Theatre Review: “A Very Phoenix Xmas 5: Regifted”

On the night before Thanksgiving I attended a special “pay what you can” preview performance of “A Very Phoenix Xmas 5: Regifted” directed by Bryan Fonseca at the Phoenix Theatre in downtown Indianapolis.

I don’t usually write about preview performances – even those open to the public – but the Phoenix’s annual “alternative holiday production” is an essential part of my personal holiday tradition and I was eager to see what it would include this year.

Continue reading Theatre Review: “A Very Phoenix Xmas 5: Regifted”

Theatre Review & News: Q Artistry’s “Perry Haughter” Extended! (One Performance)


On Saturday, November 13, 2010, I drove to the Irvington neighborhood on the east side of Indianapolis to see the first “Q-mmunity” production from Q Artistry, so named because it provides an opportunity for Q fans that don’t normally get to be on stage to be part of a show.  It also provides an opportunity for a lot of youngsters to have perhaps their first theatre experience.

Continue reading Theatre Review & News: Q Artistry’s “Perry Haughter” Extended! (One Performance)

Theatre Review & News: “Dreamgirls,” “Cats,” & “Wicked” from Broadway Across America

I saw the final Indianapolis performance in Broadway Across America’s tour of “Dreamgirls.”  It was at the Murat Theatre at Old National Centre on Sunday evening, November 6, 2010.

I had a wonderful time.  I want to record here some of the things I loved most about this show, but I also want to record how bereft I felt when I went to the souvenir stand in the lobby after the show.  The person working it told me that “there is no full-cast recording of this show and there never will be.  It closes on December 26 in Detroit and after that, the sets are going to Africa.”

I know that every show’s run has to end some time.  In fact, one of the things I usually love most about live theatre is that it is like cherry blossoms: you can’t waste a lot of time trying to capture or record their beauty because then you’ll miss it.  You have to make time to stop and enjoy it, and then you have to let it go.  It is fleeting, ephemeral, precious…like life.

But still…I am sad that this revival, which, okay, maybe has some problems but also has a lot of heart, will not be going on to Broadway.

Below are a few of my thoughts on the show, followed by information about Broadway Across America’s next two Indianapolis shows: “Cats,” which will only be at Clowes Hall for a nano-second (one weekend only, at the end of this month) and “Wicked,” which will be at the Murat Theatre at Old National Centre from December 15, 2010 – January 1, 2011.

Continue reading Theatre Review & News: “Dreamgirls,” “Cats,” & “Wicked” from Broadway Across America

Storytelling Reviews and News: 2010 Basile premieres plus Niall de Burca is coming!

On Saturday, November 6, 2010 I drove to the Indiana History Center in downtown Indianapolis to see The Frank Basile Emerging Stories Fellowship Premieres, presented by Storytelling Arts of Indiana.

As usual with this annual event, there were actually two premieres:  two new 50-minute pieces developed independently for adult audiences by selected Indiana storytellers.  This year’s winners were Jennie Kiffmeyer and Celestine Bloomfield.   I enjoyed both of their pieces very much!  I left the IHC feeling relaxed and optimistic about life.

Below are my thoughts about each performance, followed by news about the next big Storytelling Arts of Indiana event, which is Irish storyteller Niall de Burca’s visit to Indianapolis coming up on December 3-4, 2010.

(All photos below were provided by Storytelling Arts of Indiana.)

Continue reading Storytelling Reviews and News: 2010 Basile premieres plus Niall de Burca is coming!

Theatre News: 2011 IndyFringe applications open now

(UPDATED on November 17, 2010 with a little more info and a “Perry Haughter” photo.)

I have so much in terms of Indianapolis area theatre news and reviews to share with you, and so very little free time in which to do it! 

(Keep breathing, Hopie.  Everything that needs to get done WILL get done, in its own best time.  Do your best and leave the rest; angels do no more.)

Self-talk aside, here is a quick but important post to tide us over until I can carve out some more writing time:

Here is an excerpt from an email that I received from Indy Fringe director Pauline Moffat a few days ago:


Dear Performers,

IndyFringe 2011 applications will be on line this week.     

To make it even easier IndyFringe  will be taking applications via email and payment via credit card!   

Also, IndyFringe is currently seeking applicants for DivaFest. See more information below.

The next most important piece of news is that IndyFringe is raising funds to buy the building which is home to the festival and a low cost rehearsal and performance space all year round.

If you have a few spare dollars please donate to the festival and help us buy the building.

I need to get this done by December 13!!!   Will you help us?




I cut out the part that talked about her travel plans because I didn’t know if she wanted that out here on the Internet.  The rest of her email was not in a form that I could cut-and-paste so you’ll have to go to the IndyFringe website to read about DivaFest.  Here is a direct link to that page:

The big news seems to be that there are applications this year for both 10-minute plays and 1-hour plays. 

I enjoyed the two shows (“Dash Thirty Dash” and “Madwomen’s Late Night Cabaret“) that I saw during the first DivaFest, earlier this year.  I’ll look forward to visiting this new theatre festival again in early 2011.

And, of course, I have the 2011 IndyFringe Festival on my calendar already:  August 19-28, 2011.  I am already curious about who the performers will be!

There is almost always something interesting going on at the IndyFringe Theatre year-round.   Some day when I am independently wealthy and have a whole staff of writers for Indy Theatre Habit, one whole writer will be devoted to covering the IndyFringe beat.   Wouldn’t that be great?

