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Showing posts from December, 2010


There was trouble in Oz long before Dorothy and Toto showed up. “Wicked,” on stage now at the Murat Theatre, tells the story of how Glinda and Elphaba, aka the wicked witch of the west, first meet. Though complete opposites, the two characters form an unlikely bond. The musical, based on the novel of the same name, weaves elements of the famous children’s book into a new, darker tale, which reveals that things are not always as simple as they seem.

You’d be hard-pressed to find more beautiful and elaborate sets anywhere in Indianapolis. From simple cornfields to the sparkling Emerald City, no detail is neglected and it’s easy to forget that this is a mobile production. The fantastical costumes provide an eyeful in every scene as well.

During the performance I attended Vicki Noon starred as Elphaba and Glinda was played by the understudy, Rachel Potter. Potter hit her stride in the number “Popular,” using both physical comedy and hilarious energy to embody the perky character. Noon naile…

A Christmas Carol

Despite the heavy snowfall and treacherous roads, the Indiana Repertory Theatre welcomed a full house with sweet caroling this past weekend. Nothing could keep the crowds away from the IRT’s A Christmas Carol.

Even though the story is the same, the production is full of new elements. There is a new director, Richard J. Roberts, a new Scrooge, IRT favorite Ryan Artzberger, a new Marley, Robert Neal and a new Bob Cratchit, Jerry Richardson. Other roles featured seasoned performers who audiences have grown to love over the years.

Artzberger, who replaced the established Charles Goad as Scrooge, had some big shoes to fill. He’s a bit young to play the aged miser, but his joyful enthusiasm at the end of the show is wonderfully believable. I look forward to watching him settle into the role in future years.

As always the set, props, costumes and music are excellent. A Christmas Carol long ago found its groove and yet it manages to remain fresh each year. The supporting cast fle…

The Santaland Diaries

I first read David Sedaris’ The Santaland Diaries a few years back. I remember laughing until my stomach hurt, but seeing a live version of his hilarious tale is somehow even funnier. The production, currently on stage at the IndyFringe Theatre, explores Sedaris’ personal experiences working as an elf at Macy’s. This Christmas show is definitely for adults only, which of course means you know it’s going to be funny.

Scot Greenwell plays Crumpet the elf with equal parts impish glee and cynical sass. He makes acidic jokes about controlling parents, delusional Santas and his fellow elves all while learning something about the true meaning of Christmas.

Decked out in candy cane tights and a jingle bell hat, Crumpet attempts to hang on to his sanity (and dignity) in the middle of Macy’s hectic Santaland. The intentionally atrocious costume is just one small aspect of the department store’s over-the-top Christmas extravaganza. Oversized candy and fake snow crowd together to help create th…