Weekend Word of Mouth

Here are some odds ‘n’ ends of Indianapolis theatre news that I picked up in conversation this past weekend while I was out and about:

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A week ago Sunday I saw the closing performance of “Crimes of the Heart,” by Beth Henley, at the all-volunteer Carmel Community Players.  (See photo above, sent to me by the director, Lori Raffel.  Thanks, Lori!   It is the curtain call – (L to R) Jim Marron (Barnette), Rachel Sickmeier (Babe), Laura Lanman-Givens (Meg), Tricia Schiro-Long (Lenny), Kathy Pataluch (Chick) and Dwuan Watson (Doc).  Photo by Risa Krauter.) 

I won’t have time to write a review of this show, but I was glad I could squeeze it into my calendar as part of my on-going theatre education.  I like that CCP is doing all Pulitzer Prize winners this season. 

During his curtain talk for “Crimes of the Heart,” CCP president Michael Long said that they are very excited about how things are shaping up for next season.  I will look forward to receiving a press release from them about it.  CCP is one of the few all-volunteer theatres in central Indiana that emails me press releases and publicity photos and season announcements.  I very much appreciate it!

In the meantime, next up at the Carmel Community Playhouse is “How I Learned to Drive,” written by Paula Vogel and directed for CCP by Brian G. Hartz.   It will run June 3-13, 2010.  I met actor Dan Scharbrough at a party this weekend and was delighted to hear that he has been cast in “How I Learned to Drive.”  I have enjoyed his work in several Beef&Boards and Indianapolis Civic shows.

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This past Friday night I was at the opening night performance of “Around the World in 80 Days” at the Indiana Repertory Theatre.  WHAT a delightful show!  Full review coming soon.

I swapped howdies with other theatre commentators at the VIP reception before the show and at intermission.  I appreciated that Melissa Hall (“Stage Write” blog), Elizabeth J. Musgrave (“Gotta Go” blog), and Lou Harry (Indianapolis Business Journal) all came up to me to say “Hi.”  I managed to say “hi” back to each of them without spilling my cranberry juice.  Yay!

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On Saturday afternoon I drove downtown to the Indianapolis Senior Center to see actor/director/playwright Matthew Roland play Elwood Dowd in “Harvey,” by Mary Chase.    I am looking forward to interviewing Matthew for Indy Theatre Habit one of these days when we can get our busy schedules to converge, but in the meantime it was a pleasure, as always, to watch him do his thing. 

Next weekend I am looking forward to seeing a new show that Matthew is directing for the Indy Fringe Diva Fest.  “Dash Thirty Dash” was written by Amy Wimmer Schwarb. 

I won’t have time to write a full review of “Harvey,” but I loved the energy in the room.  The cast was a wonderful mix of professional actors, experienced community theatre actors, and enthusiastic residents.  It was a lot of fun to be in their audience.

While I was at the Indianapolis Senior Center I was delighted to finally meet director Ben Asaykwee, aka Ben Lamey.  He is the Education Director, I think, for the Indianapolis Senior Center.  His job includes directing their theatre productions.  This was their third annual show in the Center’s ballroom.

Ben is also one of the leaders of Q Artistry, a performance artist collective that puts on shows at The Irvington Lodge (5515 East Washington Street) in the Irvington neighborhood on the near east side of Indianapolis.  He promised to keep me in the loop about what they’re doing.

At “Harvey,” I happened to sit with:

  • Amanda Lane, who is running lights and sound at Theatre on the Square for “None of the Above,” by Jenny Lynn Bader.  She said they had had a good opening night the night before.
  • Jim Lucas, who had been out to Beech Grove the previous night to see “The Zoo Story,” by Edward Albee, at Spotlight Players.
  • Miki Mathioudakis, who is developing a show of monologues to benefit breast cancer research.  She told me about the venues with whom she is negotiating and the director with whom she would like to work, but I am not going to mention them until she confirms them.  I loved Miki’s solo show, “Golda’s Balcony,” at the Indianapolis Civic Theatre last year.  I bet this collection of shorter monologues will be good, too.

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On Saturday night I went to the Indiana History Center to hear professional storyteller Olga Loya share an original piece about race relations.  It was called “Neplanta: Between Worlds.”   I had been looking forward to hearing it ever since Olga mentioned it at the 2008 Going Deep: Long Stories Festival.  It was enjoyable and thought-provoking.  Full review coming soon.

At Olga’s “Neplanta” concert I sat next to local storyteller Sandra Harris.  She runs a monthly story swap at Glendale Library called “As I Recall.”  If you have ever wanted to try telling a story in public yourself, or if you just like listening to stories, you might want to check out Sandra’s group.  For more information, visit www.storytellingarts.org.

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Last night (Sunday night) I attended “Marni’s Major Milestone” at Pat Flynn’s Pub at 52nd and Allisonville Road.  Actress/vocalist Marni Lemons invited a lot of people to help her a) celebrate her 50th birthday and b) raise money for her two favorite causes: the Indianapolis Civic Theatre and the Miss Indiana Scholarship Fund.

I enjoyed hearing Marni and several of her friends (Robyne Ault, Paul Nicely, Su Ours, Kristin Staskowski, Tobin Strader) sing, accompanied by Todd Hawks.  I think I arrived too late to hear Marni’s husband, Michael Lasley, sing (drat!), but he did a good job running sound for the event.

I had fun chatting with several theatre people at Marni’s party – too many to list here, especially since I don’t know for sure which parts of the gossip I heard are firm enough to be blog-ready.

So I’ll just mention that I enjoyed talking with actress/vocalist Angela Manlove.  She is taking a little break right now but looking forward to performing in “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” which is a Bobdirex.com production that will open at the Athenaeum Theatre in July.

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‘See you at the theatres!

Hope Baugh – www.IndyTheatreHabit.com

Follow @IndyTheatre on Twitter.com, too.

One thought on “Weekend Word of Mouth”

  1. Hi Hope,
    It was wonderful to see you at IRT, too bad we didn’t have more time to chat. I really appreciated the minimalist approach and the quantity of debut performers in this production.
    I look forward to your full review…
    best wishes,
    Elizabeth J. Musgrave

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