Due to a debillitating cold, I missed NewKey’s production of “Greater Tuna.” It was the first show at the Indy Fringe Festival’s new space. Drat! Now I’m more-or-less healthy again, but due to lack of time, I still won’t be able to see everything I want to see in what’s left of 2008. Here is what I would like to see in the next month or so, if I had unlimited time, in alphabetical order by production company:
“Frog and Toad” – presented by Actors Theatre of Indiana at the Pike Performing Arts Center – I love the children’s books by Arnold Lobel on which this show is based, but I have missed seeing this popular show in previous years. I know that for some families, seeing this heartwarming show about friendship has become a holiday tradition. It opens December 12 and runs through December 21, 2008.
“Tellin’ Like It Is – Urban Legends” – the 7th Annual Haughville Story Fest presented by Asante Children’s Theatre at the Indiana History Center. This three-day festival is another event about which I’ve heard lots of good things but I have never been able to attend. It runs Friday, December 12-Sunday, December 14, 2008 and each day is different. This year, I am particularly interested in hearing a storytelling duo from Chicago called “In the Spirit,” but the local Kwanzaa Community Choir intrigues me, too.
“Country Christmas Cabaret” at the American Cabaret Theatre – I have always suspected that Santa would wear cowboy boots if he could. This down-home holiday musical show sounds like fun. It opens November 29 and runs through December 21, 2008.
“A Beef and Boards Christmas” at, you guessed it, the Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre! I have never been to a B&B Christmas show, but I bet it is always sparkly and lovely. I suspect that this show is a tradition for many families and couples, too.
“A Christmas Carol” at the Indiana Repertory Theatre – One of my favorite actors, Chuck Goad, has played Ebeneezer Scrooge in this production for ten, I think, years now. Talk about holiday traditions! Last year was my first year to see this show. When I wrote about it on IndianaAuditions.com last year, I vowed that I would make time to see it every year. It was just so beautiful and rich. It is running now through December 28, 2008 on the IRT’s Main Stage.
“This Wonderful Life” at the Indiana Repertory Theatre – I am always intrigued by one-person shows. According to the IRT’s publicity, the man in this play portrays over 30 characters from the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” I have always thought George Bailey should have followed his dreams and trusted his Call, so in some ways the movie annoys me. However, I do believe that every person is important whether he or she realizes it or not, so I usually end up crying through my annoyance, too. Anyway, I would like to see this live, one-man version of it. It opened this week and runs through January 4, 2009 on the IRT’s Upper Stage.
“The Wizard of Oz” at the Indianapolis Civic Theatre. I don’t know that I have to see this production this month, but December is when Civic is offering it. Anyway, I’m sure there are people who are glad to be able to choose a lively musical this time of year that is not a Christmas show per se. I’d like to see it in order to compare it to the production of “The Wiz” that I saw at the American Cabaret Theatre earlier this year, and, of course, because I have seen the Judy Garland movie a gazillion times. Speaking of gazillions, I hear there are gazillions of cute children playing the Munchins in Civic’s production. It opens December 12, 2008 and runs through January 4, 2009.
“Yuletide Celebration” at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. This will be the ISO’s 23rd annual holiday production. I know: strictly speaking, this does not fit my blog’s focus on live theatre and storytelling. But I had such a good time at the ISO’s “Guys and Dolls” concert last month that I want to go again. Plus, the press release that Tim Northcutt and Jessica DiSanto sent me promises tap dancing Santas. And live reindeer. This show opens December 5 and runs through December 23, 2008.
“On Thin Ice: A Very Phoenix Xmas 3” at the Phoenix Theatre. I love that this quirky, irreverent show always includes work from a variety of playwrights. It is a collection of theatrical treats, different every year. (I saw the first two years, pre-blog, but wrote about last year’s show on IA here.) It opened last weekend and runs through December 20, 2008. Note: Thursdays are “cheap seats nights.”
“Love, Work, Mistakes and Miracles: A Night of Song and Story” featuring Bill Harley and Carrie Newcomer. Presented by Storytelling Arts of Indiana at the Indiana History Center. I opened for folksinger Carrie Newcomer myself one summer, when she was playing her music as part of the Canal Series at the IHC. I loved her songs then, so I’m looking forward to hearing her again next weekend. Bill Harley is the man who introduced me to the Harry Potter books – and now it is hard to remember a time when I didn’t know about Harry Potter, so I guess I have been a Bill Harley fan, too, from way back! He is also a Grammy Award winner and, most importantly, a hilarious, joyful storyteller. There are only two chances to see this show: Friday, December 5 and Saturday, December 6, 2008.
“Christmas Belles” at Theatre on the Square. This promises to be just plain wacky (and maybe tacky, too, in an enjoyable way.) It opens tonight and runs through December 20, 2008. Note: Sunday performances are at 5:00.
And if I had both unlimited time and unlimited travel funds, I would road trip up to Detroit to see our own Melissa Schott in “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas” at the Fox Theatre. (You may remember that I loved her singing and dancing in “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” for example.) I have been following her “White Christmas” blog on Facebook, but you don’t have to be on Facebook to read it. It is also available to read as a stand-alone blog called “Behind the Curtain” here. Schott and the rest of the company gathered in New York for several days first to rehearse the show before taking it to Detroit. I loved being able to vicariously live the life of a working dancer through her blog. I wish I could see the final piece of art, too.
There’s no way I will be able to take in all of these shows, but I feel rich just making my wish list!
Hope Baugh – www.IndyTheatreHabit.com