Quick Review: “Moby Dick Tonight” by Loren Niemi at the Indy Fringe Theatre

 

(Note:  The above little video is one that I made outside the Phoenix Theatre with Minnesota-based storyteller Loren Niemi on my trusty iPhone during the main Indy Fringe Festival last summer but for one reason or another never posted.   I should have stood closer to Loren while I was filming so that the volume would be more even  (maybe that is why I never posted it), but you can at least get a sense of what he looks and sounds like.  And since I don’t have another publicity photo to use with this mini-review, I’m going with this video.)

********** 

Tonight I drove to the Indy Fringe Theatre in the Mass. Ave. theatre district of Indianapolis to see Loren Niemi’s solo theatre show, “Moby Dick Tonight.” 

I am very, very sorry that I arrived too late to be able to write a proper review of it.  Here are some quick thoughts about it instead:

Continue reading Quick Review: “Moby Dick Tonight” by Loren Niemi at the Indy Fringe Theatre

Theatre Adventure: “Pure Prine” at the Phoenix Theatre

The answer is “yes.”  Yes, I saw the new Prine show at the Phoenix before it closed.  A lot of people have asked me that in the past week.

And yes, I loved it, too.  It was unlike any other show I had ever seen.

I am not going to write a regular review of it because I did not see it in the regular way.  However, if you will indulge me, I would like to share my experience of it:

  Continue reading Theatre Adventure: “Pure Prine” at the Phoenix Theatre

Theatre Review: “Always…Patsy Cline” at Beef and Boards

Last Sunday I drove to Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre on the northwest side of Indianapolis to hear a tribute to one of my favorite singers.  I was surprised and delighted to learn that “Always…Patsy Cline” is not “just” Christine Mild as Patsy singing song after song – although I am sure I would have enjoyed that, too, because Christine Mild is stunning in this role – but also the story of an actual friendship that developed between Patsy and one of her fans, Louise Seger.

The show is funny, touching, musically satisfying…a true pleasure. 

Continue reading Theatre Review: “Always…Patsy Cline” at Beef and Boards

Theatre Review: “Madwomen’s Late Nite Cabaret” at DivaFest

Last Friday night I stayed late at the Indy Fringe building in downtown Indianapolis to see another of the five winning plays in the first annual, juried “DivaFest” – a celebration of local women playwrights, sponsored by the Indy Fringe Festival.

This one was called “Madwomen’s Late Nite Cabaret.”  It was written and directed by Julie Lyn Barber.  She also starred in it along with Amanda Hummer, Erica Dumond, Ben Asaykwee and Darrin Murrell.

Continue reading Theatre Review: “Madwomen’s Late Nite Cabaret” at DivaFest

Theatre Review: “Dash Thirty Dash” at DivaFest

A week ago Friday night I drove through stormy weather to the Indy Fringe building in downtown Indianapolis to see the premiere of “Dash Thirty Dash,” written by Amy Wimmer Schwarb and directed by Matthew Roland.

This was one of the five winning plays in the first annual juried “DivaFest” – an event developed by the now year-round Indy Fringe Festival to celebrate and encourage women playwrights.

It was about recent cataclysmic changes in the news industry, shown through the experiences of the staff of a small, local newspaper in Florida.  Their lives change completely just in the short time between 2004 and 2008.

I had to work hard to understand what anyone in the cast was saying, either because they mumbled or they didn’t speak loudly enough, but what I could hear, I loved.  The piece was rich with fascinating details related to both the Florida setting and newsroom culture.  The story gave me a lot of good food for thought for my own life.

Continue reading Theatre Review: “Dash Thirty Dash” at DivaFest

DivaFest Congratulations and a Small Rant about Rankings

A week ago Friday night I ignored tornado threats and drove downtown to the Mass. Ave. theatre district of Indianapolis to see productions of two of the five winning scripts in the year-round Indy Fringe Festival’s first annual DivaFest weekend.  According to the IndyFringe website, DivaFest is “a celebration of women playwrights.”  Its purpose is “to shine a light on women writers as they tell their stories for the stage.” 

“A jury of theater professionals” selected 5 scripts from 29 entries and IndyFringe provided rehearsal space and other support for presenting them on the stage of the IndyFringe building.

The five winning scripts were:

Continue reading DivaFest Congratulations and a Small Rant about Rankings

Spotlight 2010 “For the Record”

I attended the 2010 Spotlight event to benefit the Indiana AIDS Fund last Monday night at Clowes Memorial Hall with friends Chris and Donna and others.  I loved Spotlight my first year, and this year was even better.

Of course I am glad that this gala raised $367,398 for its important cause this year.  (Source: David Hochoy, member of the Spotlight 2010 Steering Committee.)  How impressive that!

But also, selfishly, I am glad for the annual chance to sample and feel proud of Indianapolis’ wealth of live performing arts companies.  The two-act Spotlight program includes several short pieces of live theatre, dance, music, and more. 

I am sorry that I won’t have time to write about the pieces that each performing arts group contributed to the show.  I enjoyed them all, however, very much and so I want to quickly (hah!) list-and-link them here on my blog “for the record.”   Here they are, in the order that they appeared on the program:

Continue reading Spotlight 2010 “For the Record”

Word of Mouth and Mailbox

As always, there was a lot going on in terms of live theatre in the Indianapolis area last weekend and I have a lot in my email box about events coming up. 

Here is my writing plan for the next few days:

  • Word of Mouth and Mailbox (today’s post)
  • IndyFringe DivaFest Overview
  • Spotlight 2010 For the Record
  • Theatre Review: “Dash Thirty Dash” at IndyFringe DivaFest
  • Theatre Review: “Madwomen’s Late Night Cabaret” at IndyFringe DivaFest
  • Theatre Review: “Always Patsy Cline” at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre.  (And since this show runs through June 6, 2010, I will tell you right away that whether or not you are a country music fan, this show is a treat.  It is a satisfying musical tribute to the late Patsy Cline, but it also a moving and funny show about friendship and the power of musical storytelling in general.  Plus there are lots of beautiful dresses.)
  • If I have time, something related to the copious, compulsive notes I took at the Steven Dietz interview last month and the DivaFest panel of advisors this month.

In the meantime, here are a few items from last weekend’s gallivanting and from my email box, in random order:

Continue reading Word of Mouth and Mailbox

Storytelling Review: “Nepantla: Between Worlds” by Olga Loya

On Saturday, May 1, 2010, I drove to the Indiana History Center in downtown Indianapolis to hear professional storyteller Olga Loya present “Nepantla: Between Worlds.” 

This event was produced by Storytelling Arts of Indiana and the Indiana Historical Society as part of the Printing Partners Storytellers Theater series.

I had been looking forward to this event ever since Olga mentioned her “Nepantla” piece at the 2008 Going Deep: Long Traditional Stories Festival.   It was, as I had expected: enjoyable, uplifting and thought-provoking.

Continue reading Storytelling Review: “Nepantla: Between Worlds” by Olga Loya