Saturday, September 20

Theater Review: IRT: The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Indiana Repertory Theatre (IRT), breaks its pattern of opening with an edge-of-the-seat drama and opens the 2014-2015 season with a comedy. Last year the downtown theater opened with The Crucible, in 2012 it was the stark (and fantastic) Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,  the sensually dark Dracula in 2011 and Holes in 2010.

This year's offering. Shakespeare's, The Two Men of Verona, one of the Bard's earliest works, tells of two friends who become opponents in the game of love.

If you have been loathe to sample, or reacquaint yourself with, Shakespeare, this comedy is good one to try. Friends go on their individual life's journeys and reunite only to fight over the affection of a woman. While Proteus, portrayed by Chris Bresky, and Valentine, played by Charles Pasternak, search for the loves of their lives, they find their own character and flaws.

Ryan Artzberger portrays the comedic servant, Launce, with Crab, his faithful canine sidekick (who received oohs and aahs throughout the show). Female love interests were: Lee Stark as Julia and Ashley Wickett as Silvia.

The laugh-a-minute comedy is a great addition to the LORT theatre's list. The solid performances by the entire cast are enjoyable to watch and are highlighted most by Pasternak's smooth portrayal of the play's morally just character.

I must admit, however, that although this is a play worth seeing for any stage fan, it lacks the wow factor of opening shows in years past. When one sets the bar as high as IRT has done with its season starters for so long, to open with a comedy is ~ anticlimactic.

Much better to continue with grabbing potential theatre-goers and current subscribers with another by-the-throat drama. This one could easily have been set to stage somewhere in the middle of the season. Perhaps they will return next year to a schedule with an anticipated play such as one by Tennessee Williams (my hope) and set the standard high once more.

Bottom Line: Chris Pasternak turns in a flawless performance in IRT's season opener comedy, The Two Gentlemen of Verona.

Images: provided

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.

Wednesday, September 17

Ruffs & Tails at the IRT 2014 Benefits Humane Society of Indianapolis

Dog parents will get a chance to help the Humane Society of Indianapolis while enjoying a night out on the town with their four-pawed friends. The Indiana Repertory Theatre is launching its inaugural ‘Ruffs & Tails’ event Owners and their furry pals can meet other canines, nibble on human and doggy treats and get their picture taken wearing Shakespearean ruff.

The event takes place opening weekend of IRT's 2014-2015 season with The Two Gentlemen of Verona and their furry, tail-wagging cast member, Crab. Dogs are welcome to enjoy Three Dog Bakery goodies with flavors they’ll love including vanilla, peanut butter and carob. Think your dog is the most adorable in Indiana? Win over the crowd and have your dog’s picture taken in Shakespearean ruff to show off his or her theatrical side. Pictures of each future star will be taken and a specialty Three Dog Bakery gift basket will be awarded to the most ‘liked’ dog photo on the IRT’s Facebook page.

Learn more about the Humane Society and bring donations for their Humane Society Wish List. Donations include an entry to win a class from Bark Tutor School for Dogs. With special code, “IRTdog,” $2 per ticket of the Wed, Oct. 1, 7:30 pm performance and the Sun, Oct. 12, 5pm performance will be donated to the Humane Society of Indianapolis.

For more information about the IRT (Indiana Repertory Theatre), schedule, ticket pricing and full season calendar, please visit irtlive.org.

Image provided
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, September 16

Restaurant Review: Top 10 Best Northside Nights 2014

Northside Nights 2014 will take place Sept. 15-28 bringing Indy's northernmost eateries into the
 limelight. The restaurant week, similar to Devour Downtown, is a foodie favorite with independents and chains sharing value-priced menus alike. The culinary fest includes 45 eateries for a peek at places you have been dying to try, check back on favorites and discover ones you have not heard of before the food event.

As it was so popular for Devour Downtown, I am noting the Top 10 Best menus by highlighting the "Top 10" restaurants in green. All restaurants will have links to the menus for the event. An asterisk marks new participating restaurants.

How did I decide? The criteria includes those that seem to be the best combination of good value, innovative menu and going above the others (ex. offering beer or wine also). And, so I give you the ...


Northside Nights
Top 10 Best Restaurants 2014

1881 Grille at Marten House Hotel

Bazbeaux

Bella Vita at the Marina

Champps Americana

Chef Mike's Charcoal Grill

Coalition Pizza*

Cobblestone Grill

Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant

Divvy

Eddie Merlot's

Fleming's Prime Steakhouse

The Gathering Bistro & Pub at Geist

Hall's Castleton Grill

Harry & Izzy's North

Hellas Cafe

Hollyhock Hill*

J. Razzos (Carmel)

J. Razzos (Westfield)

Late Harvest Kitchen

The Local Eatery & Pub

The Loft at Traders Point Creamery

MacKenzie River Pizza Company (Carmel)

MacKenzie River Pizza Company (82nd Street)

Matt the Miller's Tavern

Mellow Mushroom*

Melting Pot

North End BBQ*

Oakley’s Bistro

Ocean Prime

Patrick's Kitchen and Drinks*

Peterson's

Pizzology

Rockstone Pizza & Pub

Sahm's Restaurant & Bar

Scarlet Whiskey & Wine Bar

Scotty's Brewhouse

Seasons 52

Stone Creek Dining (Noblesville)

Stone Creek Dining (Zionsville)

Sullivan's Steak House

Woody's Library

The list of participating restaurants and corresponding menus will be updated online at NorthsideNightsIndy.com. Additional information and special offers will also be posted on the Northside Nights Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

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.

