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Showing posts from February, 2008

West Side Story

Two warring cultures, young people from opposing sides falling in love, sound familiar? It's not "Romeo and Juliet," it's "West Side Story." Inspired by the Shakespearean saga, the musical is set in New York in the 1950s and is now onstage at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre in Indianapolis.

The Jets, a gang led by Riff, have decided to declare war on the Sharks, a gang of Puerto Rican immigrants. In the midst of the building tension, Tony, a member of the Jets, and Maria, sister of the Sharks leader, Bernardo, manage to fall in love.

The tragic tale of the star-crossed lovers is set to the music of Leonard Berstein, with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The well-known songs, like "Tonight" and "I Feel Pretty," are crowd pleasers.

The two leads are new to Beef & Boards. Evy Ortiz stars as Maria and Loren Christopher plays, Tony. They are both talented actors. Ortiz's voice is beautiful and it brings a richness to each number she's …

My Way

Frank Sinatra is said to have created eras. His career, which spanned 50 years, touched countless lives and his work will never be forgotten. The Indianapolis Civic Theatre's current show, "My Way" pays tribute to “Old Blue Eyes'” entire catalogue of work. There are songs from Sinatra's Rat Pack days, Broadway tunes, films and more.

The talented cast, which includes, Troy Johnson, Tobin Strader, Annette “Missie” Hirsch and Katy Gentry, each have a chance to shine during the show. Hirsch is best when crooning her velvety version of "My Funny Valentine" and "All the Way." Strader excelled at embracing Sinatra's smooth side with numbers like "That's Life" and "Summer Wind."

Johnson was playful and endearing when performing "Chicago" and singing duets with Gentry, who's sultry voice came alive when she sang "I Love Paris" and "The Best is Yet to Come."

The songs were chosen to suit the …

Menopause the Musical

Making "the change" funny since it opened in 2001, "Menopause the Musical" is now onstage at the American Cabaret Theatre in Indianapolis.

It follows four women, with seemingly nothing in common, who meet in a department store. A business woman, soap opera star, Iowa housewife and a hippie, the women find that they are all in the midst of menopause. They bond over their shared ailments and sing their way through the woes of insomnia and mood swings.

The show is geared towards women who are going through or have already gone through the change, so it's more commiseration than education. It provides laughs, while at the same time showing that menopause is a universal bond between all women.

The songs are all well-known '60s and '70s classics, with a new sets of lyrics. Tiffanie Bridges, who plays the professional woman, has a wonderful voice, the strength of which carries many of the songs. Her version of "I'm Sorry," reworked as "I'…


The Indiana Repertory Theatre currently has John Patrick Shanley’s Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning play "Doubt" on its main stage. The 90-minute production touches on many of the controversial issues that tend to be hot buttons in our culture. Though it's set in a Catholic school in 1964, the topics of race, religion and abuse are timeless in their application.

The plot follows Sister Aloysius as she accuses a priest, Father Flynn, of abusing a student. He denies it and she vows to find the truth.

Though the initial description may sound like an uncomfortable sermon, it's nothing of the sort. It sheds light on subjects often left in the dark. The thin line between holding someone accountable for their actions or just accusing someone of a crime without proof are tested as the characters struggle with their own views.

This is a show influenced by whatever religious background or beliefs that each individual brings with them. The play must first filter through th…