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Man of La Mancha

Don Quixote, the infamous errant knight questing to save those in need and fighting windmills because he sees giants in their frames. He is a familiar character to most of us. Man of La Mancha is a classic musical inspired by the Spanish story. Beef & Boards’ current production of the show features Disney royalty in the titular role.
Richard White, famous for providing the voice of Gaston in Disney’s animated Beauty and the Beast, takes on the role. It is absolutely his show, featuring him first as the book’s author, Miguel de Cervantes, and then transforming into the knight. His deep baritone is perfect for the role. His Don Quixote is blundering, but sincere in his delusion and you can’t help but root for him.  The show features a untraditional love story. The elderly knight sees Aldonza, a kitchen maid and prostitute, and decides she is his glorious lady Dulcinea and he will do anything to win her favor. Aldonza is a fiery character full of scorn. Erica Hanrahan-Ball tackles the …
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Holmes and Watson

Three men claiming to be Sherlock Holmes are being held in an asylum on an island. The famous detective's trusty sidekick, Dr. Watson, must make his way to the remote isle to identify the true Sherlock. The Indiana Repertory Theatre's season opener is a twisty mystery that keeps you guessing until the final moments. It takes a minute for the show to hit its rhythm, but it's worth settling in to wait and see how the identities are revealed.  
The set is one of the most extraordinary the IRT has created. Its gothic design layers stairs and ledges deep into the stage. There is even an aperture that opens and closes to reveal different characters and gives the audience the feeling of being inside of a camera at times. Kudos to Robert Mark Morgan for its creation.  Each of the three Sherlocks have a unique take on the role. One is classically clever, two is grief-stricken and emotional, and the third is literally catatonic. The seven-person cast keeps the show humming under the d…

Bright Star and the 2018/19 Phoenix Season

The Phoenix Theatre has gone through some huge changes in the past year. In addition to moving into a brand new state-of-the-art theater, it also has a new artistic director, Bill Simmons. With all of that in mind it’s not surprising that the theatre opened its new season with something a bit outside of its normal range. Known for producing plays that tackle tricky issues the theatre doesn’t often do musicals and when it does they tend to be edgy shows like Spring Awakening, American Idiot or Avenue Q.
In contrast, Bright Star is a bluegrass musical with a big heart. Written by banjo-playing renaissance man Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, the show is set in the hills of North Carolina in the 1940s with flashbacks in the 1920s. It is at times playful and at others steeped in nostalgia. There’s a large ensemble cast with a full bluegrass band onstage providing live music. The set is simple, with movable pieces on wheels and straightforward staging. The result is an absolutely delightful …

The Lion King

The Lion King is one of the epic Broadway shows that everyone should see at least once in their life. It’s also one of the few stage productions based on a Disney movie that actually works. They never make the mistake of many movie-to-stage adaptations: sacrificing the heart of the story for the spectacle. It is a huge production. From Pride Rock to an elephant graveyard, the sets are so creative.

I can’t think of a single show where the costumes even come close to the grandeur of The Lion King. The animal kingdom comes alive as giraffes, elephants, and birds take to the stage. The costumes are impeccable, and manage to show the movement of cheetahs and antelopes with grace and beauty. Even the jungle plants are brought to life, played by humans in elaborate outfits.
Most kids are already familiar with the story from the movie, making this a very family-friendly show. It has that wow factor, and meshes a captivating plot, incredible sets, and an award-winning score together. There will …

Beef & Boards announces 2019 Season

Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre is thrilled to announce its 2019 season.
They’re Playing Our Song (Jan. 4 – Feb. 3., 2019) The season opens Jan. 4, 2019 with Neil Simon and Marvin Hamlisch’s They’re Playing Our Song, a funny, romantic show about an established composer and his relationship with a quirky aspiring female lyricist. Profesionally, their relationship is in harmony, but personally their relationship is out of sync!
Grease ( Feb. 7 – March 31, 2019) Grease is the word starting Feb. 7, as the popular movie-turned-musical cruises onto the Beef & Boards stage. It’s 1959 and Sandy’s the new girl at Rydell High School who happened to have a summer romance with the school’s coolest greaser, Danny. But the school’s social waters are tougher to navigate. The hit score includes “Greased Lightnin’,” “You’re The One That I Want,” and “Summer Nights.”
42nd Street (April 4 – May 19, 2019) Starting April 4, dance on over to spectacular 42nd Street, the Tony Award winner for Best Musica…

Bard Fest 2018

Mark your calendars! The dates and locations of this year's Bard Fest have been announced. The annual festival brings together multiple theatre companies and this year, multiple locations, to present Shakespeare's work. This year's selection includes three popular plays produced by the founding companies, plus a new treat, a youth production.
The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet                    The Merchant of Venice Directed by Zach Stonerock                                Directed by Doug Powers Catalyst Repertory                                               First Folio Productions
Much Ado About Nothing                                 A Midsummer Night's Dream Directed by Laura Kuhn                                       Youth Production Carmel Theater Company                                   Agape Performing Arts Company You can find a complete list of locations and times for the schedule at this link. This is Indy's only Shakespeare festival and it's a great chanc…

Cry It Out

Six week after giving birth I braved the outside world with my daughter for the first time completely on my own. We went to a breastfeeding support group at a local hospital. I was completely overwhelmed, sleep-deprived and somehow managed to get lost in the winding corridors. The adventure ended with me in tears in an elevator. I don’t often share personal details here, but the Phoenix Theatre’s production of Cry It Out hit close to home for me.

Becoming a new parent is one of the most intense things you can experience. It is exhausting and beautiful and it brings you to your knees. It’s full of barely comprehensible paradoxes. You are immediately connected to generations of women who have done this incredible thing before you. You are also isolated as you try to learn how to survive while caring for a helpless newborn. The internet becomes a resource for tips and ideas while also becoming a place full of moms making different choices, ready to tell you how you’ve screwed up. I’ve ne…