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The mega-hit musical Frozen is on stage now at the Old National Centre. I can’t think of many shows that would be a better fit for a child’s first Broadway experience. These characters are so beloved and watching the show was like leaning into one of Olaf’s warm hugs. From the magical costume change in “Let It Go” to the ice bridges and castle sets, the musical brings the movie to life in a way that expands the story. There are added scenes with the parents and other major characters that allow for more time to explore their connection, which felt rushed in the original story. There are obvious changes that must be made when translating a movie like this to the stage. Two of the main characters are a reindeer and a snowman. I loved the way the ensemble was used to enhance the shipwreck and snowstorm. Their fluid moments were more beautiful than any light elements to demonstrate snow and ice. Anna, played by Lauren Nicole Chapman, leaned more into the comedy side of the character. She h
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Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Do you think you know the story of Frankenstein? Do you picture a green-skinned creature with bolts in his neck? The true story is less about the monster than it is about its creator and this adaptation looks closely at the writer behind the story. It's a tale of man's hubris and catastrophic guilt and how very human those things are. In this Indiana Repertory Theatre production,  a cast of five makes up a group of young artists sharing their invented gothic tales on a stormy night. They then double as the characters in the story as it unfolds. They work well together, slipping easily between their respective roles. Mary Shelley, the writer who poured her own grief into the tragedy of Frankenstein is played beautifully by Rebecca Marie Hurd. Telling the story from her point of view turns it into a powerful mirror of her pain and brilliance. Hurd is the heart of the story even when not on stage. It's her struggle to search for "life in the living and not in the dead&quo

AMERICAN PLAYERS THEATRE: Our Town, Once Upon a Bridge, & The Merry Wives of Windsor

The American Player Theatre is just a quick drive north to Wisconsin. They produce a wide range of shows each summer in both their large outdoor theatre and smaller indoor location. It is always worth the drive and now in its 44 th season, there are still months left of productions available. Our Town It’s hard to explain the power of Our Town. It’s a quiet play about everyday life. It’s set in the town of Grover’s Corners, NH in the early 20th century. The cast of townspeople invites us to imagine with them as they go about their daily routines without much fuss. Truly, it sounds boring if you look at that summary. But what words can’t capture is the sweet moments between a husband and wife as they contemplate their child’s impending marriage or the zing of connection when two young teens first fall in love. Samantha Newcomb  plays Emily Webb a sharp and ambitious girl growing up in the town. Her story is at the heart of the play and it’s her brilliant, but simple observations that

Angels in America Cast Q&A

  Bard Fest, Indy's only annual Shakespeare Festival, is producing the epic two-play cycle of Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer-prize-winning Angels in America. They will present Part One - Millennium Approaches and Part Two - Perestroika in rotation throughout the month. In anticipation of its landmark June premier, some of the cast of Angels in America (AIA) answered some questions about the show. Q: What themes does Shakespeare’s work share with Angels in America? A: Matt Anderson (Louis): Many of Shakespeare’s works are so sweeping and encompassing, stretching out for hours and taking time to delve into love, politics, relationships, self-worth, life and death, prejudices and pain, blood and ghosts, hilarity and horror, the mundanely real and the confoundingly supernatural… and Angels in America explores deeply all of those themes and more. Mira Nehrig (Harper Pitt): Oh, truly, there are so many. Shakespeare would grapple with politics, gender dynamics, and family within one play (wheth

Beauty and Beast

  If you want to be reminded of the magic of theater, take a young child to see their first show. It’s nothing short of exhilarating to see their face light up when a story comes alive in front of them. Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s current production of Beauty and the Beast pulls out all the stops. This show is the perfect example of the theater doing what it does best and it’s one of the finest shows I’ve seen there in years. The stage may be on the smaller side, but the cast uses the entire theatre, wandering the aisles to the delight of the children in the audience. The production uses scenes of taverns and castle interiors projected on the walls to give Michael Layton's set design added depth. Just wait for "Be Our Guest" to be blown away by the Main Street Music Theatre's lavish costumes. Jameelah Leaundra is the perfect Belle. Her voice is lovely, especially in the number "Home". Her vocals are excellent, but it's the warmth and intelligence


American Lives Theatre (ALT) closes its strong season with Predictor at the Phoenix Theatre. On the surface, it’s the story of one woman’s fight, but underneath that, the heart of the play lies in the friendship, determination, generational legacy, and so much more that help drive Meg Crane. In the 1960s she invented the home pregnancy test. This is her story and it should’ve been told decades ago. I’m so grateful to playwright Jennifer Blackmer and ALT for sharing it with us now.   The show moves fast with quick scene changes and wheels on every desk and chair that makes up the set. There is an incredible crew of individuals, from the set designer to director Bridget Haight that make this whirlwind piece possible. The supporting six cast members flip between their many roles in a matter of seconds. A lab worker, roommate, mother, coworker, the list goes on and this hard-working cast keeps pace! Brittany Magee takes on the role of Crane. She is passionate and infuses the performance wi


Hamilton is back in town! The Broadway Across America production is currently at the Old National Center. At this point most people who have been dying to see Hamilton have made it happen in Chicago, New York, or with one of the touring productions. The real question is: is this production as excellent as the others and is it worth seeing multiple times? The obvious answer is yes. Whether it’s your first time seeing the show or your fifth, it’s no less intoxicating. The musical is so layered and filled to the brim with moving parts that there will always be something new to discover. Many are familiar with the addictive soundtrack and 2020 film version with the original cast, but there’s a contagious energy that can’t be captured without a live performance. With a cast of more than 20 people, the choreography is astonishing. Every motion is smooth and perfectly timed, and the supporting cast moves as one unit. In one scene a dancer uses a single book as a prop in a gorgeous dance, in a