In the meantime, here is what I am working on:

*** Review of the 2010 Basile Emerging Stories event, plus news of Niall de Burca coming from Ireland to share stories at the Indiana History Center on Friday, December 3 (for families) and Saturday, December 4 (for adults), 2010.  For more info right away, please see  I don’t know for sure, but I think “Niall” is pronounced the same as “Neal” or “Neil.”

*** Review of Broadway Across America’s “Dreamgirls” at the Murat, plus news of the 3-days-only “Cats” coming up at Clowes Hall.  (From the press release:  “CATS will play Clowes Memorial Hall, November 26-28, 2010: Friday at 8:00PM, Saturday at 2:00PM & 8:00PM and Sunday at 1:00PM. Tickets range in price from $22.00 -$62.00 and may be purchased in person at Clowes Memorial Hall, the Old National Centre Box Office of the Murat Theatre, and the Broadway Across America Box Office downtown at 342 Massachusetts Avenue. You can also purchase them online at and by phone at 1-800-982-2787. For groups of 15 or more, contact the group sales department at 317-632-5182 ext 103.”)

*** Review of Q Artistry’s “Perry Haughter and the Magical Musical” at the Historic Irvington Lodge.  Only one more weekend for this fun “Q-munity” production. (Here are the quick comments I wrote on Lou Harry’s IBJ blog for his weekly “You Review It” invitation just now.  And from the press release:  “Perry Haughter and the Magical Musical” November 12, 13, 19, 20 at 8pm; November 14, 21  at 2pm. Running Time: 2 hours, with intermission.  Q Artistry at the Irvington Lodge, 5515 E Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46219
Tickets $15 for adults,  $13 for children (to age 12), seniors, and groups (10 or more)
Tickets available through Brown Paper Tickets ( or 1-800-838-3006.)”

Here is a photo from the show, taken by director Ben Asaykwee (left to right – Abigail Wright, Matt Campbell, Ryan Powell):

I also have many, many news items to share with you.  Soon, I hope!

‘See you at the theatres!

Hope Baugh –

Theatre Review: “The Belle of Amherst” at Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre

Yesterday afternoon I drove to the Marian University campus on the west side of Indianapolis to see the Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre’s very enjoyable production of “The Belle of Amherst.”  It was written by William Luce and directed by Robert J. Sorbera. 

Continue reading Theatre Review: “The Belle of Amherst” at Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre

Theatre Review: “My Name is Asher Lev” at the Phoenix

On Friday, October 29, 2010, I drove to the Mass. Ave. theatre district of downtown Indianapolis to see the Phoenix Theatre’s production of “My Name is Asher Lev.”  This Midwest premiere was directed by Martha Jacobs and produced by Bryan Fonseca.  The script was adapted by Aaron Posner from the novel by Chaim Potok (which I have not yet read, but now want to.)

I loved this show!  Here is what I wrote right away the next Monday morning on Lou Harry’s arts & entertainment blog for the Indianapolis Business Journal:

“I felt lucky, later in the weekend, to be at the Phoenix Theatre to see ‘My Name is Asher Lev.’ The three actors in it are outstanding, and the story of a Hasidic Jew who becomes a revered and reviled painter in the larger world had me fighting back sobs.  I am looking forward to writing about it on my own blog soon.”

God laughed at my “soon” but I do finally have this morning free in which to write, so here is my more detailed response to “My Name is Asher Lev”:

Continue reading Theatre Review: “My Name is Asher Lev” at the Phoenix

Theatre Review and News: “Holes” and “Mary’s Wedding” at the IRT

On Tuesday, October 26, 2010 I drove to downtown Indianapolis to see the professional Indiana Repertory Theatre’s production of “Holes,” by Louis Sachar.  It is based on a novel, also by Louis Sachar, which I enjoyed very much when I read it a few years ago.  Louis Sachar also wrote the screenplay for the movie, but I have not seen the movie.

The IRT’s production was directed by David Bradley.  It was presented by the IRT’s artistic director, Janet Allen, the IRT’s managing director, Steven Stolen, and Oxford Financial Group, Ltd.

Continue reading Theatre Review and News: “Holes” and “Mary’s Wedding” at the IRT

Indianapolis Dreamgirl Moya Angela!

You probably already know that Broadway Across America’s professional touring production of “Dreamgirls” opens this week (tomorrow, actually) at the Murat Theatre at the Old National Center. 

Matthew J. Porter, BAA’s director of public relations for the Midwest, asked if I would like to interview one of the stars of the show, Moya Angela.  He thought I would be particularly interested because she is originally from Indianapolis.

Of COURSE I was interested!

Continue reading Indianapolis Dreamgirl Moya Angela!

2010 Encore Awards

I want to record the 2010 nominations and winners of the Encore Awards for community theatre in the Indianapolis area at this point in my blog so that they will be included whenever I search Indy Theatre Habit in the future.  However, I have two or three more time-dependent posts to write first.  As far as I know, WordPress doesn’t allow new blog posts to be inserted before other blog posts, so I am just sticking in this pseudo-post as a place holder.  I will add the Encore results here when I get a moment.

In the meantime, fortunately for all of us, the magnificent Mr. Zach Rosing posted the Encore results on the newly revamped Encore website ON THE NIGHT OF THE AWARDS CEREMONY, which might have been a first in the history of the awards.  Yay, Zach!   On behalf of everyone who wants to know everything right away, I salute you!

Everyone, if you haven’t already seen the results, here is a direct link to Zach’s list:

‘See you at the theatres!

Hope Baugh –