Hope’s Theatre Year 2011: The Best, the Most, the Other…

The more performance art I experience, the more I realize how personal that experience is.  I love that it is personal.  I love that it is ephemeral, too.  It is impossible to sustain or even to reproduce exactly, because it is live.  The only way to truly experience a live theatre piece is to be present for it, open to it.

If you are a regular reader of Indy Theatre Habit, you know that I took a long step back in 2011.  I needed a break for a number of reasons.  One was that I was having an existential, “what am I doing here?!?” kind of crisis.  I still haven’t found satisfying answers to the many layers in that question, but I am making good progress.  And in the meantime, I have found that I miss writing publicly about my experiences at the theatres.  Maybe it’s an ego thing.  Maybe there’s more to it than that.  But in any case, I miss it.

So…I have decided to blog about theatre again in 2012, but this time doing it more…personally?  More authentically?  Anyway, more mindfully and selectively, and just see where it takes me.  As I say, I’m still figuring this out as I go along.

But first, a look back at 2011:

Continue reading Hope’s Theatre Year 2011: The Best, the Most, the Other…

Sad Theatre News: Maggie Harry

I learned today that writer Lou Harry’s and his wife, Cindy’s beautiful, feisty, talented, teenaged daughter, Maggie, passed away last night. 

I met Maggie Harry at the world premiere of one of Lou’s plays, “Midwestern Hemisphere” in 2008 and got to chat with her again at a board game marathon at their house one winter.  We all shared a table for the dinner theatre production of “Forbidden Broadway” by Actors’ Theatre of Indiana in 2009. 

Best of all, I got to enjoy Maggie’s performance in the ensemble for the Indianapolis Civic Theatre’s production of “Carousel” in 2010.  I am sorry that that is the only show of hers that I saw.

I wish I had better words to express my condolences.  My heart goes out to Lou and the rest of his family.  

Here is a link to information that Lou shared about services this Thursday:

 http://obits.arncremation.com/obit.php?id=58 

Hope Baugh – Indy Theatre Habit

2012 Directory of Shows

(Last updated 1-5-13)

It’s that time again: time to set up my Directory of Shows Seen for the year.  By a quick count, I saw 91 live theatre shows in 2011, 120 in 2010, 134 in 2009, and 144 in 2008.  I guess I’m “slowing down,” although I prefer to think of it as becoming more selective about honoring my passion, or at least leading a more balanced life.

Anyway, as in previous years, I will add to this Directory every time I see a show, and I will enjoy looking back over it at the end of the year and in years to come.  If you are curious about what I’ve been seeing, feel free to check back here any time.

There are two parts: 1) shows organized alphabetically by performance company and 2) shows in the chronological order in which I saw them, like a diary or log.

I will also try to keep labeling the companies as either “professional” (all of the company’s artists and staff are paid for their work), “all volunteer” (none of the company’s artists or staff are paid), or “hybrid” (the company has a mixture of paid artists/staff and volunteers.)  However, as I’m sure you know, “professional” does not necessarily mean high quality and “all volunteer” does not necessarily mean disappointing quality.  Also, in the Indianapolis area, there are very, very few theatres that pay their artists a living wage, so in some ways these labels are meaningless.

If I write about a show, I will link to the post here, too.

Shows I saw in 2012 in order by performance company:

Acting Up Productions professional; Greenfield (but many performances are in Indianapolis)

  • “Nevermore” – at Theatre on the Square in Indianapolis
  • “Night of the Living Dead 2” – at Wheeler Arts Center in Indianapolis
  • A Steady Rain” – at Wheeler Arts Center in Indianapolis
  • “Two Rooms” – at Theatre on the Square in Indianapolis

Actors’ Theatre of Indiana professional; Carmel (some performances are in Indianapolis venues)

Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre professional; Indianapolis

  • Arsenic & Old Lace
  • “Away in the Basement: A Church Ladies Christmas”
  • “Chicago” – reviewed for Current Night & Day here.
  • “Cinderella” – by the B&B’s Pyramid Players
  • “Legally Blonde”
  • “The Music Man” – reviewed for Current Night & Day here.
  • “The Wizard of Oz” – reviewed for Current Night & Day here.

