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School of Rock

It was freezing outside, but School of Rock was heating up Clowes Memorial Hall last night. The Broadway Across America production is based on the 2003 movie of the same name. The musical stays close to that version, but comes alive in a different way. The plot focuses on Dewey, who is a bit of an immature loser. He thinks his band will make it big any day now, but doesn't really have a backup plan. When he finds himself substitute teaching a group of precocious kids he's surprised to find a new passion. The show doesn't really get moving until he meets the kids and discovers they love music as well.  

Merritt David Janes takes on the role of Dewey, originally played by Jack Black. He actually does a better job in the scenes where he's not mimicking Black's mannerisms. His heartfelt moments are frequent, but they work well. Lexie Dorsett Sharp is Rosalie, the strict principal of Horace Green prep school. Her big number, "Where Did the Rock Go?", is a blast…
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Broadway Across America Announces 2019/20 Season

Broadway Across America is thrilled to announce its 2019/20 Indianapolis season.
Season tickets for the 2019-2020 Broadway in Indianapolis Season will go on sale Jan. 24 with three convenient ways to purchase season tickets:
1. Select your seats in person at the Broadway in Indianapolis Box Office in the Old National Centre at 502 N New Jersey Street, Monday – Friday, 9:30am-5:00pm 2. Order online 7 days a week/24 hours a day at 3. Call the Broadway Across America toll-free Indianapolis Season Ticket Hotline at 800-793-7469. The Hotline hours are Monday – Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm.

Every Brilliant Thing

Real life isn’t easily split into two categories, comedy and drama. It’s a mixture of joy and grief, often at the same time. Every Brilliant Thing captures that perfectly. The one-man show tells the story of an unnamed man whose mother tried to commit suicide multiple times. In an effort to show her all the things she has to live for, he begins a lifelong list of brilliant things when he's only 7 years old.  

A one-person show is so dependent on the correct casting and this production couldn't have done better than Marcus Truschinski. He embodies the role with charisma and a generosity that welcomes audience interaction. Under Tim Ocel's excellent direction, Truschinski's warmth engages the audience in each scene. He improvises as the show naturally digresses as audiences members are asked to fill small roles. The inclusions feel natural, not forced, creating a unique show each time.
The set is deceptively simple. Reuben Lucas designed it so the audience is seated on all…

They're Playing Our Song

Sonia and Vernon are a classic case of opposites attract in Beef & Boards' season opener They're Playing Our Song. The romantic comedy is great for anyone feeling nostalgic for the late 1970s. The decade specific choreography and costumes play such a prominent role, it's hard to imagine the story at any other time.

The show is the first of eight musicals in the 2019 lineup at the dinner theatre. Though this musical isn't as well-known as others, it features the work of playwright Neil Simon. His quick-witted banter is delightful and with only nine songs, this musical depends more heavily of dialogue than others. Though they are assisted by a few supporting cast members who reflect their inner struggles, the show mainly rests on the shoulders of the two leads. Sarah Hund  has become a favorite at Beef & Boards for her playful sense of humor and vocal skills. Both serve her well in the role of the flaky, eccentric Sonia. She’s all heart and little head as the novic…

Top 2018 Shows

Every theatre is unique and the shows that they produce there reflect that diversity. I’m grateful Indy has so many great ones to choose from. There were some wonderful shows in 2018 and here’s a list of my personal favorites. Make sure you keep an eye on these theaters in 2019!

1) Hedwig and the Angry Inch - Zach & Zack: The year kicked off with a passionate performance in an intimate space. Hedwig set a high bar for the rest of the year.

2) And Then There Were None- Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre: A murder mystery with tight pacing and building tension, this one hit the spot. 
3) A Raisin in the Sun - Indiana Repertory Theatre: Heartwrenching and beautifully acted, this classic came to life on the IRT's stage. 

4) Silent Sky - Summit Performance Indianapolis: An incredible group of women told the story of Henrietta Leavitt, an astronomer in the early 1900s. The show is the first production of the new Indy theatre company. 5) Beautiful- Broadway Across America: This Carol King mu…

Cabaret Announces 2019 Winter/Spring Season

Gavin Creel:The Broadway Stuff - Vol. 1 Glick Philanthropies Broadway At The Cabaret Series Friday, February 15 & Saturday, February 16:8 pm
The Cabaret kicks off its 2019 season with one of Broadway’s hottest stars.  Tony Award-winner Gavin Creel will perform his interpretations of Broadway classics and share stories from his prolific career during an intimate evening of music.  Creel most recently starred in the Bette Midler-led revival of Hello, Dolly!, for which he won the Tony for Best Featured Actor in a Musical.  He also earned Tony nominations for Thoroughly Modern Millie – where he played opposite Sutton Foster, the revival of Hair, and She Loves Me.   An Evening with Joshua Henry   Glick Philanthropies Broadway at The Cabaret Series   Saturday, February 23: 7:00 Pm & 9:30 pm
Three-time Tony nominee and star of Hamilton and Carousel, Joshua Henry performs an intimate evening of Broadway and soul classics.  Henry will share “unplugged” interpretations and musical mashups from…

The Mutilated

As one might be able to guess from the title, The Mutilated is not a holly jolly Christmas story. The Tennessee Williams play is set in New Orleans and follows two frenemies who cross paths on Christmas Eve. The pair, Trinket and Celeste, are both broken souls with their own secrets. Gigi Jennewein plays Trinket, a wealthy woman with an unknown mutilation. She's fragile and desperate for affection. Celeste is her polar opposite. Played by Beverly Roche, the shoplifting alcoholic is brash and constantly angling to manipulate those around her. 
Originally written as a one-act comedy, the show plays more as an ode to loneliness. It’s split by a short intermission and the second act wraps up so quickly that it feels a bit abrupt. The characters feel similar to those found in many of Williams' plays, though the plot doesn't pack as big of a punch in comparison. It's fascinating to see the damaged people trying to find a way forward, but I wish I'd had more time to better…