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: “Lafferty’s Wake” at the Westfield Playhouse

Cast of "Lafferty's Wake" - photo provided by director Doug Davis

Yesterday evening I drove north to Eagletown, Indiana to see the opening night of “Lafferty’s Wake” as presented by the all-volunteer Main Street Productions of Westfield, Inc. at the Westfield Playhouse.

The show was written in 1997 by Susan Turlish for the Society Hill Playhouse in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where it ran for six years (six years!) after opening to a little bit of controversy.  For the Westfield Playhouse here in Indiana it was directed and produced by Doug Davis.  His friend, Jan, told me at intermission that Doug performed the role of the priest/stand-up comic in Clinton County Civic Theatre’s production of the show in Frankfort, Indiana, a couple years ago.  I wish I could have seen that production, too!

“Lafferty’s Wake” is an odd but fun piece, highly interactive and joyful even though it takes place at a funeral.  The funeral takes place in a pub in Ireland.  The pub set, designed by John Sampson and Doug Davis, is a “wow.”  (More about that in a minute.)  As an audience member, you are treated as a character in the show from the minute you walk from the lobby into the house.  Before giving you a program, a Rory’s Pub waitress asks if you are “friend or family?” and points you to the guest book.  After you sit down, someone else from the village comes up to say hello, too.

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Theatre Review: “A Few Good Men” at the Westfield Playhouse

I usually post reviews here in the order in which I saw the shows.  However, I am going to break from this practice this week for two reasons: 1) to give readers some information about a show that has one more weekend in its run, and 2) to take a little more time writing about the storytelling performance I saw last weekend.


Last Sunday afternoon (4/27/08), I drove over to Westfield to see “A Few Good Men” at the Westfield Playhouse.  It was written by my buddy, Aaron Sorkin*, directed by Thom Johnson with assistance from Katie Clements, and produced by Bobbi Van Howe with assistance from Doug Gifford.

I had never seen a production of this exciting courtroom drama before, and I have never seen the movie, so I can not say how this particular rural community theatre production compares to other versions.  However, I found this production satisfying for several reasons.

Continue reading Theatre Review: “A Few Good Men” at the Westfield Playhouse