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Showing posts from May, 2010

A Flea in Her Ear

Almost any French farce will reliably include slamming doors, jealous spouses and sometimes angry Prussians and speech impediments. This jumble of elements creates a frenzy of misunderstandings that's only straightened out in the end.

The Indianapolis Civic Theatre's production of Georges Feydeau's most famous farce, "A Flea in Her Ear," has all of those elements and more. Add a few pistols, a seedy hotel, and a love letter and you've got a recipe for disaster. A randy German and an angry Hispanic man add extra doses of humor throughout the show.

The show gets off to a slow start, but begins to crackle in the second half. There are three acts and one intermission. This production lacks the pacing essential for a farce to work. It's a delicate balance between banter and action sequences, but the show relied too heavily on the banter in the first half and the action in the second.

Paul Hansen serves as both the wrongly accused husband Victor Emmnauel and a dru…

Always... Patsy Cline

Music has a way of seeping into your pores. There's no way to explain the affect that certain songs or artists can have on an individual. It's as if they speak to your soul. Those are the notes and lyrics you heart would have sung if it had a voice. Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre's latest show, "Always... Patsy Cline" is a musical created to celebrate this very fact and the unlikely friendship that formed between the singer and one of her biggest fans. After meeting during a concert Cline gave in Texas, Patsy and Louise Seger became real life pen pals.


Christine Mild stars as Patsy Cline, the world-renowned country singer. It's obvious Mild is comfortable in the role, one that she's performed all over the country. Not only does she sound shockingly similar to Cline, she also bears an eerie resemblance to the singer. Her rich voice washes over the crowd in every number. She brings a southern charm and cheek to the role, which is perfectly complimen…

Legally Blonde: The Musical

Broadway Across America is thinking pink this week with the Tony Award-winning "Legally Blonde," on stage now at Clowes Memorial Hall. The show is frivolous fun at its finest. It embraces sorority stereotypes and pokes fun at itself with every "OMG" squealed. Anyone who's seen the movie will have a good idea what to expect, just add singing and dancing to the mix. Expect lots of neon lights, velour tracksuits and shades of Pepto Bismol.


Becky Gulsvig is a perfect blend of ditzy blonde and sincere determination as Elle Woods. Her sassy entourage, which doubles as a Greek choir, embodies the textbook sorority girl mentality.

Michael Rupert embraces his inner slime ball in the role of the cutthroat lawyer Callahan. His big number, "Blood in the Water" drips with delicious sleaze. The UPS guy, played by Ven Daniel, steals each scene he's in and he elicited hoots and whistles every time he walked on stage.


One courtroom number, "There, Ri…

Around the World in 80 Days

(The five man cast of Around the World in 80 Days)

The Jules Verne classic "Around the World in 80 Days" is the Indiana Repertory Theatre's final show of the 2009/10 season.

Phileas Fogg (Jeff Cummings) decides to travel around the globe in only 80 days on a spur-of-the-moment bet. Cummings' capture's the a-typical Englishman's attitude to a T. He's all business with a stoic sensibility. Fogg's trusty French servant, Passepartout, played by La Shawn Banks, travels with him and provides a steady stream of slapstick hilarity.

(La Shawn Banks and John Lister)

With only five actors to play dozens of characters, the talented cast was constantly switching wigs and costumes to cleverly disguise themselves with a new identity. Zack Buell has a particularly trying time playing (according to the playbill) "everybody else." He literally played a different person in almost every scene, becoming the show's chameleon.

(An "elephant" in …