The Belfry Theatre all volunteer – member Encore Association; Noblesville

  • “Titanic: the Musical”

Bloomington Playwrights Project – hybrid (I think); Bloomington, Indiana

  • “Kerouac’s Maggie Cassidy: an American Musical”

Bobdirex – hybrid (I think); Indianapolis

  • “Cabaret” at the Athenaeum Theatre – Twitter Preview Night (#cabaretindy)
  • “Cabaret” a second time, this time with no live-tweeting

Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre – hybrid; Indianpolis

  • “A Chorus Line”
  • The Woman in Black” – reviewed for Current Night & Day here.

Buck Creek Community Players all volunteer – member Encore Association

  • “The Drowsy Chaperone”

Carmel Community Players all volunteer – member Encore Association; Carmel

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis – Lilly Theater professional; Indianapolis

Eclectic Pond all volunteer (I think) – Indianapolis

  • “Eloisa & Abelard”

Epilogue Players all volunteer – member Encore Association; Indianapolis

  • “Remember Your Hit Parade”

Footlite Musicals at the Hedback Theater all volunteer – member Encore Association; Indianapolis

  • “The Full Monty”
  • “Rent” – Act One

Indiana Repertory Theatre professional; Indianapolis

  • “A Christmas Carol”
  • “The House That Jack Built”

Indy Fringe Theatre Festival – I wrote a little about most of the following shows all in one post: http://www.indytheatrehabit.com/2012/08/24/reviews-of-16-shows-from-the-2012-indy-fringe-festival/

  • “465: Sex Drive…a musical”
  • “After Paul McCartney”
  • “And I Am Not Making This Up”
  • “BOT”
  • “CabarGAY!”
  • “Creatures of the Night”
  • “Day Care Ditties”
  • “Don’t Cross the Streams: The Cease and Desist Musical”
  • “Fabulous Problemas”
  • “Feed Your Nightmares”
  • “G-D”
  • “Go to Hell”
  • “Going…Going…Gone”
  • “Phil Van Hest: Public Nudity”
  • “Schoolhouse Wrong To! Even More Wronger”
  • “Screw You, I’m Nancy Drew”
  • “Singular Sensations!”
  • “Summerpocalypse”
  • “We’ve Got Powers”

Miscellaneous

  • Jared Sherlock’s touring magic show – presented at the Booth Tarkington Theatre at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, Indiana.

No Exit Performance

  • “Closer”
  • “The Death of Sydney Black”

Off Main Street Players all volunteer – Zionsville

  • “You’re a Good Man, Charlier Brown”

Opera Notre Dame hybrid; South Bend, Indiana

Phoenix Theatre professional; Indianapolis

Q Artistry  hybrid (some shows feature professional, paid artists while other shows are all-volunteer); Indianapolis, mostly at the Irvington Lodge but also other venues.

  • “Murder on the Radio”
  • “Sex, Not In This City” – Playwrights Festival at the Q
  • “Songs in the Key of Blues”

Spotlight Players all volunteer – member Encore Association; Beech Grove

Storytelling Arts of Indiana hybrid (storytellers & staff are paid, many volunteers help with events, mailings, etc.); Indianapolis – various venues

  • “East of the Vineyard” told by Susan Klein
  • “Family Portraits” told by Donald Davis
  • “Mad Myths of the Irish” told by Clare Murieann Murphy
  • “Stories with a Chicago Accent” told by Syd Lieberman

Theatre on the Square hybrid; Indianapolis

Three Dollar Bill Comedy hybrid; Indianapolis

  • “The Fancy Schmancy Razzle Dazzle Hoity Toity Black Tie (optional) Christmas Affair Show”
  • “Schoolhouse Wrong To! Even More Wronger” (also listed under Indy Fringe Festival)

Two First Names Productions professional; Indianapolis

  • ‘Going, Going Gone” – premiere run at Indy Fringe Festival – final performance
  • “Going, Going Gone” – October edition
  • “Going, Going Gone” – December edition

Vagabonds Bridge Theatre Company all volunteer; Indianapolis

Shows I saw in 2012 in chronological order:

Saturday, January 7 – “Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz” – Lilly Theatre at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis – Directed by Ty Stover.

