Mailbox and More: Festive Possibilities for the Weekend Ahead!

Last year's Brew-Ha-Ha? Photo provided by the Phoenix Theatre

My goodness, there is a lot going on this next weekend!  “Annie” is still running at Beef and Boards, for example, and “Octopus” continues at the Phoenix…but before I tell you about the new stuff that caught my eye in my email box this week, let me invite you to take a virtual tour of my friends’ beautiful house.  Here is the link:

 What does this have to do with live theatre in the Indianapolis area, you ask?

Well, for one thing, I learned about “rushing” shows via a professional costumer who was at a party that I attended in this house.  She taught me that a person can always call a professional theatre and ask if they do rushing.  If they do, a person can wait until just under an hour before curtain time and get tickets for half-price.   If you do this, you’re taking your chances on the availability of seats, but…half-price!

Also, two very creative, compassionate, and responsible people have been living in the house for three-plus years, so it has been well cared for and there is a lot of good energy in it.  This beautiful house is now for sale because the owners are building a new one that will accomodate more family.  If you buy this house, you will bask in all that good energy when you’re at home, and you will be only a quick drive away from the downtown theatres.

If you are interested in taking a tour of the house in person, please call my friends’ realtor, Kevin Warren, at 317-507-7660.


Another thing I want to tell you before I go to my mailbox is that Gary and Dan, the co-owners of Henry’s on East Coffee Bistro, told me that they are looking for visual artists who would like to have their work considered for exhibition on the coffee shop’s walls.

The theatre connection to this is that I almost ALWAYS see an actor or director or playwright or theatre designer from the IRT or the Phoenix or some other theatre whenever I go to Henry’s.  Just last Saturday afternoon, for example, I got to chat with THREE of the actors from “Octopus,” which, as I mentioned above, is now on stage at the Phoenix Theatre.  First Ben Snyder came in to sip some iced tea while doing his ritual daily reviewing of his script.  After he left, Scot Greenwell came in to grab a salad to go before call.  I also got to chat a bit with Ricardo Melendez and ask him about his movie career.  He showed me the trailer to his exciting new movie, “The Border Town,” via my laptop.

From Henry’s you can easily walk to the Phoenix or to Theatre on the Square or ComedySportz or the Murat Theatre or the Athenaeum Theatre or any number of other fun places.

Location and local celebrity-spotting aside, one of the main reasons I love going to Henry’s during the Indy Fringe Festival and other times during the year is because there are always beautiful and/or interesting paintings and other pieces of art on the walls.  That, and the free wireless Internet access.  And the consistently fresh salads.  And the yummy desserts.  And the smoke-free air.  And the peaceful yet lively atmosphere.

I’ve been going to Henry’s for over a year now but I only met the owners this past weekend.  Dan and Gary seem like very nice guys.  If you have some pieces of visual art that you would like to exhibit for sale in their space, you should call them:  317-951-0335.  I couldn’t get their website link to work while I was writing this post, but maybe it is back up by now:  Anyway, the coffee shop itself is at 627 N East St in downtown Indianapolis.


And now, here is what caught my eye among the theatre- and storytelling-related items in my mailbox for this weekend:

Storyteller Gene Tagaban will be featured at the 17th Annual Indian Market and Festival, sponsored by the Eiteljorg Museum, on Saturday, June 27th and Sunday, June 28th, 2009, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. in Military Park.  Advance tickets are available at Marsh and O’Malia Stores and at the Eiteljorg Museum or call 1-800-622-2024 to purchase by phone.  Children 17 and under are FREE!  At the gate tickets are $10, or $8 for members.

I loved Gene’s stories when he was here last fall for the Hoosier Storytelling Festival.  He is, as my email from Storytelling Arts of Indiana says, “a captivating performer of combined Cherokee, Tlingit and Filipino ancestry.  He began dancing at the age of five and grew up listening to and learning the songs, dances and stories of Alaska’s Tlingit people.”  He will perform at the Indian Market and Festival this weekend in the Entertainment Tent at noon and in the Cultural Presentation Tent at 3:30 on both days. 

