Tuesday, April 5

Entries Wanted: Top 10 Best Cocktails Inspired by the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 2016


Indianapolis is currently all abuzz with the annual excitement surrounding 500 miles of fast-paced adrenaline. With the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 quickly approaching, I've decided to dedicate a column to drinks inspired by the 100th running of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing."

Anyone wishing to submit a recipe, along with contact information and an image, please do so by May 10, 2016. The mixologist, sommelier, restaurant, company or bar's name will be featured, along with the bartender, recipe and image for the drinks chosen.

For an example of a previous year's winners ~ click here.

The main objective is the drink MUST contain spirits, wine and/or beer AND be inspired by the spectacular 100th running of Indy 500. Not just any drink will do for the sports heroes, celebrities and fans who will pack themselves into Indianapolis for the weeks of special events.

Questions can be sent to elizabeth@gottago.us or elizabethjmusgrave@gmail.com.

And, just like with that bold and daring great race,

Anything goes....

Tickets, schedule and directions: IndianapolisMotorSpeedway.com

Photo credit: EJMusgave

Elizabeth J. Musgrave writes two magazine food and wine columns: Destination Dining and White Linen & Corks,and is a travel, features, food and wine writer, travel and food photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as the Travel & Leisure Adviser on FOX59 Morning News Show. She also is a speaker, consultant and trainer for hospitality, travel and luxury businesses, P.R., and tourism groups, as well as a radio and television guest and host. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Theater Review: Beef and Boards: Guys and Dolls

Opening at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre this weekend in Indianapolis is the classic musical Guys and Dolls. Guys, as in wise guys, Dolls, as in the slang term for women you didn't marry.

The classic musical is fast-paced and centers around a group of guys who like illegal gambling and avoiding the cops. One, Nathan Detroit (Eddie Curry), is hooked on loving, but not marrying, Miss Adelaide (Deb Wims), a showgirl who still believes Detroit can become the husband she wants.
Sky Masterson is portrayed by Timothy Ford who returns to the north-side stage, and was last seen here in Singin' in the Rain  and White Christmas. Masterson's romantic interest, missionary Sarah Brown (Betsy Newton), comes into the mix via a bet with Detroit.
A few of the performers stand out in this performance:
Shaun Rice portraying Nicely-Nicely. Rice keeps it low key in the first half, but in the second half you see what he is really made of ~ vocally and energy-wise. Belting out (with ensemble), Sit down, You're Rockin' the Boat," Rice seems to come into his own rhythm. I would certainly like to see that same over-the-top confidence in the first half as well.

Wims camps it up beautifully as the naive, lovelorn Adelaide, giving a seamless performance as the lovable girl in over her head with Detroit. Her energy (and talent) never waiver, keeping the pace for others to achieve and shining as the brightest female performer.

Daniel Scharbrough shines as Lt. Brannigan ~ although I could see him cast as Big Jule as he towers over everyone and Jule is referred to as being a big, scary guy.

Curry brings his special energy as the nuptials-nervous craps-game arranger. From scampering about to get out of marriage, and getting everyone into an illegal dice game, Curry is obviously enjoying himself and brings us along for the fun.

Mark Goetzinger (always love seeing him on stage around town), makes even a minor role memorable as missionary Arvide Abernathy (the sign of a truly talented actor).
Bottom Line: Whether or not you have seen Guys and Dolls in the past, your best bet is to catch the high-energy production rolling at Beef and Boards.

Images: JulieCurryPhotography.com



Elizabeth J. Musgrave writes two magazine food and wine columns: Destination Dining and White Linen & Corks,and is a travel, features, food and wine writer, travel and food photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as the Travel & Leisure Adviser on FOX59 Morning News Show. She also is a speaker, consultant and trainer for hospitality, travel and luxury businesses, P.R., and tourism groups, as well as a radio and television guest and host. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Tuesday, March 29

Top Events to Check out in Indy April 2016

There are a few upcoming events in the Indianapolis area to keep on your radar and get tickets for asap. One of these is the show, which I will be checking out Sunday at the 2 p.m. performance, called In The Mood.

