Theatre Review: “Annie Get Your Gun” at Beef and Boards

Last Sunday evening I drove to the northwest side of Indianapolis to see “Annie Get Your Gun” at the Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre.  The music and lyrics for this 1948 Broadway musical were written by Irving Berlin.  The book was written by Herbert and Dorothy Fields. It was directed for Beef and Boards by Doug Stark. (Douglas E. Stark)

It is a beautiful, beautiful production and it piqued my interest in Annie Oakley.

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Theatre Review: “Hairspray” at Beef and Boards

Last Thursday night I met a couple of friends at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre on the northwest side of Indianapolis to see “Hairspray.”   

One of these two friends loves theatre almost as much as I do.  The other is a more reluctant theatre-goer.  This was my first time seeing this multiple-Tony Award winning musical but they had seen a Broadway touring production at the Murat Theatre a few years back.  The man that had fallen asleep during “The Producers” another time did NOT fall asleep during “Hairspray” – in fact, he loved it – so we were all three looking forward to seeing it at Beef and Boards.

None of us fell asleep this time, either.  It was a very enjoyable evening!

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Theatre Review: “Spelling Bee” at Beef and Boards

On Thursday, December 30, for my last show of 2010, I drove to the northwest side of Indianapolis to the Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre for Media Night for “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”  Because this theatre’s seasons run January-December, this is the first show of Beef and Boards’ 38th season.

There are a lot of talented cuties in this Tony Award-winning musical comedy and the service was excellent as usual so I had a wonderful time.  I also enjoyed talking shop with some of my fellow reviewers.

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Theatre Review: “Camelot” at Beef and Boards

Last Saturday night, my friend Dawn and I went to see the musical “Camelot” at the Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre on the northwest side of Indianapolis.  Neither of us had seen it before, even though when it appeared on Broadway in 1960 it won four Tony Awards and has since become a theatre classic (or so several theatre geek friends have told me.)

At Beef and Boards it was directed by Eddie Curry, with musical direction by Terry Woods and choreography by Doug King.  Book and lyrics are by Alan Jay Lerner, with music by Frederick Loewe.  The show is sponsored by the National Bank of Indianapolis.

What the Show is About –

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Theatre Review: “Always…Patsy Cline” at Beef and Boards

Last Sunday I drove to Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre on the northwest side of Indianapolis to hear a tribute to one of my favorite singers.  I was surprised and delighted to learn that “Always…Patsy Cline” is not “just” Christine Mild as Patsy singing song after song – although I am sure I would have enjoyed that, too, because Christine Mild is stunning in this role – but also the story of an actual friendship that developed between Patsy and one of her fans, Louise Seger.

The show is funny, touching, musically satisfying…a true pleasure. 

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Word of Mouth and Mailbox

As always, there was a lot going on in terms of live theatre in the Indianapolis area last weekend and I have a lot in my email box about events coming up. 

Here is my writing plan for the next few days:

  • Word of Mouth and Mailbox (today’s post)
  • IndyFringe DivaFest Overview
  • Spotlight 2010 For the Record
  • Theatre Review: “Dash Thirty Dash” at IndyFringe DivaFest
  • Theatre Review: “Madwomen’s Late Night Cabaret” at IndyFringe DivaFest
  • Theatre Review: “Always Patsy Cline” at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre.  (And since this show runs through June 6, 2010, I will tell you right away that whether or not you are a country music fan, this show is a treat.  It is a satisfying musical tribute to the late Patsy Cline, but it also a moving and funny show about friendship and the power of musical storytelling in general.  Plus there are lots of beautiful dresses.)
  • If I have time, something related to the copious, compulsive notes I took at the Steven Dietz interview last month and the DivaFest panel of advisors this month.

In the meantime, here are a few items from last weekend’s gallivanting and from my email box, in random order:

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Theatre Review: “Hello, Dolly!” at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre

On March 27, 2010, a friend met me at the Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre on the northwest side of Indianapolis to see “Hello, Dolly!” – a funny, Tony Award-winning musical about a matchmaker in Yonkers, New York, around the beginning of the last century.

We had a lovely time.

