June 12, 2017

The Great Bike Race

 And they’re off! The 2014 IndyFringe Festival favorite is back in a full-length format. The Great Bike Race tells the store of the second running of the Tour de France in the most hilarious way possible. It was vicious, with cyclist cheating their way to the finish line, willing to sabotage anyone who crossed their path.

The show is done in a series of vignettes that introduce each of the racers separately. The staging is simple. A screen shows the landscape scrolling by as the bikers pass. Each person holds a set of handlebars to indicate their cycle.

Frankie Bolda plays the 16-year-old contender Henri Cornet with a wide-eyed innocence. He wants a gentlemanly race, but his competitors are set on playing dirty. He’s an ambitious lad with dreams of Parisian girls meeting him at the finish line and Bolda shines with her earnest portrayal.

The main race is between the cut-throat favorites Hippolyte Acoutrier (Paige Scott) and Maurice Garin (Ben Asaykwee). The prideful pair are well cast as the lascivious Garin and pompous Acoutrier. Josh Ramsey has his hands full playing four different characters: a radio announcer, a British man, Italian, and Scot, with the use of only a handful of accents, a removable kilt, and a mustache. Craig Kemp plays Gustave Drioul, the oldest competitor. Though his role is a quiet one, his background antics and quick one-liners provide some of the funniest moments in the show.

The refreshing show is a glass of lemonade (maybe with a shot of vodka thrown in), perfect for summer. It’s short, eccentric, and an utter delight. 
Don't Miss the Show 
Performances: The show runs until June 24 on the Christel DeHaan Main Stage, 627 Massachusetts Avenue, Indianapolis. Due to adult humor, this one’s not for kids.
Tickets: Tickets are $25 Reserved or $20 for Seniors/Students with ID.  Tickets may be purchased by calling the box office at 317-207-0171 or online at tots.org.

Photos Courtesy of Theatre on the Square

May 17, 2017

Kinky Boots

Kinky Boots is the story of Charlie, a young man who inherits his father’s failing shoe factory in England. In a last ditch effort to keep the business going, he joins forces with a drag queen named Lola to create a line of high-heeled boots. The story, based on real events, is fun but it also carries a serious message about accepting those who are different. 

In the second act Charlie says something that sums up the entire production. He tells Lola that when she’s not there, there’s a big gaping gap. This is so true of the show. It's not that the scenes without Lola are bad; they just don't have the same magnetic energy. Timothy Ware’s electric performance as the sassy cabaret performer carries the show. He has an energy that steals every scene.

During the number “Not My Father’s Son” he also shows a tender vulnerability that gives an added heft to the shows message. His performance is just as powerful when all the sequins are stripped away. Charlie, played by Curt Hansen, is earnest but he pales in comparison to Lola. That’s not Hansen’s fault, it’s just a tough act to follow. 

Like many big musical shows, there are moments when the sheer number of voices and flashing lights overwhelm the lyrics. Yet the production finds its footing when Lola’s character is introduced in the first act. The end result is captivating musical featuring a gaggle of drag queens and a surprisingly tender heart.

Don't Miss the Show

The show runs until Sunday, May 21 at Clowes Memorial Hall so hurry to get tickets to the show. Tickets can be purchased at Clowes Memorial Hall, The Murat Theatre, by calling (800)-982-2787 or online at www.broadwayacrossamerica.com. Shows begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

Photos by Matthew Murphy

Phoenix Announces Three 2017/18 Shows

Phoenix Theatre of Indianapolis is thrilled to announce the first three shows of its final season at 749 Park Avenue!

The 2017-2018 Season will be split into two stages, facilitating and reflecting the transition of the Phoenix itself as it moves to a new home.


Fun Home
adapted by Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori
from Alison Bechdel's 2006 graphic memoir
September 14-October 22, 2017
Directed by Phoenix Founder Suzanne Fleenor
Winner of 5 2015 Tony Awards®, including Best Musical

In this startlingly candid production, we meet Alison at three different ages, revealing memories of growing up in a uniquely twisted household centered around the family funeral home (or “fun home,” as she and her brothers have named it). Fun Home is a brilliant portrayal of seeing your parents through grown-up eyes, marked by love, grief, and, ultimately… acceptance.

Halftime With Don
by Ken Weitzman
October 26-November 19, 2017
A National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere

Retired NFL great Don Devers has had more surgeries than he can remember, experiences violent outbursts, and relies on swarms of Post-It notes to offset a memory ravaged by a traumatic brain injury. Just when things seem their darkest, a devoted and desperate fan, Ed Ryan, appears on his doorstep…

A Very Phoenix Xmas 12
By Various Artists
November 24-December 23

A Very Phoenix Xmas is back and better than ever! In addition to a brand new batch of holiday music and mayhem, we’ve arranged a visit from the ghost of Phoenix Xmas past! Over the past eleven years, A Very Phoenix Xmas has brought both naughty and nice to the stage.


The rest of the 2017-2018 Season will be announced at the end of Summer 2017. Tickets for Phoenix Theatre’s 2017-2018 Season will be on sale in the Fall of 2017.  Tickets may be purchased by calling the box office at 317.635.7529 or visiting phoenixtheatre.org.  Curtain times for productions are: Thursdays at 7 pm, Fridays at 8 pm, Saturdays at 8 pm, and Sundays at 2 pm.  Curtain time for Wednesday performances of A Very Phoenix Xmas 12 is 7 pm.

Fun Home image from here

May 10, 2017

Dial "M" for Murder

It's thriller season at the Indiana Repertory Theatre this month. Dial "M" for Murder is currently on the mainstage and suspense is the name of the game. Some may be familiar with Alfred Hitchcock’s film version of the play or even the 1998 remake, “A Perfect Murder”, but for those in the dark, the plot will be even more interesting.

A young couple in 1950s London is not quite as happy as they may first appear. Soon the audience discovers that the husband is plotting his wife's murder. Matt Mueller plays the malevolent husband Tony. He’s cold and calculating, but still the eternal British gentleman. He’s decided he wants his wife’s money and has no qualms about killing her to get it. Robert Neal provides a great foe as Chief Inspector Hubbard.
The set, designed by Kate Sutton-Johnson, is gorgeous period piece. The 1950s apartment has a classic feel, with vintage furniture and luscious wallpaper. One odd element was the decision to project images on the back wall during phone calls. Each time a character made a phone call, close ups of the person on the other end of the line were shown, which was distracting and immediately takes you out of the action. It disrupted the flow of the play, providing a jarring reminder that the scene in front of you is staged.

The show is well-plotted, but those expecting gasps at every turn will be disappointed. Dial “M” has a slow burn approach to the thriller genre. It’s murder presented as a chess game rather than a high-speed chase.

Don't Miss the Show 
The Indiana Repertory Theatre is located at 140 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, one-half block west of the Circle Center Mall between northbound Illinois St. and southbound Capitol Ave. Dial "M" for Murder runs until May 21 on IRT's One America Mainstage. To purchase tickets or find performance times, call (317) 635-5252 or order online at www.irtlive.com.