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Showing posts from March, 2010

Hello Dolly!

Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre is making matches on its stage this spring. Hello Dolly!, the story of a widow who excels at matching up singletons in Yonkers, is on stage now.

Mark Goetzinger plays Horace Vandergelder with a sweet, hassled air. For those who are familiar with his extensive work at the Indiana Repertory Theatre, you might be surprised to find out Goetzinger has a wonderful singing voice. Just one more reason to look forward to seeing him on stage in anything!

Cornelius Hackl, played by David Schmittou, shines in "It Only Takes a Moment." Iris Lieberman is the kooky, meddlesome Dolly Levi. She dances verbal circles around Horace, convincing him of things before he's even realized what she's doing. With the help of a few dancing waiters she makes the title number a doozy.

At Beef & Boards the talented dancers are often overlooked. They do such a continuously wonderful job in almost every show that it's easy to take them for granted. This product…


The Indianapolis Civic Theatre's production of "Carousel" provides a big does of Rodgers and Hammerstein style music and lyrics. The famous duo, who created "Oklahoma" and "The Sound of Music" have always been hit or miss for me. Sometimes their perky numbers fit well with the plot, while other times they seem to trivialize a serious issue.

If you already know and love the story of "Carousel" than you won't be disappointed with this production. There is a large cast, which lends itself well to boisterous numbers about clambakes and the month of June. The revolving set is versatile, but not overly distracting. The period costumes are colorful and the lead characters are played by talented actors with good voices and chemistry. Jigger, played by Paul Nicely, is particularly fun as a classic scoundrel.

If you haven't seen the show before, you'll certainly enjoy it for all the reasons stated above, but the plot itself might not sit a…

The 101 Dalmatians Musical

When I first heard Broadway Across America was bringing "The 101 Dalmatians Musical" to Clowes Memorial Hall I was so curious to see how they would portray a cast that mainly consists of animals. Other musicals, like "The Lion King," have done it successfully, but it's not easy.

101 Dalmatians takes on this tricky challenge by covering the canine cast in spotted costumes. The puppies are played by kids, the dogs are played by adults and the humans are all on concealed stilts, which allow them to tower above their pets. It was the perfect way to make the entire production from a dog's eye view.

The sets are all wonderfully whimsical, with slanted furniture and London townhomes. The plot remains basically the same as the Disney movie of the same name, but doesn't contain any of the songs from the film. One surprising bit in the show is a delightful number of tricks performed by actual dalmatians.

101 Dalmatians is the perfect musical for little kids. Even th…

Going Solo Festival: The Year of Magical Thinking and After Paul McCartney

The Indiana Repertory Theatre always seems to be doing something new and this year's Going Solo festival is no exception. The IRT selected three unique one-man shows and is presenting them on its Upperstage. These intimate shows allow the audience to feel like they are having a one-on-one conversation with the actors.

"The Year of Magical Thinking" stars Fontaine Syer in her IRT debut. The show is an ode to grief and one woman's journey through it. Author Joan Didion wrote the book of the same name after her husband suddenly died as they were sitting down to dinner. So many of us have struggled with loss, but Didion gives a voice to our pain. The loss of control and the overwhelming feeling of helplessness are undeniable.

Syer is excellent in the role of Didion. Her voice is tinged with an icy bitterness, bred by the isolation her loss created. She rejects the death, bargains and reminisces through her anguish, while the audiences raptly watches. It is an unflinching…