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:
- Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra – Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana by Mascagni.
- “I am Spotlight” video. Directed by Kaline Schounce, produced by WFYI Productions and Kimberly Wells.
- Actors Theatre of Indiana – “Holier Than Thou” from the musical “Nunsense” by Dan Goggin. Performers: Debra Babich, Katy Gentry, Kyra Kenyon, Mikayla Reed, Claire Wilcher. Band: Nathan Perry, piano; Stephanie Carter, drums; Don Jenkins, bass.
- Phoenix Theatre – excerpt from “Speech & Debate,” by Seven Karam. Directed by Lori Raffel. Performers: Kelli Johnson, Matthew Van Oss, and Mark Preston. (Opens May 20, 2010.)
- ACT ONE, Indianapolis Civic Theatre – “Broadway Baby” from the musical “Follies” by Stephen Sondheim. Staged by Brent E. Marty and Holly Stults. Soloists: Shelby Hodge, Thomas Anderson, Julia Klinesiver, Hannah Boswell.
- Indianapolis Children’s Theatre (part of the Indianapolis Civic Theatre) “Interjections” from “Schoolhouse Rock Live!” Music and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens. Staged by Brent E. Marty and Holly Stults. Cast: Phillip Armstrong, Diane Tsao Boehm, Mark Fishback, Rebecca DeVries McConnell, Craig Underwood, Claire Wilcher. Orchestra: Brent E. Marty, piano; Al French, bass; Frank Niemiec, drums; Dave Paulson and Dorothy McDonald, woodwinds; Jeff Anderson, trumpet; Jim Hicks, trombone; Al French, orchestra manager.
- Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre – “The Traveling Gypsy Circus” (excerpt from “Under the Big Top.”) Choreography and costumes: Gregory Hancock. Music: Goran Bregovic. Lighting: Ryan Koharchik. Dancers: Meredith Brown, Martin Casanova, Natalee Cooney, Annie Fellmeth, Melanie Heazeltine, Heather Helene King, Sara Little, Sarah Megel, Rachel Rutland Maryanovskaya. G2 dancers: Eryn Blair, Chelsie Caldwell, Taylar Green, Karina Hamamouche, Sydney Harmon, Britany Ignas, Abbie Lessaris, Vanessa Wahl, Grace Woerner.
- Indianapolis Opera – “Viens, Mallika..Do^me e’pais” from “Lakme’” by Le’o Delibes (1836-1891). Performers: Abigail Mitchell, soprano; Paulette Maria Penzvalto, mezzo-soprano; Eric Andries, accompanist.
- Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra – “Bess, You Is My Woman Now” from “Porgy and Bess,” by George Gershwin. Performers: David Murray, bass; Davis Brooks, violin; Catherine Bringerud, piano.
- Indianapolis Children’s Choir – “Where Is Love” by Lionel Bart, arranged by Kirby Shaw. Performed by the Cantantes Angeli Choir. Directed by Henry Leck.
- Asia LaBouche of “The Ladies of Legend of Talbott Street” – Doug Mellinger as “Asia LaBouche” plus two unnamed dancers performed to “Last Dance” sung by Donna Summer. Staged and choreographed by Brent E. Marty and Holly Stults.
Okay, I do have to stop a moment and say that Asia outdid herself in terms of her outfit this year. Her long, form-fitting gown was hand-beaded and dazzling, of course, but her headdress this year….Oh, my goodness, it was spectacular! It had two feathered appendages that curved forward from her head, parallel to the ground, to form a rounded boundary the size of a compact car. How she walked around without falling over while wearing this, let alone danced gracefully while wearing it, let alone danced gracefully IN HIGH HEELS while wearing it, I do not know, but it was magnificent.
I don’t think I will be able to get a photo of the headdress to share, but if I can get a publicity photo of Asia, I will add it here.
- Brenda Williams and the Pride of Indy Jazz Ensemble – “At Last” by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren.
- The (Re)Collective Company –“Awaken.” Choreography by Jaclyn Virgin. Music by Helger Oomkes. Musicians: Wes Malusek, Joe O’Conell, Helger Oomkes, Jamie Price, Tim Williams. Dancers: Ashley Benninghoff, Jaclyn Virgin.
- Tasha Jones – LOVE Unconditional (in 17 Syllables): if you = LIFE/ let LOVE inhale, then you will/eX hell from Being.
Okay, I have to stop again and say a word about Tasha Jones. I only know her work from experiencing it at Spotlight, but I can tell you that she is a performance poet with exquisite diction and timing. Her words are the most important thing about her art, of course, but the glamour-diva red dress and red hairdo that she wore for this event added a uniquely fabulous element to her presentation.
- Kenyetta’ Dance Company – “Dounia” (a world premiere.) Choreography by Nicole Clarke-Springer. Music by Rokia Traore’. Costumes courtesy of Deeply Rooted Productions, Chicago, Ill. Dancers: Arika Casey, Melody Cutsinger, Florene Dixon, Lalah Hazelwood and Adrienne D. Jackson. Executive artistic director: Vanessa R. Owens.
- Indianapolis Men’s Chorus – “Prayer of the Children” by Kurt Bestor, arranged by Andrea S. Klouse. “Our Journey Continues” by Grep Gilpin. Conductor: Alan Alder. Soloist: Don Humphress. Accompanist: Greg Sanders.
- Indiana Repertory Theatre – Excerpt from “Pretty Fire” by Charlynne Woodard. Performer: Millicent Wright.
- Dance Kaleidoscope – “For Jose’.” Choreography by David Hochoy. Music: “This Nearly Was Mine” from “South Pacific” by Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II, performed by Barbara Cook. Dancers: Timothy June, Noah Trulock.
- Meridian Song Project – “Anyone Can Whistle/This is the Moment” by Stephen Sondheim and Frank Wildhorn. Performers: Steven Stolen, tenor; Gary Walters, piano.
It was a wonderful, wonderful evening.
Hope Baugh – www.IndyTheatreHabit.com
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