Directory of 2009 Shows

Collection of Manistee, Michigan theatre flyers - photo by Dan Perry

It took me three days to make a directory for the shows I saw in 2008, what with embedding the links and all.  Therefore I am starting my 2009 directory mid-year.  I will update it as I go so that it won’t be a huge job at the end of the year.

I am also wondering how Dan Perry, the man who took the above photo, organizes his theatre programs when he is not spreading them out on a table to take a picture of them.  I bet he doesn’t stack them under a chair in his bedroom.  Hmm.

Anyway, below is a list of the shows that I have seen so far in 2009, grouped by performance company and then alphabetized by show title, with links to the companies and links to my reviews of the shows if I wrote about them here on Indy Theatre Habit.  Performance companies are also labelled according to whether they are:

**  “professional” (all of the company’s artists and staff are paid)

** “all volunteer,” (none of the company’s artists or staff are paid)

** a “hybrid” (the company has a mixture of paid artists/staff and volunteers)

I will be the first to say that “professional” does not necessarily mean high quality and “all volunteer” does not necessarily mean disappointing quality.   These are just general categories.

The companies are also labeled according to location.  All theatres are in Indiana unless otherwise noted. 

If you see any errors and/or know of an affiliation with which I should have tagged any of these companies, please let me know.  If you would rather remain anonymous, please feel free to email me privately with info about a company rather than leave a public comment.  My email address is amarylliswriter at gmail dot com.

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Directory of 2008 Shows

"The Moment" photo by John Castillo

Tonight I am indulging my inner librarian, who is often frustrated by the imprecision of the Search box that came with this WordPress theme. 

Below is a list of the shows that I saw in 2008, grouped by performance company and then alphabetized by show title, with links to the companies and links to my reviews of the shows if I wrote about them here on Indy Theatre Habit.  Performance companies are also labelled according to whether they are:

**  “professional” (all of the company’s artists and staff are paid)

** “all volunteer,” (none of the company’s artists or staff are paid)

** a “hybrid” (the company has a mixture of paid artists/staff and volunteers)

I will be the first to say that “professional” does not necessarily mean high quality and “all volunteer” does not necessarily mean disappointing quality.   These are just general categories.

The companies are also labeled according to location.  All theatres are in Indiana unless otherwise noted. 

If you see any errors and/or know of an affiliation with which I should have tagged any of these companies, please let me know.  If you would rather remain anonymous, please feel free to email me directly with info about a company rather than leave a public comment.  My email address is amarylliswriter at gmail dot com.

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Theatre Review: “Annie” at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre

 Cast of Annie at B&B - Photo by JulieCurryPhotography.com

On Friday I drove over to the northwest side of Indianapolis to attend Media Night for “Annie” at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre.  The book for “Annie” is by Thomas Meehan; the music is by Charles Strouse; and the lyrics are by Martin Charnin.  The musical is loosely based on Harold Gray’s “Little Orphan Annie” comic strip.  B&B’s production was directed by Eddie Curry, choreographed by Ron Morgan, and musical directed by Kristy Templet.  It is sponsored in part by Indy’s Child parenting magazine.

It is a charming, family-friendly production, filled with strong, lovely voices, and a sweet, live dog.  The show itself has catchy songs, interesting historical references, and a satisfying story arc.  I left the theatre feeling optimistic about every aspect of my own life, in spite of my initial resistance to the determined optimism of the diminutive main character.

“Annie” is also the perfect show for a bachelorette party or a single girls’ night out.  Who knew?

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Theatre Review: “Mafia Daughter” at Theatre on the Square

The cast of Mafia Daughter at TOTS

Last Sunday afternoon I drove to the Theatre on the Square on Massachusetts Avenue in downtown Indianapolis to see the world premiere of “Mafia Daughter,” by local playwright Michael J. Ferruzza.  The playwright also directed the play and stars in it.

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Theatre Review: “ComedySportz”

ComedySportz member Troy Hanna getting ready to participate in Mutt Strut - photo from ComedySportz blog, used with permission from Ed Trout

Last Saturday night I judged an Encore show that let out relatively early.  I didn’t feel like going home yet, so I drove to downtown Indianapolis to Massachusetts Avenue to see if ComedySportz had a 10:00 improv show on Saturday nights. I was delighted to find that they did.