Sunday, January 8 – “Remember Your Hit Parade” – Epilogue Players – Original script and concept by Susan Page Freeman.  Directed by William Andrews with musical direction by Jen Bolejack.

Sunday, January 15 – “Two Rooms” – Acting Up Productions at Theatre on the Square – Written by Lee Blessing, directed by R. Brian Noffke.

Saturday, January 21 – “Current Economic Conditions” at the Phoenix Theatre – Written by Don Zolidis, directed by Bryan Fonseca.

Sunday, January 28 – “Current Economic Conditions” at the Phoenix Theatre a second time.

Sunday, January 28 – “Debbie Does Dallas” at Theatre on the Square – Book by Susan L. Schwartz, music composed by Andrew Sherman with additional music and lyrics by Tom Kitt and Jonathan Callicut, directed by Andrew Ranck with musical direction by Roger Smith.

Friday, February 3 – “Company” by the Carmel Community Players at the Carmel Community Playhouse – Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by George Furth, directed by Willie Wood, music/vocal directed by Bernie Hirsch.

Friday, February 10 – “Titanic: the Musical” at the Belfry Theatre – Music and lyrics by Maury Yeston, book by Peter Stone, directed by Ryan Shelton.

Saturday, February 11 – “Godspell” by Actors’ Theatre of Indiana at the Studio Theater in the Center for the Performing Arts.  Based on the Gospel According to St. Matthew, score by Stephen Schwartz, directed by Michael Dotson, music directed by Brent Marty, choreographed by Carol Worcel.  Reviewed for Current Night & Day here.

Sunday, February 12 – “Moonlight and Magnolias” at the Spotlight Theatre- Written by Ron Hutchinson, directed by Brent Wooldridge.

Saturday, February 18 – “Family Portraits” told by Donald Davis – presented by Storytelling Arts of Indiana and the Indiana Historical Society.

Sunday, February 19 – “August: Osage County,” at the Phoenix Theatre. Written by Tracy Letts, directed by Bryan Fonseca.

Saturday, February 25 – “Moonlight and Magnolias” at the Carmel Community Playhouse.  Written by Ron Hutchinson, directed by Lori Raffel. A special fundraiser using mostly Equity actors donating their work; not part of the Carmel Community Players’ all-volunteer season. Reviewed for Current Night & Day here.

Saturday, March 10 – “The Full Monty” by Footlite Musicals.

Sunday, March 11 – “Murder on the Radio” by Q Artistry. Written by Ben Asaykwee and…(where did I put my program for this?!?)

Sunday, March 18 – “Rumpeltstiltskin” – Lilly Theatre in the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. Book by director Ty Stover.  Music and lyrics by Michael Hoagland. Cast: Danny Kingston (King Benjamin), Bennett (?)(MillieKayla), Mark Fishback (General Specific), Maria Souza-Eglen (Lady Lilly of the Valley), Jonah Winston (Sir Johnny of Cash), Andread Heiden (Lady Martha/Steward of the Interior), Kent Livingston (Mel/Rumpelstiltskin), Ben Schuetz (Robin Screech/King Cole.) Production team: Ty Stover – director, Kenny Shepard – choreographer, Michael Conley – music director, David Orr & DAO Studios, Inc. – scenic designer/set construction, Brian Horton – costume designer/costume construction, Chris Allo – assistant costume designer/costume crafts, Brent Winderlicht – lighting designer/technical supervisor, Jay Ganz – technical coordinator, Bill Book – sound designer, Krista Layfield – interim theatre/stage manager, Susan Hoopman, poster designer.

