Theatre Review: “Does This Show Make My Butt Look Fat?” at TOTS

Juli Inskeep, star of "Does This Show Make My Butt Look Fat?"

My friend Adrienne organized a group of women to meet at Theatre on the Square in downtown Indianapolis to see beloved local improv artist Juli Inskeep star in “Does This Show Make My Butt Look Fat?”  The mostly-one-woman show was written by Joni Hilton and directed by Juli Inskeep’s father, Donald Barnes.

We had a wonderful time.

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Mailbox Monday: Three Road Trips, a Nun, and More

Gabe Gloden and Nikeeta B. in "Give Me Liberty" by Nick Moore, part of 2009 Bloomingplays - photo by Natasha Komoda

Well, Mailbox Monday had to wait until Tuesday again this week.   Shohga nai, ne.  (It can’t be helped.)  Anyway, I have received a wealth of fun, theatre-related photos and press releases via email since my last “mailbox” post.  Here is a selection:

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Theatre Review: “Treasure Island” at Beef and Boards

Mutiny!  Crew and pirates fight in "Treasure Island" at Beef and Boards - photo by JulieCurryPhotography.com

My friend David and I met at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre on the northwest side of Indianapolis to see the Midwest premiere of “Treasure Island.”  This thrilling new musical was based on the classic coming-of-age adventure novel by Robert Louis Stevenson.  Director Marc Robin wrote the music for the show.  Robin and actor Curt Dale Clark wrote the book and lyrics for it.

This show made my breath catch in my throat more than once.  It just so perfectly captures the yearning for adventure that I remember myself having when I was young.  Captures it…and satisfies it, with an exciting story, infectious songs (“Mutiny” stayed in my head for days afterwards!), magical design elements, and swashbuckling battles.  (Fight direction by Adam Noble.)

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Theatre Review: “Crowns” at the Indiana Repertory Theatre

"Crowns" at the IRT

My friend Sue G. and I met downtown Indianapolis at the Indiana Repertory Theatre two weeks ago for the opening night of “Crowns.”   This exuberant musical was directed and choreographed by Patdro Harris, assisted by Connie Oates-Allen.  William Hubbard was the musical director.  Amy K. Denkmann is the stage manager.  The script was adapted by Regina Taylor from the book by Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry.

Two weeks is a long time to let a show settle before writing a review, I know.  I’m not sure why I needed so much time, but I did.  I think the delay was due to a combination of other race-related conversations going on in my life at the time and the richness of the show itself.  This is a visually and aurally beautiful show about African-American women and their hats, yes, but it is also a thought-provoking, healing show about universal experiences of love, sorrow, perseverance, faith, and pleasure.  There is a lot of light and humor in it, but it is not an experience to be rushed.

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Cheering the True Game Players of Indianapolis

"Levitation" by TeamEki

Today I learned that the 2009 Hoosier Storytelling Festival has been cancelled because of the cuts in public arts funding.  This news makes me very sad, but I can’t help admiring the leaders of Storytelling Arts of Indiana for thinking and acting creatively so that the news is not all bad.  Take a look at the following press release.  I bet you will be as cheered as I was, reading it.

And please notice that nowhere in this story is there a request for a bailout.  Through no fault of its own, Storytelling Arts of Indiana found itself with less money in its operating budget and dealt with the situation in a win-win way.

Other groups in Indianapolis could learn a thing or two from our city’s arts administrators and their partners.

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Theatre Review: Spotlight 2009 and Asia LaBouche

Asia LaBouche of The Ladies of Legend of Talbott Street

On Monday night I attended the Spotlight 2009 gala at Clowes Memorial Hall on the Butler University campus.  It was presented by the Health Foundation of Greater Indianapolis and Efroymson Family Fund: a CICF Fund.

According to my program, the event was “One extraordinary night of singers, dancers, musicians and actors to benefit the Indiana AIDS Fund.”  In other words: “One Night.  One Stage.  One Reason.”

It truly was extraordinary.  A sampler of many artistic treats, from music to dance to theatre and more.

I had intended to give myself a night off and NOT write about an arts event for once, but now I find that I really want to record at least a few comments about Spotlight 2009 here on my blog as a souvenir.

Here is a list of the arts organizations that donated their performances.  I wish I had time to write about all of them in detail. They were each a pleasure:

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My First Political Rally: Indy Culture Matters

"coat" photo by Andrea Allen, used with permission

I went to my first political rally today.  LOTS of people gathered at Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis to rally in support of the local arts scene.  The gathering was organized by IndyCultureMatters.org.

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Theatre Review: “References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot” at the Phoenix

Melissa Solorzano and Noe Montez in "References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot"

Last Thursday night, I met a friend at the Phoenix Theatre in downtown Indianapolis to see Jose’ Rivera’s “References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot.”  It was directed by Bryan Fonseca.

It is an intriguing show, odd and sexy as a dream.  I will never look at the moon – or war – in the same way again.

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