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Showing posts from April, 2012

Avenue Q

Brought back for the second year in a row due to popular demand, the Phoenix Theatre is once again producing the smash hit Avenue Q. This twisted version of Sesame Street is an adult comedy with puppets and very grown-up problems.
The show is perfect for anyone who has graduated from college in the past decade. Filled with ambition and ideals, Princeton graduates from college and heads out in the real world to find his purpose. He quickly realizes that he has no place to live, no job and no way to pay his bills; a common problem for recent grads in this struggling economy. He moves to Avenue Q, an odd street where Gary Coleman becomes his superintendent and monsters live in the building.

It’s no wonder Phoenix’ audiences flipped for this musical last summer. Director Bryan Fonseca has pulled together an amazing cast that is clearly having fun with the show.
Claire Wilcher pulls double-duty as Trekkie Monster and Lucy the Slut. She’s brilliant in both roles; showcasing her sassy natur…

The Miracle Worker

The Indiana Repertory Theatre’s 40th season closes with the classic drama, The Miracle Worker. The inspirational play is based on the true story of the blind and deaf girl Helen Keller and her sign language teacher, Annie Sullivan.  

The success of the show depends on the performances of its two main characters: Nora Fiffer as Annie Sullivan and Ciarra Krohne as Helen Keller. Both actors are incredible. Krohne is only 12 years old and yet she embraces her role with such abandon that it’s easy to forget you aren’t really watching Keller herself.

Fiffer does a wonderful job portraying the young, formerly blind teacher who is haunted by her own demons. She’s rough around the edges, but she’s tenacious and that’s exactly what Helen needs. Their stubborn natures clash as they test each others’ wills. Keller’s parents love her, but their tender care and coddling is more harmful than they realize. It takes Sullivan’s brassy impertinence to stand up to them before things can really change for …

The Music Man

The Music Man has been a nostalgic classic for decades. It captures small-town life in a way that few other musical have been able to. This show, which includes Broadway standards like, “Trouble,” “Seventy-six Trombones,” and “Til There Was You” is on stage now at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre.

A smooth-talking salesman, Professor Harold Hill, rolls into town with the single goal of riling people up to get them to buy his wares. His scam is a simple one: convince the townspeople that their city is in headed into dangerous territory and the only solution is to give the troubled youth something to do with their time. He then suggests they start a band for the boys and conveniently, he sells musical instruments and uniforms. He offers them both the problem and solution and makes a bundle in each city he stops in.

The town’s librarian/music teacher is the only obstacle in his way. Considered an old maid by the village’s nosy biddies, Marian, played by Katie Sina, is suspicious of Hill fr…

Les Misérables

It’s a rare treat in the world of theater to find a show that blends an incredible story, a breathtakingly beautiful score and superb characters. Les Misérables is one of the few musicals that has it all. It’s easy to understand why the show is celebrating its 25th anniversary tour. It’s a show that has endured through decades, touching new generations with its power and is on stage now at Clowes Memorial Hall.

One thing I’ve always loved about Les Misérables is its ability to balance big cast numbers and intense solos. The combination of the two creates a powerful story of forgiveness, grace and redemption. The quiet solos, like Javert's "Stars" are just as moving as the big finale songs.

Peter Lockyer stars as Jean Valjean, a man who has spent 19 years in prison for stealing a loaf of bread. Lockyer's voice has incredible range and depth and his astounding performance makes the production worth seeing all on it's own. Luckily the rest of the cast is excelle…

Freud's Last Session

What would have happened if if the famous psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud and the author and theologist C.S. Lewis had met and discussed their diametrically opposed world views? That's the situation imagined in Mark St. Germain's play Freud's Last Session on stage now at the Phoenix Theatre.

The fascinating show is a brisk 80 minutes with rapid-fire dialogue and no intermission. The two-actor production features Gordon McCall as Freud and Scot Greenwell as Lewis. At first their accents are a bit jarring, but soon the audience is caught up in their fierce sparring and everything else fades to the background. The men give excellent performances, oscillating between friendly banter and heated debate.

The meeting of the two great minds never actually happened, but much of the rest of the show is based on fact. Shortly before his death, Freud moved to London to escape the Nazi occupation in Austria. In the play he and Lewis are caught in the midst of the London bombings and bet…

Broadway Across America Announces Indy 2012/13 Season

Broadway in Indianapolis announces its 2012-13 season which includes something for everyone!

Billy Elliot the Musical: November 13-18, 2012

Billy Elliot the Musical, is the joyous celebration of one boy's journey to make his dreams come true. Set in a small town, the story follows Billy as he stumbles out of the boxing ring and into a ballet class, discovering a surprising passion that inspires his family and his whole community. A big musical with an even bigger heart, Billy Elliot will enchant the dreamer in all of us.

Jersey Boys: January 9-27, 2013

Jersey Boys, is the Tony®, Grammy® and Olivier Award-winning Best Musical about Rock and Roll Hall of Famers The Four Seasons: Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi. This is the story of how four blue-collar kids became one of the greatest successes in pop music history. They wrote their own songs, invented their own sounds and sold 175 million records worldwide - all b…