Thursday, March 29 – “A Steady Rain,” by Keith Huff – produced by Acting Up Productions in the Wheeler Arts Center in the Fountain Square neighborhood of Indianapolis. Directed by Scot Greenwell. Starred R. Brian Noffke and Sam Fain.

Wednesday, April 4 – “Legally Blonde” at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre. (I need to find my program for this, too!)

Saturday, April 14 – “Stories with a Chicago Accent” told by Syd Lieberman. Presented by Storytelling Arts of Indiana at the Indiana History Center.

Tuesday, April 17 – “The Music Man” – reviewed for Current Night&Day here.

Thursday, April 26 – “Rebecca” by Carmel Community Players.  Written by Daphne duMaurier. Directed by Lori Raffel.

Saturday, April 28 – “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Sreet” presented by Opera Notre Dame at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.  Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Book by Hugh Wheeler. Directed by Mark Beudert. Conducted by John Apeitos.

Friday, May 4 – “Songs in the Key of Blues” – Q Artistry. Book by Ben Asaykwee and Tiffanie Bridges.  All songs by Ben Asaykwee, except for two songs by Gordon Bonham and two songs by Gene Dere.  Directed by Ben Asaykwee. Produced by Will McCarty. Performed by Ben Asaykwee and Tiffanie SoulPowerhouse Bridges.  Band: Angelo Bridges on piano, Fred Manns on guitar, Ryan Williams on bass, and George Tyler on drums. Sound: Matt Campbell. Lighting: Will McCarty.

Saturday, May 5 – “East of the Vineyard” storytelling by Susan Klein.  Presented by Storytelling Arts of Indiana and others at the Indiana History Center.

Wednesday, May 16 – “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” – presented by Actors Theatre of Indiana at the Studio Theater at the Center for the Performing Arts.  Book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro, music by Jimmy Roberts, directed and musically staged by Don Farrell, musically directed by Terry LaBolt.  Cast:  Cynthia Collins, Don Farrell, Judy Fitzgerald, and Paul Hansen.  Pianist: Terry LaBolt.  Violinist: Kahy Schilling. Stage manager/production manager: James W. Carringer.  Lighting designer: David Lapham.  Scenic designer/technical director: Bernie Killian.  Costume designer: Jay Emrich.  Sound designer: Don Drennen.

(6-20-12 – Everything below this point I still need to record more fully, but I wanted to at least partially log them before I forgot what I had seen!)

May 26 – “Nevermore” presented by Acting Up Productions at Theatre on the Square.

June 2 – “Kerouac’s Maggie Cassidy: an American Musical” written by Chris Jeffries. Directed by Chad Rabinovitz at the Bloomington Playwrights Project, Bloomington, Indiana.

June 9 – “Eloisa & Abelard” presented by Eclectic Pond at the Irvington Lodge.

June 10 – “Next Fall” – written by Geoffrey Nauffts, directed by Charles Goad at the Phoenix Theatre.

June 16 – “The Drowsy Chaperone” at Buck Creek Playhouse.

June 17 – “The Wizard of Oz” at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre. Reviewed for Current Night & Day here.

June 23 – “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” by the Off Main Street Players in Zionsville.

July 1 – “Next Fall” for the second time at the Phoenix Theatre.

July 5 – “Cabaret” Twitter Preview Night by Bobdirex at the Athenaeum.

July 15 – Act One of “Rent” by Footlite Musicals

July 20 – Jared Sherlock’s magic show at the Tarkington Theatre in Carmel

July 21 – Two storytelling workshops with Mary Hamilton, sponsored by the Bloomington Storytellers’ Guild in Bloomington, Indiana.

July 21 – “Cabaret” a second time (no live-tweeting this time) – presented by BobDirex at the Athenaeum.

