Dance Review: “Magical Mystery Tour” by Dance Kaleidoscope

Dance Kaleidoscope - Magical Mystery Tour - photo courtesy of Crowe’s Eye Photography

On Sunday, January 11, 2009, my friend Chris and I met at the Indiana Repertory Theatre downtown to see Dance Kaleidoscope’s presentation of “Magical Mystery Tour,” choreographed by David Hochoy.  This was a repeat of one of DK’s most adored pieces, but it was my first time to see DK at all.

It was a real treat.  Apparently, based on what I heard from the man sitting on the other side of me (I think his name was Ron) and from other long-time DK fans that I met during intermission, this was DK’s best performance yet – an intoxicating mix of veteran dancers and newcomers bringing new life to what was already an exciting program.  The exuberant costumes designed by Barry Doss also yielded additional delights in a second viewing, or so I was told.

It was all new to me except for the also-beloved Beatles songs that informed the dancers’ movements.  I was enthralled by all of it, including the glorious wit of the costumes and the mystical, jewel-like lighting design by Laura E. Glover.  I loved the shamanic, trance-like feel of the whole piece, and the touches of humor within it.

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“Fiddle Shticks” and Lincoln Stories This Weekend

Portrait of Abraham Lincoln by Alexander Hesler, courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society

“Of the People: Stories and Images of Abraham Lincoln,” by Hope Baugh (that’s me!), premieres this Sunday, January 18, 2009 from 4:00-6:00 pm at the Indiana History Center (not to be confused with the Indiana State Museum.) 

This program is part of the Sharing Hoosier History through Stories collaboration between the Indiana Historical Society and Storytelling Arts of Indiana.  Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door and may be purchased online before 5:00 Saturday night via the Storytelling Arts of Indiana website or by calling 317-232-1882.

“Of the People” is not a theatre piece, per se.  It is just me on stage, telling you some of the stories that made me fall in love with Abraham Lincoln and showing you PowerPoint slides of some of the photographs and other items in the Indiana Historical Society’s vast collection.

But it will be live, and it will be “crafted” (well crafted, I hope!) and if you are at all interested in our 16th president, I think you will enjoy it.  If you are available Sunday afternoon, I would be honored and grateful to have you in my audience.  The stories only come alive when all three elements – teller, story, and listener – are present.

Coming soon here on my blog:

** A review of “Fiddle Shticks,” the new, original sketch comedy revue presented by Three Dollar Bill Comedy Company at the Indianapolis Comedy Sportz theatre.  I went to the opening show last Friday night, and I am going to try to make it to the second version of it at 10:00 tonight.  It is every Friday night for six weeks.  I have an Encore show to judge first tonight, so we’ll see how the timing works out.  In any case, I had a wonderful time last week, and every week is supposed to be a little different.  I loved the writing last week, and the six players were a collective hoot – subtle and brilliant in their individual portrayals and in their interactions with each other. 

By the way, you must be 17 years or older to attend.  I don’t remember a lot of curse words (maybe it’s just because I’ve slept since last Friday) but no topic is sacred.

Also, today when I called to make my reservation, CS manager Troy Hannah gave me several minutes of his time to answer several of my questions about the Comedy Sportz club itself, so I will be sharing that conversation, too.  That man is articulate!  It was fun to talk with him.

** A review of storyteller Motoko’s funny and thought-provoking presentation of “Tales of Now and Zen” last Saturday night.  Even more than her stories, I appreciated the chance to chat with Motoko a bit afterwards.  She generously asked about my Lincoln program and I poured out anxiety that I hadn’t even realized I had been carrying.  She re-grounded me by reminding me of two important things that I had forgotten:  “The audience is on your side” and “It’s not about you, it’s about Lincoln.” 

** A review of Dance Kaleidoscope’s colorful “Magical Mystery Tour.”   This colorful, high-energy presentation was a real treat, too.  I now have crushes on several of the dancers and on creative cutie David Hochoy, DK’s artistic director and choreographer.

One can never have too many crushes.

My day job is unusually busy these next couple of weeks, too, so I ask your patience in terms of my blog.  As always, thanks for reading.  ‘See you at the theatres!

Hope Baugh – www.IndyTheatreHabit.com