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Showing posts from October, 2007

Hamlet

"The play's the thing ..." there are few phrases more familiar to the theater going public. The Indiana Repertory Theatre has brought back the show where that line originated. "Hamlet" is now playing on their upperstage.

The show incorporates current elements of culture into the original text for easy relatability. This includes a shared iPod song, a quick game of hacky sack and a few cellphone calls. One of the finer uses of this tactic was an easily interchanged video recorder for the musical recorder in a scene with Hamlet and his patsy friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

Matthew Brumlow walks the tightrope of sanity as the show's title character. He has just the right blend of discontent and contempt. He never completely reveals his cards, veering from cheeky jest to tortured rage in an instant.

Jessica Martin takes on the role of Ophelia, a woman easily swayed and confused by the events unfolding around her. She demonstrates the pendulum swing betwee…

Cirque Dreams: Jungle Fantasy

"Cirque Dreams" is on stage now at Clowes Memorial Hall, it's a Broadway Across America show. The production is part circus, part comedy and part Broadway show.

It is visually stunning and audiences will be treated to an amazing feast for their senses. Violinist Jared Burnett, performing as Soul Tree, provides a continuous flow of music from his electric violin. His soulful strands of notes fill the venue as audience members watch, mouths gaping, at the rich scenes unfolding on the stage.

The strength of the show lies not in the songs, but in the complicated dance sequences and acrobatics. Even jumping rope becomes astonishing in the hands of these talented performers. They don't stand still for a second. Every movement they make is perfectly coordinated and they toss each other round and manipulate their bodies in unbelievable ways.

Their breathtaking acts are unlike anything most theater-goers have seen before on a local stage. The contortionists and flyers form mo…

Aida

The Indianapolis Civic Theatre's most recent show, "Aida" was part comedy, part drama. The story is a modern version, created by Elton John and Tim Rice, of Verdi’s grand opera. The show's namesake is a Nubian princess who is captured and forced to serve as a slave in Egypt.

The woman's captor, Radames, quickly falls for her and Aida is torn between her newfound love and her loyalty to her people. The matter is further complicated by the fact that Radames is engaged to the pharaoh's daughter.

Mikayla Anne Reed plays Radames's finacee Amneris. She's a caricature of a spoiled princess. A Barbie-esqu sphinx who provides a welcomed element of comedic relief. She crocodile rocks her way through her first big number "My Strongest Suit." As the show goes on the audience watches as she maturs and by the end of the show her character shows unforeseen depth with songs like "I know the truth."

The pop musical pulls elements from gospel songs,…