July 28 – “How I Became a Pirate” at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

August 4 – “With a Whimper” at the Phoenix Theatre

August 9 – “The Playground” presented by Vagabonds Bridge Theatre Company at the Wheeler Arts Center.

August 17 -26 – Indy Fringe Festival – 19 shows

September 7 – “Sex, Not In This City” – written by Lisa Marie Smith and Tiffany Obrecht, directed by Bob Harbin; one of four winners in QArtistry’s Playwrights’ Festival.

September 8 – “Chicago” at Beef and Boards Dinner Theater. Reviewed for Current Night & Day.

September 14 – “Gypsy” presented by Actors Theatre of Indiana at the Studio Theater

September 15 – “Closer” presented by NoExit Performance at the Big Car Service Center for Contemporary Culture.

September 20 – “A Chorus Line” presented by the Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre.

September 22 – “Mad Myths of the Irish” told by Clare Murieann Murphy – Irish storyteller presented by Storytelling Arts of Indiana at the Indiana History Center.

September 23 – “Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson” at the Phoenix Theatre.

September 29 – Phoenix Theatre 30th Anniversary Picnic and Artists Q&A.

September 29 – “Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson at the Phoenix Theatre – 2nd time.

October 6 – “Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson at the Phoenix Theatre – 3rd time.

October 7 – “Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson” at the Phoenix Theatre – 4th time.

October 7 – “Going, Going Gone,” created by Lou Harry and John Thomas, shown at the Indy Fringe Theatre.  This time starred Sam Fain, Paul Hansen, and Claire Wilcher.

October 12 – “Away in the Basement: A Church Basement Ladies Christmas” at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre.

October 18 – “Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson” at the Phoenix Theatre – 5th time.

October 19 – “Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson” at the Phoenix Theatre – 6th time.

October 21 – “Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson” at the Phoenix Theatre – 7th time.

October 21 – “Bug” at Spotlight Players in Beech Grove.

October 25 – “Seminar” at the Phoenix Theatre.

October 26 – “Night of the Living Dead 2” presented by Acting Up Productions at the Wheeler Community Arts Center.

October 28 – “The Woman In Black” presented by Civic at the Tarkington Theatre in Carmel.  Reviewed on assignment for Current Night&Day here.

November 10 – “Cinderella” presented by the Pyramid Players at the Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre. (My godchildren treated me to this show! Their first time to B&B.)

November 15 – “The Death of Sydney Black” presented by NoExit Performance at the Big Car Service Center.

November 24 – “The House That Jack Built,” written by James Still; directed by Janet Allen for the Indiana Repertory Theatre.

November 24 – “Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol” adapted by Tom Haas; directed by Richard J. Roberts for the Indiana Repertory Theatre.

November 29 – “A Very Phoenix Xmas 7: Gettin’ Figgy With It!” – curated, directed, and produced by Bryan Fonseca, written by various artists.

December 2 – “Going… Going… Gone” created by Lou Harry and John Thomas, presented at the Indy Fringe Theatre. This month featured actors Lynn Stafford and John Thomas.

December 7 – “The Fancy Schmancy Razzle Dazzle Hoity Toity Black Tie (optional) Christmas Affair Show!” presented by Three Dollar Bill Comedy at the Indy Fringe Theatre. Written by Jeff Clawson, Todd Kenworthy, Matt Kramer, Will Pfaffenberger, Claire Wilcher, Chad Woodward. Performed by all except Matt this time.

December 10 – a reading of “Clutter,” a work-in-progress by Lou Harry, performed by Georgeanna Smith, Lisa Ermel, Matthew Goodrich, and Sam Fain at the IndyReads booktore in Indianapolis.

December 28 – “Arsenic & Old Lace” written by Joseph Kesselring, directed by J. R. Stuart at the Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre.

‘See you at the theatres!

Hope Baugh – www.IndyTheatreHabit.com

(Photo above taken with my trusty iPhone of a box of yummy, hand-crafted truffles from the Best Chocolate in Town on Massachusetts Avenue in downtown Indianpolis.)