This was my first experience seeing a professional staged production of “Hello, Dolly!” Barbra Streisand was delicious in the movie version that I saw several years ago and I enjoyed an all-volunteer, community theatre production last year while I was an Encore Association judge.  In both of those experiences, the title character, Dolly Levi, was a funny busy-body who a) knew how to have a good time and b) missed being able to afford good times as a widow.  I felt sympathy for her, but not necessarily empathy.

I came away from the Beef and Boards production feeling empathy and affection for Dolly Levi.  Actress Iris Lieberman gives her a warm humanity that is very appealing.  Also, Iris is physically tiny but she gives Dolly a big, likable presence.  I didn’t know that Iris Lieberman had won a Jefferson Award, presented to outstanding artists each year in Chicago, for her role in “Robert & Elizabeth at the Forum Theatre until I read today the “Fun Facts” sheet provided by Patricia Rettig in my press kit.  During the B&B show I just scrawled “I like Dolly!” in my notebook.

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Theatre Review: “Joseph” at Beef and Boards

 Rick Desloge sings "Close Every Door" in "Joseph" at Beef and Boards - photo by Julie Curry

Last Sunday afternoon I drove to Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre on the northwest side of Indianapolis (near the Pyramids) to see “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” by Andrew Lloyd Webber (music) and Tim Rice (lyrics.) 

I have had more experience with this show than with any other in my short career as a theatre blogger.  I wrote about the Indianapolis Civic Theatre’s production for Indiana Auditions in 2007 and about the Hendricks County Civic Theatre’s production here on Indy Theatre Habit in 2008.  B&B’s is the first fully professional production I’ve seen in the Indianapolis area, but I also saw the professional touring production that starred Donny Osmond when it was in Chicago around 1994 or 1995.*

I confess that I went to B&B’s production just because I like to see every B&B show if I can, and because I knew that Scot Greenwell was going to play one of the brothers.  I loved his work as Seymour in “Little Shop of Horrors” last year at the Indianapolis Civic Theatre.  This is his first time to be in a Beef and Boards show.

However, I wasn’t particularly excited about seeing “Joseph” again because there were so many other, new-to-me shows around town that I wanted to see…until I got to the theatre and the rainbow children came on stage to frolic while the orchestra played the overture.  The children and teens in this production are all cuties and the musicians reminded me of all the different, fun songs in this show.  “Hopie,” I said to myself, “you drag yourself whining every time but you LOVE this show!” Suddenly I knew there was no place else I’d rather be that afternoon.  I settled in and felt lucky to be there.

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Theatre Review: “Treasure Island” at Beef and Boards

Mutiny!  Crew and pirates fight in "Treasure Island" at Beef and Boards - photo by JulieCurryPhotography.com

My friend David and I met at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre on the northwest side of Indianapolis to see the Midwest premiere of “Treasure Island.”  This thrilling new musical was based on the classic coming-of-age adventure novel by Robert Louis Stevenson.  Director Marc Robin wrote the music for the show.  Robin and actor Curt Dale Clark wrote the book and lyrics for it.

This show made my breath catch in my throat more than once.  It just so perfectly captures the yearning for adventure that I remember myself having when I was young.  Captures it…and satisfies it, with an exciting story, infectious songs (“Mutiny” stayed in my head for days afterwards!), magical design elements, and swashbuckling battles.  (Fight direction by Adam Noble.)

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Theatre Review: “Cats” at Beef and Boards

Jami Keck as Plato in B&B's "Cats" - photo by Julie Curry Photography

Last Thursday I met actor/singer/comedian/dancer/writer Claire Wilcher on the northwest side of town at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre for the opening night of “Cats.”  The show is based on the poems in “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” by T.S. Eliot.  Its music is by Andrew Lloyd Webber.  Buddy Reeder is the director and choreographer for the B&B production.  He restaged the show based on Marc Robins’ 2004 B&B choreography.  Kristy Templet is the musical director.  Dawn Rivard is the wig and makeup artist.  Brian Horton is the costumer.

I had never seen “Cats” before, but Claire told me she has seen several productions of it, beginning with a big, Broadway touring production of it when she was a child.  She loved the songs so much that she memorized them, listening to a recording of them over and over.

I had asked her to be my guest just because I knew I would enjoy her company.  It was an unexpected treat to find myself with a “Cats” aficionado!

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