A 1940s Big Band musical, will perform for two shows only at Carmel's Palladium. The music of an entire generation and our nation’s veterans.The brassy, singing, dancing and all-American 1940s musical highlights Swing music, Big Band and WWII music and dance.
Perfect for taking grandparents, parents and children to help connect multi generations through live music can open discussion on true historical events and help younger generations understand what the older generations went through to keep freedom for this country.
Included in the show is music by: Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, Harry James, Erskine Hawkins, The Andrews Sisters, Frank Sinatra and other idols of the 1940s. Hit songs include Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Tuxedo Junction, Well Git It, On The Sunny Side of the Street, In the Mood and many more.

Venue: The Palladium at The Center for Performing Arts
Day/Date: April 3; 2 pm and 7 pm
Tickets: 317-843-3800 or at TheCenterForThePerformingArts.org.

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Also on the Gotta Go line up is this Saturday night ~ to be spent reviewing Beef and Boards' Guys and Dolls on its opening weekend. Having not seen it before (gasp), it will be fun to watch a story line so popular with no idea which way it will turn. I do know there is gambling and romance. I also noticed the buffet contains numerous gluten-free items on it as well.
Check back early next week for my review ~

Venue: Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre
Date: March 31 - May 15
Tickets: 317-872-9664 or BeefandBoards.com.

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The Naptown Roller Girls roller derby organization takes to the rink again at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Proving women can take the pain of roller action, the Tornado Sirens and Warning Belles vie for a victory at this family friendly event.

Image/JoanMarcus
Venue: Indiana State Fairgrounds
Date: April 2, 7 p.m.
Tickets: BrownTickets

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Broadway in Indianapolis will have Indy laughing it up again in The Book of Mormon. Returning for an encore performance, plan on the show to sell out quickly so get your tickets immediately or expect to be out of all the fun. Read my review from the original showing in town. I will be on hand to review this go 'round because you simply do not want to miss something this great.

Venue: Old National
Date: April 12 - 17

Elizabeth J. Musgrave writes two magazine food and wine columns: Destination Dining and White Linen & Corks,and is a travel, features, food and wine writer, travel and food photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as the Travel & Leisure Adviser on FOX59 Morning News Show. She also is a speaker, consultant and trainer for hospitality, travel and luxury businesses, P.R., and tourism groups, as well as a radio and television guest and host. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Saturday, February 20

Theater Review: Beef and Boards: Sister Act

elizabeth j musgrave, gotta go
Sister Act opened at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre, Indianapolis, this week. As a top film with the same title (1992) starring Whoopi Goldberg, Maggie Smith and Kathy Najimy, it was a big gamble adapting it for the live stage.

Hitting the live theater circuit to mixed reviews from critics, the show about nuns and gun-toting gangsters was a smash hit with audiences the world over.

It's almost better if you have not seen the film as the stage version differs in many ways. Most importantly ~ the music. It is no longer set in Las Vegas with 1950s hits being revamped into spiritually hip songs. Deloris Van Cartier (Zuri Washington) is not a Vegas casino lounge singer, but a '70s bar crooner in Philadelphia.

And the songs, rather than the snappy golden oldies' Top 100 radio tunes, are originals written for the live show. The switch isn't the responsibility of B&B (or any other theater), but the creators of the musical. They are unfamiliar, but still peppy.

What made the film great was the audacity of Deloris to take lounge tunes and switch the lyrics for the Catholic nun's choir. That, and the chemistry between Goldberg (as Deloris) and Smith (as Mother Superior). Add in Najimy's infectious laughter and quirky one-liners and there was no way the movie would not become a classic.
elizabeth j musgrave, gotta go,
But does the live production hold up against the film?

Yes. And No.