I had been to see the Three Dollar Bill Comedy Company – a current-events-based sketch comedy troupe – in the Friday 10pm guest slot at ComedySportz several times before, and had a great time.  I had also seen various Indy Fringe Festival shows on the ComedySportz stage last summer.  In other words, I already felt very comfortable with the venue.  I also had seen some of the ComedySportz improv artists perform as part of the Laugh-a-thon Fundraiser for various charities at Theatre on the Square several weeks ago. I had been meaning to see what a whole evening of their work would be like.

It was SO…MUCH…FUN!

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Theatre Review: “Interpreting William” at the IRT

Delana Studi and Tim Grimm in "Interpreting William" at the IRT

On Friday I drove downtown to attend the opening night festivities of the world premiere of “Interpreting William” at the Indiana Repertory Theatre.  The play was written by James Still, the playwright-in-residence for the IRT, and directed by Lisa Rothe.

The show made me cry because it reminded me of why I majored passionately in history as an undergrad, and why I still enjoy reading, writing, talking, and hearing about history.  As the play’s youngest character, the defiant 19-year-old Naomi (Lena Hurt), says, “History is really about us!”  It is personal, it is relevant, and it is multi-dimensional.

In this show – which is also personal, relevant, and multi-dimensional – David Alan Anderson stars as a jovial history professor named Bill who is trying, here in 2009, to finish the definitive book on William Conner.  If you live in the Indianapolis area, you probably already know that William Conner was the man who in 1820 was helping to “settle” the area that eventually became the state of Indiana.  Bill has written quite a bit of the book, but he just can’t seem to nail the ending.  He visits his former teacher, his hero, a woman named Anna (Carmen Roman), for help. 

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Theatre Review: Return to “Treasure Island” at Beef and Boards

Jamie Jackson as Long John Silver in B&B's "Treasure Island" - photo by JulieCurryPhotography.com

I saw the Midwestern premiere of “Treasure Island: a Musical Adventure” at the Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre the weekend it opened and it was thrilling.

I saw it again last night, towards the end of its run, and it was even better.  All of the men – whether they have just a few lines or pages and pages of dialogue –  have fully embodied their roles now.  You really get the brotherhood vibe from the cast, too, even when their characters are attempting to kill each other.  The songs stay with you – I sang the chorus to the title song all the way home – and so does the satisfying feeling of having been on an adventure.  Man, I love this show!

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Theatre Review: “The Zippers of Zoomerville” at the Phoenix

Mikayla Reed and Phebe Taylor in "Zippers of Zoomerville" at the Phoenix

Last Thursday night, my friend David and I drove downtown to see the opening night of the world premiere of “The Zippers of Zoomerville, or Two Hundred Laps and a Lass! A Mini-mockeretta” at the Phoenix Theatre.  Director Jack O’Hara wrote the book and lyrics.  O’Hara and musical director Tim Brickley wrote the music.  The show was produced by Bryan Fonseca.

David and I had a great time.

If you are thinking of going to see this show, do not be put off by the goofy, Seuss-esque title.  This skillful spoof on both the Indy 500 race and Gilbert and Sullivan musicals is throw-your-head-back hilarious.

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Theatre Review: “Twentieth Century” at the Indianapolis Civic Theatre

Seated LtR - Karla Williams and Matthew Clark.  Standing LtR - Bill Book, Karen Frye, Mark Fishback.  Photo from Indianapolis Civic Theatre.

Last Saturday night I drove to the Marian College campus to see the Indianapolis Civic Theatre’s production of “Twentieth Century,” written by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, based on a play by Charles Bruce Mulholland, in a new adaptation by Ken Ludwig.  Civic’s production was directed by Robert J. Sorbera.

It is an amusing and elegant piece. Leaving the theatre, I heard the young woman behind me say to her companion, “That was hilarious!”  I didn’t find it hilarious, exactly, but I did find it uniquely enjoyable.  It appealed to the historian in me, and the theatre groupie.  It also appealed to the part of me that is intrigued by the lifestyles of the rich and famous.

And there’s just something so romantic, so…full of possibility, about a journey by train in the days before plastic cutlery.

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Mailbox Monday: Free Pizza, a World Premiere, and More

From left - Marjorie Allan as Ouiser, Nancy Kinsey as M'Lynn, Micki Caughey as Truvy, Susan Townsend as Clairee, Lisa Smith as Annelle.  Location: Empire Beauty School.

Let’s see…what have I been saving from my email box and my personal diary to share with you this week…

Ah, yes!  The above photo!  Isn’t it fun?  Run your mouse over it to see the actresses’ names.  Ben Asaykwee Lamey, the Performing Arts Coordinator at the Indianapolis Senior Center, sent the photo to me, along with the following information about their first full play:

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