Creation.”

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