To learn more about Gene, please visit  To learn more about the Indian Festival and Market, which brings nearly 130 Native artists from across the country to Indianapolis to sell their art and favorite foods, please visit


At this month’s Fringe Friday event on June 26 at the Indy Fringe building, you can get your first – and FREE – look at some of the 2009 IndyFringe Festival comedies, including:

  • Ms. Pat from New Vaudeville – Emerging Midwest Artists
  • The Stetson Manifesto – Happy Holler Productions,
  • Tortillo! – Avenging Orange Productions
  • Waiting with M. Godot – Wisdom Tooth Theatre Project
  • Welcome to Blanksville: Improvised Tribute to Choose Your Own Adventure® – IndyProv

In addition to free admission there will be free food and a cash bar.  There will not, unfortunately, be air conditioning, but I admire the Fringe folks for refusing to let this situation hinder them.  They will be accepting donations towards an AC system, but in the meantime, they will be passing out popsicles and ice cold lemonade.  AND if you decorate and bring your own hand fan, you might win a VIP ticket to the Indy Fringe Festival, if your fan is selected “fringiest and most creative.”  The winning fan will also be displayed at the opening of the Visual Fringe part of the festival.

Here is the schedule for Fringe Friday on June 26th:

5:30 Mix and Mingle

6:15 – 7:30 p.m. Performances

Then stay after for the world premiere of English playwright Graham Farrow’s new psychological thriller, “Pure Morning” at 8:00 pm.  Tickets are only $8 for people who attended FringeFriday.  Regular tickets for the show on either Friday, Saturday, or Sunday are $10.

On Saturday, June 27, there will be a free Master Class with Graham Farrow from 1pm to 4pm at the IndyFringe building, which I should have said earlier is at 719 E. St. Clair Street, Indianapolis. (Look for a renovated church sort of near the intersection of Mass. Ave. and College Ave.)

Here is some more information about “Pure Morning: A Psychological Thriller in Three Acts”:

June 26 and 27 at 8 p.m. June 28 at 2 p.m.

Presented by Merely Players of Owensboro, KY. Producers of hit IndyFringe shows Adventures in Mating and Open 24 Hours.

The President is due in a small, overlooked town. The area is excited and thousands of flag-waving locals are ready for the big welcome. Inside a nearby, non-descript hotel which has seen better days, a group of disparate, disconnected individuals are going about their business; trying desperately to earn their daily dollar and defeat the demons which dog their every move. Each person has a different story and a different agenda but slowly, over the course of a long and lonely night, they reveal their stories and find a connection – a connection which will lead to deadly consequences and involve the VIP who is due in town shortly.

Graham Farrow’s award-winning TALK ABOUT THE PASSION and RATTLESNAKES have been produced globally and are a constant source of interest from Hollywood. Graham returns from England to join us for his third season with Merely Players for the World premiere of his new psychological thriller.

Tickets: $10, Available at the Door

For more info visit and/or


I am not much of a beer drinker any more, but I have always wanted to attend the Phoenix Theatre’s Annual “Brew-Ha-Ha” fundraising event because, well, look at the photo at the top of this post.  Doesn’t that look like a fun time? 

Here is an excerpt from the press release:


 Indianapolis — The Phoenix Theatre will hold its 14thannual microbrew festival, Brew-Ha-Ha, on Saturday, June 27, 2009, 3:00-7:00 pm. The event is open to individuals aged 21 and older. Sample the region’s finest microbrews and craft beers, relax to live music all afternoon long, and enjoy great food at Indy’s original beer sampling event. Proceeds from Brew-Ha-Ha support the educational outreach programs of the not-for-profit Phoenix Theatre.

The Event:

Brew-Ha-Ha provides an outdoor block party atmosphere in 700 block of North Park Avenue between Massachusetts Avenue and East St. Clair Street in downtown Indianapolis’ historic Chatham Arch neighborhood, with the street blocked off to traffic for the event.  Live entertainment is provided all afternoon with music by three local bands: The Elect, AyAwAscA (eye-uh-WAH-skuh), and The Alpha Primitives.  Brew-Ha-Ha is a rain-or-shine event.  Tickets are $25 ($20 in advance through June 26), just $10 for designated drivers.

The Beer:

Brew-Ha-Ha attracts the area’s finest microbrewers and craft beer distributors each year, with more than 50 beers available to sample.  Scheduled to attend Brew-Ha-Ha are Indianapolis-area brewers and distributors Barley Island Brewing Co., Broad Ripple Brew Pub, Cavalier Distributing, Half Moon Restaurant & Brewery, Main Street Brewery, Mass Ave Wine Shoppe, New Albanian Brewing Co., Oaken Barrel Brewery, Party Pak Brewery, Ram Restaurant & Big Horn Brewery, Rock Bottom Brewery, Sun King Brewery, Upland Brewery, World Class Beverages, and Zink Distributing Co.

