Jabberwocky: “Once Upon A Time” Stories

"Alphabet Soup Love" photo by basheertome

On Tuesday, February 9, I drove to the Indy Fringe Theatre Building in downtown Indianapolis for the second monthly “Jabberwocky” event of 2010. The first one had been a lot of fun, so I looked forward to the second one as well.  The “Jabberwocky” series of “rendezvous of Jabbers who share their life stories” is produced by Storytelling Arts of Indiana and the Indy Fringe Festival, and supported by IndyGo (Indy’s bus system.)  It is held on the second Tuesday of every month.

The theme for the February evening of stories was “Once Upon a Time.”  Philanthropist and arts supporter Frank Basile was the MC.  The featured tellers were Phoenix Theatre actress Gayle Steigerwald, Theatre on the Square director/actor Ron Spencer, and school media specialist/storyteller Celestine Bloomfield.

I enjoyed listening to all of them!

Continue reading Jabberwocky: “Once Upon A Time” Stories

Discovery: Sports Storytellers on the Radio

"coltssaints355" photo by Paul J. Everett

The rest of Indianapolis has moved on from the Colts’ attempt to win another Super Bowl on Sunday, February 6, 2010.  However, I had an artistic gestalt that night and now that I think I may have my home computer working again, I would like to record a few more thoughts about my “discovery” of the performance art of Bob Lamey and other sports storytellers.

Most of the world does not call them that, of course.   They call them sports announcers or radio hosts or commentators or something like that.

Whatever you call them, you can not deny that the good ones bring unique skills and impressive knowledge to create an exciting, in-the-moment spoken interpretation of what is happening on the field.

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“Premiere-itis,” Several Mini-Reviews, and Plans

Erin Cohenour, Brandon Alstott, and Parrish Williams in "Bus Stop" at Civic

I was sick the opening weekend of “Bus Stop” at the Indianapolis Civic Theatre so I reluctantly cancelled my media passes and stayed home.  However, a friend had turned me on to William Inge’s work a couple years ago so I very much wanted to see a live production of this William Inge play.  I got over my bug eventually and was able to buy a last-minute ticket to one of the final performances in the run. (I attended Thursday, February 4, 2010.)

I want to thank Civic for producing this 1956 Tony-nominated play about a group of people that get stranded at a small town bus stop in Kansas during a blizzard.  It is thought-provoking in new ways, I imagine, now that it is an historical rather than contemporary piece.  And, except for the lighting design (or perhaps just its execution), which sometimes mystified me, all of the design elements – set, costumes, etc. – in this particular production were excellent.  The acting was excellent, too.  All of the characters engaged me with their life stories and their interactions with each other.  The last line knocked me over in a way that it wouldn’t have, I’m sure, if I had simply read the script. 

I am not going to take time to write a full review of this show because a) I have been having home computer problems and therefore b) I am now several posts behind, but I do want to record who did what.  I’ll do that at the end of this post.

I would also like to use this mini-review of Civic’s “Bus Stop” to explore a comment that contemporary playwright Eric Pfeffinger made on a thread on IndianaAuditions.com recently.

Continue reading “Premiere-itis,” Several Mini-Reviews, and Plans

Theatre Review: “Romeo and Juliet” at the Indiana Repertory Theatre

Erik Hellman and Claire Aubin Fort in "Romeo and Juliet" at the IRT. Photo by Julie Curry.

On Thursday, January 28, 2010, I drove to downtown Indianapolis to see the Indiana Repertory Theatre’s special production of William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.”  It was directed by Tim Ocel, assisted by Jonathan Courtemanche.

I cried and cried, starting early in the first act – not just because I knew what was coming but because I was experiencing this classic story in a completely new way and it was breaking me open.

As with any piece of art – especially performance art – “your mileage may vary,” but for me, this was a powerful evening at the theatre.

Continue reading Theatre Review: “Romeo and Juliet” at the Indiana Repertory Theatre

Quick Thoughts: “Romeo and Juliet” at the Indiana Repertory Theatre

Erik Hellman (L) and Ben Tebbe (R) in "Romeo and Juliet" at the IRT - photo by Julie Curry.

I saw the Indiana Repertory Theatre’s production of William Shakespeare’s production of “Romeo and Juliet,” directed by Tim Ocel, on Thursday, January 28, 2010.  I apologize for not posting a review within my self-imposed deadline of one week, but this production resonated deeply with me and on many levels, so I am still chewing on it.  Also I have been having computer problems.  Anyway, I hope to post a proper post about this show very soon. 

Should you go see it?  Of course you should!  I know I always say that, but you should.  Go see every show you can, and decide for yourself what you think about it.  You say money’s tight and it’s cold outside and blah, blah, blah?  Yeah, I know, but going to the theatre is important for your soul’s health.  And this particular show is intriguing and beautiful.

More later…

Hope Baugh – www.IndyTheatreHabit.com

(Photo above is by Julie Curry.  Romeo (left) is played by Erik Hellman.  Benvolio (right) is played by Ben Tebbe.  Fabulous red car from the 1950s is part of Gordon R. Strain’s scenic design.)

Directory of 2010 Shows

"Pocket Notebooks" photo by mrbill

(Last updated 3-1-11)

Here it is February already, and I am only now posting my 2010 directory of shows I have seen.  Ah, well.  Each year I improve my organizational skills a teeny bit.  In 2009, I didn’t get my directory started until mid-year, and I didn’t even start my 2008 directory until 2009!

This post will quickly get pushed down by newer posts, but it will be easy to find again through the category “Annual Directories of My Reviews” – see link at left.  I will add to it as I go through the year.  I know from experience that in some ways it will be much more useful than the search box that came with this WordPress template.

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know the drill:  

Continue reading Directory of 2010 Shows

Storytelling Review: “Root Doctors, Midwives, and Fried-Mice Pie” by Susan Grizzell

"Herb Bundles" photo by Carolina Gonzalez

On Sunday, January 24, 2010, I drove to the Frank and Katrina Basile Theatre in the newly renovated Indiana History Center in downtown Indianapolis to hear the premiere performance of “Root Doctors, Midwives, and Fried-Mice Pie: Medicine in Early Indiana.”  Storyteller Susan Grizzell was commissioned to develop and present this piece by Storytelling Arts of Indiana and the Indiana Historical Society as part of their Sharing Hoosier History Through Stories Series.

Not all public speaking involves storytelling.  This piece as presented was more of a read-from-notes lecture than a storytelling – more about this in a moment – but the information was interesting and Sue delivered it warmly.

Continue reading Storytelling Review: “Root Doctors, Midwives, and Fried-Mice Pie” by Susan Grizzell