Washington's Van Cartier zips along nicely with sarcastic remarks and annoys the Mother Superior  (portrayed superbly by Suzanne Stark) delightfully, with their back-and-forth banter being one of the more enjoyable parts of the show.

elizabeth j musgrave, gotta goAnother enjoyable part were the flawless vocals of Washington and Stark. Sister Mary Robert (played impeccably by Gabrielle Harker), joins these two top-notch performers with her talented vocals and her portrayal as the timid nun-to-be. Most notable were Stark's rendition of "Haven't Got a Prayer," which required her vocal strength; Washington's, "Raise Your Voice" (with Nuns), and Harker's, "The Life I Never Lead."

Lagging slightly in the middle with an extra dance and song, or two, from the gangsters, the play ran longer than a typical show. However, it is energetic, upbeat and outright funny.

Bottom Line: Beef and Boards' Sister Act shines with its strong female performers for this family friendly (and hilarious) production.

Tickets: BeefandBoards.com
Images: JulieCurryPhotography.com

Elizabeth J. Musgrave writes two magazine food and wine columns: Destination Dining and White Linen & Corks,and is a travel, features, food and wine writer, travel and food photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as the Travel & Leisure Adviser on FOX59 Morning News Show. She also is a speaker, consultant and trainer for hospitality, travel and luxury businesses, P.R., and tourism groups, as well as a radio and television guest and host. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Sunday, January 31

Theater Review: Actors Theatre of Indiana: Sweeney Todd

ati carmel indy elizabeth j musgrave
Sweeney Todd (Don Farrell) and Mrs. Lovett (Judy Fitzgerald)

Actors Theatre of Indiana, Carmel, opened the much-anticipated Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street production this weekend.

Familiar to fans of Stephen Sondheim, musicals and Broadway hits; the story became even more well known with the 2007 hit film Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street starring Johnny Depp. As good as the movie is, there are some stories which are best to experience via live theater ~ this is one of those shows.

Don Farrell as Sweeney Todd
Don Farrell takes on the title role of Sweeney Todd, in the black comedy with a sensationally sinister performance. Keeping the murderous role from becoming simply a serial killer on the loose, Farrell brings a vulnerable side of his character to light during, "The Barber and His Wife," allowing the audience to witness the happier youthful version of himself prior to losing his wife and daughter to the corrupt local Judge Turpin (Paul Nicely).

John Vessels as Adolfo Pirelli
Accompanying Todd in his razor-sharp removal of loathsome people is Mrs Lovett, played magnificently by Judy Fitzgerald.  Fitzgerald portrays the pie-making enabler with absolute abandon, sharing her contagious delight in the creative solution of her floundering meat pie cafe and Todd's need to slit throats of unworthy folks.

John Vessels is a pure delight as Adolpho Pirelli, the self-proclaimed, "King of Barbers," creating a larger-than-life caricature with his comedic talents. Vessels proves his vocal talent, as well, in the first victim's solo, "The Contest."

Caleb Wertz plays Tobias Ragg, abused waif and assistant to Pirelli then Lovett, with a maturity beyond his years. Craig Underwood takes sleazy to a new level with his portrayal of The Beadle.

The entire cast of this production is seamless and smooth, both in working with each other and portraying their individual characters, with all but the two leads portraying more than one character during the two-act play.

Bottom Line: Sweeney Todd is the best show I have reviewed at Actors Theatre of Indiana and is an absolute must-see for anyone in the Indy-metro area.

Costumes: Katie Cowan Sickmeier
Images: Zach Rosing

Elizabeth J. Musgrave writes two magazine food and wine columns: Destination Dining and White Linen & Corks,and is a travel, features, food and wine writer, travel and food photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as the Travel & Leisure Adviser on FOX59 Morning News Show. She also is a speaker, consultant and trainer for hospitality, travel and luxury businesses, P.R., and tourism groups, as well as a radio and television guest and host. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.