The Food:

Brew-Ha-Ha admission enables attendees to sample as many brews as many times as they care to. Food is available for sale at the event from Dick’s Bodacious BBQ, King David’s Dogs, Blimpie’s, Red Coach Kettle Corn, and Marco’s Pizza.


Brew-Ha-Ha 2009 is sponsored by Dean Johnson Design, NUVO Newsweekly, Indianapolis Monthly, and ESPN 1070 The Fan.


For additional information, contact Tom Robertson, the Phoenix Theatre’s Development Director, by phone at 317.635.2381 or by email at

Oh!  Except that you shouldn’t call Tom Robertson because he had some sudden and unexpected health problems earlier today.  See this thread on IndianaAuditions and add Tom to your prayers, if you’re a praying person.  Tom was the first person to sum up improv for me in one phrase:  “Yes, and.”  He told me, “Hope, in improv you just keeping saying ‘yes, and’ to whatever comes your way, and make the best of it.”  I hope that his body and his family and his doctors can say, “Yes, and” to this, too, so that Tom heals quickly and completely.

In the meantime, if you have questions about “Brew-Ha-Ha,” someone is probably checking Tom’s messages, or you could try calling the Phoenix box office at 317-635-PLAY (7529). 

One of the emails I received about “Brew-Ha-Ha” says the event will be held rain or shine.


I love getting regular press releases from the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra but I don’t always mention them here on Indy Theatre Habit because there just isn’t time and space to do everything and my focus here is on theatre.

But THIS weekend: “The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra will take Marsh Symphony on the Prairie audiences on a musical journey into the magical and mysterious world of Harry Potter in two family-friendly Marsh Symphony on the Prairie concerts featuring many selections from the Harry Potter film scores on Friday and Saturday, June 26 and 27, at 8 p.m. at the Conner Prairie Amphitheater.”

Harry Potter! 

Yeah, yeah, I know all about the literary weaknesses of the books, but I love them anyway.  I love all of the movies so far, too.  I love the idea of listening to music from the movies played live and lushly by a professional orchestra.

And guess what?  ShadowApe Theatre Company founding member Constance Macy will be the narrator for the Symphony event!  I’d go just to hear her, with the delightful ISO as icing.

Here is another excerpt from the ISO press release:

Tickets are priced at $20 in advance and $25 at the gate for Adults, with Children’s prices (ages 2-12) at $10 in advance and $12 at the gate.  Tickets may be purchased at any convenient Marsh or O’Malia’s supermarket location, by calling the Hilbert Circle Theatre Box Office at (317) 639-4300, toll free at (800) 366-8457, or by visiting the ISO’s website at  New “Premium Parking” passes, which provide convenient parking near the amphitheater, also may be purchased for $20 each exclusively through the Hilbert Circle Theatre Box Office.

The program, which will be conducted by longtime Evansville Philharmonic Music Director and Symphony on the Prairie  audience favorite Alfred Savia, will open with Manuel de Falla’s “Ritual Fire Dance” from El amor brujo (Love, the Magician), followed by Mozart’s Overture to The Magic Flute, John Williams’ “Witches, Wizards and Wands” from the film Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, with the popular The Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Paul Dukas to conclude the first portion of the concerts.

Following intermission, Maestro Savia and the ISO will present selections from John Williams’ popular Harry Potter film scores, including “Hedwig’s Theme” and “Nimbus 2000” from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, followed by selections from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, “Aunt Margie’s Waltz” and “The Knight Bus” from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and the program will conclude with the theme Harry’s Wondrous World.  Joining Maestro Savia and the Orchestra will be local actress Constance Macy, who will provide dramatic narration for some of the Harry Potter selections to place the music within the context of the stories from the famous and popular novels which inspired the films and the music.

If rain is possible on concert days, the public can stay up-to-date via the ISO’s new “mSymphony Weather Text Message Service” by texting “WEATHER DATE” (i.e. WEATHER JULY 25) to “24025.”  This service will be available on every concert date and will be updated by the ISO, which constantly monitors the weather as conditions change.


This is my weekend to work at my day job plus I have an Encore show to judge, so I don’t know how much of any of the above I will actually be able to do.  But aren’t there some lovely possibilities for this weekend?!

‘See you at the theatres!

Hope Baugh –

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