November 29, 2011

Beef and Boards Christmas 2011

Beef & Boards has toned down the razzle dazzle in this year’s Christmas show. The quieter production is hugely improved by sweet Christmas carols and a heavy reliance on the talented Holidaires instead of flying reindeer or goofy elves. The quartet is made up of three Smoke on the Mountain veterans and Jillian Wallach, a new addition to B&B.

Jayson Elliott, Sarah Hund and John Vessels have proved their talent in a dozen shows over the past couple years and this performance is no exception. The production is at its best when it allows its performers to relax into roles they excel at. Vessels has a wonderful voice and a unique ability to pull off the silliest bits. He never fails to delight audiences.

Elliott and Hund, in addition to being able to sing, can each play multiple instruments. Their talent is showcased wonderfully as they playfully duel on banjoes, fiddles, guitars and harmonicas. Each of the singers held their own, but newcomer Wallach shone the brightest. She took the reins of O Holy Night, the first female to do so in recent years. Her powerful performance in that song, along with others through out the night, raised the bar for the vocals.

Terry Woods and the BBC orchestra perform live on the stage providing an added level of talent to the variety-style show. B&B always includes a tribute to our men and women in service, which should never be forgotten. They also make a point of highlighting the true meaning of Christmas. Look past the tap dancing Santas and cute kids and you’ll find a quiet manger scene. So whether you’re a regular every year or looking for a new option for the family, Beef & Boards will help you get into the Christmas spirit.

Don't Miss the Show 

The show runs until Dec. 23. Doors open for evening performances at 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. The buffet is served from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m. For Wednesday matinees doors open at 11:30 a.m. and the buffet is served from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The show begins at 1 p.m. For Sunday matinees doors open at 12 p.m. and the buffet is served from 12:15 to 1 p.m. The show begins at 1:30 p.m. 

Tickets: To purchase tickets call (317) 872-9664 between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Prices range from $36 to $59 and include the show, tax, coffee, tea and the buffet. This production offers discounts; call the box office for more details.

Don’t forget to check out the other shows around town. The Indiana Repertory Theatre has A Christmas Carol, the Indianapolis Civic Theatre has Willy Wonka and the Phoenix Theatre has Our Goose is Cooked.

Photos Courtesy of Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre

November 14, 2011

Mystery Cafe of Indianapolis: All Star Homer-cide

Raise your hand if you knew the nation’s longest running Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre was located in Indianapolis. I had no idea. The dinner theater performs everywhere from restaurants to audience members’ homes to company functions, but they can be seen regularly at the Milano Inn in Indianapolis.

The current production, All Star Homer-cide, tells the story of an All Star baseball game and the unexpected murder that throws the night into chaos. The show has four acts; each one is separated by a course of food, soup, salad and Italian entrée and dessert. The show changes each month, but the audience participation and dinner remain the same.

Jennifer Estes and Phillip Armstrong star as a variety of characters. The enthusiastic performers throw themselves into the show, taking on multiple roles, crazy costumes and more. Their cheesy jokes and playful banter keep the audience involved.

This would be the perfect night out for that friend or family member who loves to be a ham. Audience members can volunteer to be involved in the show, 15 to 20 are chosen to play a part. When their role comes they read their lines as dramatically as they want and at the end of the night an award is given to the biggest ham.

Don't Miss the Show

The Mystery Café Indianapolis
performs Friday and Saturday nights in the Milano Inn, located at 231 South College Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46202. "All Star Homer-cide" runs until Saturday, Nov. 19 and up next is “Ho-Ho-Homicide.” Times for performances can be found at their website here.

Graphic Courtesy of The Mystery Café

November 4, 2011


The Indianapolis Civic Theatre has officially moved into its new home in the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel. The theatre, previously located on Marian College’s campus, is now I n a beautiful new venue, complete with a free parking garage whose elevator drops you right in the lobby. The theatre itself has spacious seating and high ceilings.

The 2011/2012 season includes Amadeus, on stage now. The play won a Tony Award and was then adapted into a movie which won the Academy Award for Best Picture. The story, a mix of fact and fiction, examines the themes of genius and mediocrity. Two composers in 18th century Austria vie for the emperors’ approval and public’s eye. The first is an upright Italian man named Antonio Salieri. The second is a child prodigy, now at the height of his creativity, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Mozart is as childish and crass as he is brilliant. His immaturity and cockiness grate on the nerves of many in the Austrian court, but no one more than fellow composer Salieri. Despite violating every principle Salieri lives by, he knows that Mozart is still able to create music more beautiful than he will ever make. As much as he hates Mozart, he can’t help but admire and envy his work.

The show rests firmly on the shoulders on John Michael Goodson’s portrayal of Salieri. His wonderful performance oscillates from carefully control condescension to passionate outbursts of disgust and despair in rambling Italian. Add in a simple set, sumptuous period costumes and insane giggle from Mozart and it’s a amazing dramatic addition to your entertainment calendar.

Don't Miss the Show


The show closes Nov. 12. Performances begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. The Tarkington is located at 3 Center Green, Carmel, IN 46032 at the Center for the Performing Arts.

Tickets: Ticket prices start at $26 and can be purchased by calling (317) 923-4597 or visiting

Photos courtesy of the Indianapolis Civic Theatre