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: “Becky’s New Car” at the Indiana Repertory Theatre

I saw “Becky’s New Car” when it opened here in Indianapolis at the Indiana Repertory Theatre on Friday, March 26, 2010.  It was written by Steven Dietz and directed by James Still.

Dear Reader, I LOVED IT. 

My friend did, too.  We stayed “high” on it all the rest of the weekend.  And I have been saying “Becky’s New Car!” without equivocation whenever anyone asks me “what’s good?” rather than first asking my usual cautious theatre advisory questions about what kind of show they are in the mood for and so on.

“Becky’s New Car” is so funny and well done, and I think it appeals to a wide variety of people.  If you like to talk about shows and/or relationships, for example, this piece offers a lot to talk about at intermission and afterwards:  there is good stuff about love, grief, infidelity, inevitability and more to chew on, plus it is a pleasure to re-hash the show’s interactivity and other fun design elements.  However, you can also just enjoy the show, too, without having to talk about it.  It moves fast and there are all kinds of situations in the show that both men and women can relate to easily. 

Best of the all, the tension in the serious moments is deftly released – but not diluted – by smart humor that doesn’t make you feel guilty for laughing at/with these very human and likable people.

I didn’t want it to end.  I went back to see “Becky’s New Car” again the following weekend by myself and loved it just as much the second time.  There is only one weekend left, starting tonight (Wednesday); I may try to squeeze in a third visit before the show closes.

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Directory of 2010 Shows

"Pocket Notebooks" photo by mrbill

(Last updated 3-1-11)

Here it is February already, and I am only now posting my 2010 directory of shows I have seen.  Ah, well.  Each year I improve my organizational skills a teeny bit.  In 2009, I didn’t get my directory started until mid-year, and I didn’t even start my 2008 directory until 2009!

This post will quickly get pushed down by newer posts, but it will be easy to find again through the category “Annual Directories of My Reviews” – see link at left.  I will add to it as I go through the year.  I know from experience that in some ways it will be much more useful than the search box that came with this WordPress template.

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know the drill:  

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