09 Fringe: High at the End of the Final Saturday

 

Oh, my, the final Saturday of the 2009 Indy Fringe Festival here in Indianapolis, Indiana was sublime.  The weather was glorious, so the walks between theatres were almost as invigorating as the shows themselves.  Plus, I spent most of the day with my theatre buddy, Adrienne Reiswerg, which I always enjoy.

Best of all, the day included a satisfying mix of shows that ended with one of the most exhilarating theatrical experiences of my life: the 10:30pm performance of “Waiting with M. Godot,” by Ronn Johnstone.  The light-hearted yet profound script about love and relationships was a treat to begin with, and in that particular sold-out performance, both the actors and the audience were “in the zone.”  Kurt Owens as the rudely mystical waiter, Monsieur Godot, and Nick Foreman as the sexy but overly-concerned-with-perfection Jaxon – a man who is waiting in a fancy restaurant to propose marriage to his girlfriend – were exquisitely hilarious.  The beautiful but “loud” girlfriend, Dani, was charmingly played by Lisa Ermel.

I know that “magical” is a cliché when it comes to writing about theatre, but this truly was.

No one wanted to leave the Theatre on the Square’s second stage area afterwards, including me, so I made three more little videos.   One is the one you see above, with the director, Steve Pierce.  Unfortunately, the one I made with actor Nick Foreman by himself did not record.  (Hope, darn it: the little red light has to be blinking!) However, I’m not sure you would have been able to hear him anyway because the still-packed theatre was very noisy then.  So I’ll just tell you that this exceptional actor is a cutie in real life, too, and based in Chicago.

Here he is with Kurt – who was already one of my favorite actors and who now is even higher in my esteem! – a little bit later:

 

I am tempted to let “Waiting with M. Godot” be the last show I see at this year’s Fringe because it left me feeling so high on theatre and life in general.

Well, while I think about that some more, let me tell you about the other three shows I saw on Saturday, in the order I saw them:

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09 Fringe: 3 More Shows, Some Tent Time, a Busker, and a Personal Stretch


 

(FYI:  the above video is a conversation with Erin Schlabach, director of one of my favorite 2009 Indy Fringe shows, “Crossing the Bridge.”  Scroll down to see other videos embedded in the post below.)

One day last week during the 2009 Indy Fringe Festival here in Indianapolis, Indiana, juggler Brent McCoy told me, “The audience is like a monster: if you treat it right, it will roll over and let you tickle its belly.”

Brent’s show, “Blunder Construction,” is one of, if not the most, popular shows at the Fringe.  Last night there were more than a hundred people lined up outside Theatre on the Square (TOTS), hoping to get in to Brent’s show.

I had been feeling proud of myself for trying something new with my blog (i.e. – video content) but I realized suddenly that I had not been handing out my blog card this year the way I did last year.  I hadn’t even taken little piles of cards around to the theatre lobbies.

So when I arrived at TOTS last night to see “Tortillo” on its second stage, and I saw all those people waiting outside to see “Blunder Construction” on the main stage, I decided it was time for me to tickle the beast a bit myself.

Continue reading 09 Fringe: 3 More Shows, Some Tent Time, a Busker, and a Personal Stretch

2009 Indy Fringe: Preview Night Part One and Starting My Video Journaling Project

 

Last night, after I got off work from my day job, I drove to Massachusetts Avenue in downtown Indianapolis to see the 2009 Indy Fringe Festival Parade and Preview Party.

I got there too late for the main part of the parade, but lots of people were still walking as parade followers so I fell in with them and headed towards the “Fringe Central Outdoor Stage” aka that big, striped tent at the intersection of College Ave and Mass Ave. 

