Quick Thoughts From This Weekend’s Theatre Attendance

I saw “Becky’s New Car,” by Steven Dietz, at the Indiana Repertory Theatre with a friend on Friday night and we talked and raved about it all the rest of the weekend.

The show is funny and wonderful and GOOD on so many levels.  It has heart and wit and  it appeals to both men and women, judging from the laughs and comments I heard Friday night.  I’ll write more about “Becky’s New Car” in a day or two (after I finish my review of Peter Cook’s storytelling concert), but I can tell you right now that I will throw my usual caution to the winds and say, “This one.  Go see this one.”

I also enjoyed “Hello, Dolly!” at the Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre.  I will write in more detail about that in a few days, too, but I can tell you right now that star Iris Lieberman from Chicago makes the title role freshly and uniquely likable, and that a favorite local actress, Erin Cohenour, is a hoot in her debut performance at “the Beef.”

I think I will have time towards the end of the week to share a few thoughts from today’s interview by Lou Harry of playwright Steven Dietz.  It took place at the Phoenix Theatre and was open to the public.  I was inspired to tears (okay, weeping, but I hope I hid it fairly well) by that conversation.  Lou Harry asked good, chewy questions and Steven Dietz’s answers were fun and thought-provoking and essence-tapping.  I had seen a community theatre production of Steven Dietz’s “Dracula” and the IRT’s production of “Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure” in 2008 and now the IRT’s production of “Becky’s New Car.”  I am very much looking forward to seeing his “Yankee Tavern” at the Phoenix next month, too.

And finally, although I won’t have time to write about it in detail, I also want to mention that I swung by the Cabaret at the Columbia Club on Saturday night for the inaugural “That’s Brentertainment!” open mic musical theatre event.  It was hosted by Brent Marty and featured Su Ours.  Brent and Su are each fabulous vocalists with delicious stage presence and an appealing rapport with each other, so it would have been more than a treat to listen to them by themselves.  However, it was also a pleasure to listen to the other people that stood up to each sing one song.  Most were accompanied by Brent on the piano; one woman acompanied herself.  I am sorry that I did not catch her name.   I also loved listening to Marni Lemons, Anne Miller, Laney Wilson, Matthew Hume (sp?), and someone named “Rusty” who said he had just moved here from southern California.  He won the musical theatre triva contest conducted by Lou Harry…and then blew us all away with his rendition of “If I Were a Rich Man” from “Fiddler on the Roof.”

The first “That’s Brentertainment!” was a lot of fun, and over much too soon.  I am looking forward to the next one and sorry that it is not until August!

‘See you at the theatres…

Hope Baugh– www.IndyTheatreHabit.com.

Follow @IndyTheatre on Twitter.com, too.

P.S. – At the Dietz/Harry event at the Phoenix today, during the coffee-cookies-strawberries time in the lobby, Milicent Wright from the IRT told me she had received a mysterious email from a strange name with “Indy Theatre Habit” as the subject heading.  She wondered if I had acquired some extra staff.  Hah!  I wish!  However, the “staff” of Indy Theatre Habit is still just me, so I hope that that email she received was just an isolated belch from one of those weird, mash-up auto-spams that sometimes occur.  In any case, if you get an “Indy Theatre Habit” email that is not from Hope Baugh or amarylliswriter at gmail dot com, I wouldn’t open it.

(Photo above is from “Becky’s New Car” and was taken by Julie Curry.  On the sofa, left to right, are Adriano Gatto and Robert Neal.  Becky, in back, is played by Constance Macy.  Thanks again, Kelly R. Young, for getting the publicity photos to me so quickly!)

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