Celebrating 30 Years of Indy’s Phoenix Theatre

The Phoenix Theatre is celebrating its 30th season here in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.  This weekend, people came from all over the planet to help celebrate this theatre that has meant so much to them.

This theatre that has meant so much to us, I should say.  My involvement with the Phoenix is miniscule compared to some people’s but, as in so many things, comparisons are not the point.  I treasure my involvement with the Phoenix, which includes:

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The Fuss about “A Chorus Line” (a sort-of review of Civic’s production)

A friend saw the Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre’s production of “A Chorus Line” the weekend it opened. 

(The last performance will be this Saturday night.  The book is by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante, music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Edward Kleban, conceived and originally directed and choreographed by Michael Bennett.)

Afterwards my friend posted on her Facebook, “I enjoyed a performance of ‘A Chorus Line’ today, but I’m not really sure I understand the popularity and longevity of it.  What am I missing?”

The next day, she asked me about it in person, too.

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Theatre Review: “Closer” by NoExit Performance

It’s been a while since I’ve been in a sexual relationship.  Sometimes I feel sad at the thought that I may never be loved that way again. 

However, when I came out of the Service Center for Contemporary Culture last Saturday night after seeing NoExit Performance’s intense production of “Closer” by Patrick Marber, I took a mental cold shower, laughed out loud and thought, “Hopie, you are doing just fine on your own!” 

I also had to laugh when I realized that I had been mispronouncing the name of this new-to-me play in my head.  The title is not “Closer” with a “z” sound as in “the person that closes a deal” but rather “closer” with a soft “s” sound as in “Come closer, I want to kiss you.”

Or as in “I am trying to get closer to the truth.”

The story is of four beautiful liars that treat sex as both more important and less important than it is, all while sacrificing things like self-discipline, non-judgmental listening, the Golden Rule – things that might actually bring them the connection and meaning they yearn for.

Throughout the show I kept wanting to ask someone, “Who ARE these people?”

But I never once doubted that they and their story were real.  The four yummy actors that portray them do so brilliantly under the direction of Tommy Lewey.

And days later, I am still thinking about this show.

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Theatre Review: “Gypsy” by Actors Theatre of Indiana

Friday night I checked off another item on my Theatre Bucket List: I saw my first production of “Gypsy: a Musical Fable.”  Actors Theatre of Indiana (ATI) is presenting it at the Studio Theatre in Carmel’s Center for the Performing Arts through September 30, 2012.

I didn’t know much about this 1959 musical going in, not even the basic plot, let alone anything about the gazillion revivals that I’ve read about since, so I’ll leave it to another reviewer to discuss how ATI’s production compares to others. 

Instead I will say that I was delighted by the way this production honors the complexity of the characters and gives them a timeless relevancy.

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