Continue reading 2009 Indy Fringe: Preview Night Part One and Starting My Video Journaling Project

Theatre Review: “The Do’s and Don’ts of Time Travel” at the Phoenix

Sarah M. Grant and Elena Marisa Flores - photo by JulieCurryPhotography.com

Last Thursday, still semi-exhausted from a long business trip for my day job, I looked at my calendar and thought, “Yikes!  A Midwest premiere is opening at the Phoenix tonight!”  I fired off a frantic e-request for a media pass and drove downtown.  I regret not asking one of my usual theatre buddies to go with me on my media pass.  They all would have enjoyed this piece, I think.  It is odd but likable. 

It is also beautiful and sexy and thought-provoking, and I would like to see it again.  Maybe I can get one of my buddies to buy tickets with me.  Every performance of this show is a Duke Energy Cheap Seats Night. (I.e. – $15 per regular adult ticket instead of the usual $25.)  Hmm.

Anyway, “The Do’s and Don’ts of Time Travel,” by Nicholas Wardigo, is about two women – an endearingly earnest scholar and a sex toy-selling cutie-pie – who talk over the title topic between wash loads at the local Laundromat. 

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Another Take on “Octopus”

Jason Gloye and Scot Greenwell in Octopus - photo by JulieCurryPhotography.com

So this morning I ran into my friend and theatre buddy, David.  I said, “I’m going to see ‘Octopus’ at the Phoenix Theatre tonight.  I won’t have media passes because I already saw it once, but would you like to go Dutch with me?  Tickets on Thursday nights are $15.”

Continue reading Another Take on “Octopus”

A Conversation with Steven Yockey

Playwright Steven Yockey

I heard that playwright Steven Yockey (www.redkingdreaming.com) was in Indianapolis for the opening of his new play, “Octopus,” at the Phoenix Theatre.  On a whim, I asked if I could interview him on the day before the show opened.  He said yes!

So then I scrambled to read more about his work and to prepare questions beyond “Where do you get your ideas?”  It was interesting to read about his career on the Internet, so when we met at Henry’s on East coffee shop Wednesday afternoon, I had several questions.

He graciously answered all of them, even the ones that were really just for me rather than for my blog readers.  Steve listens like a playwright, or at least the way I imagine all good playwrights listen:  intently, compassionately, and with no nonsense but a lot of humor.

Our conversation was a great blessing to me.

Continue reading A Conversation with Steven Yockey

Theatre Review: “References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot” at the Phoenix

Melissa Solorzano and Noe Montez in "References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot"

Last Thursday night, I met a friend at the Phoenix Theatre in downtown Indianapolis to see Jose’ Rivera’s “References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot.”  It was directed by Bryan Fonseca.

It is an intriguing show, odd and sexy as a dream.  I will never look at the moon – or war – in the same way again.

Continue reading Theatre Review: “References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot” at the Phoenix

Storytelling Review: “Helen’s Troy” by Storyteller Megan Wells

Megan Wells telling Helen's Troy on an outdoor stage in Illinois - photo provided by Wells

On Saturday night, April 4, 2009, I drove downtown to the Indiana State Museum to hear visiting storyteller Megan Wells share the epic story of “Helen’s Troy.”  This event was part of the Barnes & Thornburg Storytellers Theater series.  It was presented by Creative Street Media Group and sponsored by Lewis & Kappes through Storytelling Arts of Indiana.

I am very grateful to all of the organizations and individuals who made this event possible because it was uniquely powerful, uniquely moving.  I had to pull my car over on the way home because I had some delayed-reaction weeping in addition to the tears that I had shed during the telling!  I welcomed the catharsis.

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Theatre Review: “The Ladies’ Man” at the Indiana Repertory Theatre

John Guerrasio (L) and Max Robinson (R) in The Ladies Man at the IRT - photo by Julie Curry Photography

Last Sunday evening, my friend Adrienne and I met at the Indiana Repertory Theatre to see “The Ladies’ Man,” a farce written by Georges Feydeau as “Taillieur Pour Dames” in 1886 and recently freely adapted by Charles Morey for American audiences.

At the end, Adrienne pronounced the show “delightful.”  I had a similar verdict:  “frothy and fun.”

Continue reading Theatre Review: “The Ladies’ Man” at the Indiana Repertory Theatre