Monday, September 15

Broadway in Cincinnati 2014 - 2015 Season Includes Redheads, Lions and Elves

Cincinnati is only an hour and 15 minutes away from Indy and a skip across the river from Louisville. It only makes sense to include Cincy in your go-to towns, pop over and catch a live show and escape for a weekend.

This is particularly true if you see a show in the 2014 - 2015 season lineup that Indianapolis or Louisville doesn't have in its schedule (click here to see Indy's lineup), or (click here to see Louisville's schedule). Or, perhaps you missed the show in your own city.

Either way, Cincinnati has grand hotels, like Netherland, tasty food like in the hip OTR neighborhood or at Moerlein Lagerhouse, and listed below are the great shows to catch while in town.





Broadway in Cincinnati
2014 - 2015 Season

DIRTY DANCING
September 23 – October 5, 2014
It’s the summer of 1963, and 17 year-old Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman is about to learn some major lessons in life as well as a thing or two about dancing. On vacation in New York’s Catskill Mountains with her older sister and parents, Baby shows little interest in the resort activities, and instead discovers her own entertainment when she stumbles upon the staff quarters when an all-night dance party is in full swing. Mesmerized by the raunchy dance moves and the pounding rhythms, Baby can’t wait to be part of the scene, especially when she catches sight of Johnny Castle the resort dance instructor.

ONCE
November 11 – 23, 2014
Winner of 8 2012 Tony Awards including Best Musical, an impressive ensemble of actor/musicians play their own instruments onstage. A Dublin street musician is about to give up on his dream when a beautiful young woman takes a sudden interest in his haunting love songs. As the chemistry between them grows, his music soars to powerful new heights. It's an unforgettable story about going for your dreams and the power of music to connect us all.

ELF The Musical
December 2 – 7, 2014
 
Buddy, a young orphan child, mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy’s enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity, and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.

CINDERELLA
January 6 – 18, 2014
 
This production features an incredible orchestra, jaw-dropping transformations and all the moments you love—the pumpkin, the glass slipper, the masked ball and more—plus some surprising new twists. Be transported back to your childhood as you rediscover some of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s most beloved songs, including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible” and “Ten Minutes Ago,” in this Broadway experience for anyone who’s ever had a wish, a dream... or a really great pair of shoes.

ANYTHING GOES
February 17 – 22, 2014
All aboard for this winner of three 2011 Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival and Choreography as Cole Porter’s musical comedy is sailing to Cincinnati. When the S.S. American heads out to sea, etiquette and convention get tossed out the portholes as two unlikely pairs set off on the course to true love…proving that sometimes destiny needs a little help from a crew of singing sailors, an exotic disguise and some good old-fashioned blackmail. Peppering this timeless classic are some of musical theatre’s most memorable standards, including “I Get A Kick Out Of You,” “You’re the Top,” and of course, “Anything Goes.”

Disney’s THE LION KING
March 31 – April 26, 2015
Cincinnati’s best-loved musical makes a triumphant return to the Aronoff Center following its record-breaking 2007 engagement. Marvel at the breathtaking spectacle of animals brought to life and thrill to the pulsating rhythms of the African Pridelands and an unforgettable score including Elton John and Tim Rice’s Oscar-winning song “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” and “Circle of Life.” Let your imagination run wild when the Tony Award-winning Broadway sensation returns to the stage.

I LOVE LUCY LIVE ON STAGE
June 2 – 14, 2015
It’s 1952 and you are a member of the studio audience awaiting the filming of two hilarious and oh-so-familiar I LOVE LUCY episodes. Stepping back in time onto the Desilu Playhouse soundstage, a charming host entertains and enlightens you to the behind-the-scenes filming process, the 1950s hi-fidelity technology and this brand-new thing called “television.” The episodes begin and you witness, firsthand, the side-splitting antics in the Ricardo’s New York apartment and thrill to the Cuban sounds of “The Ricky Ricardo Orchestra” at the famed Tropicana Nightclub. In-between scenes? The Crystaltone Singers perform live advertising jingles of the show’s newest sponsors in perfect 50s style harmony. Can you say “Brylcreem?!”


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, September 13

Wanted: Halloween Inspired Cocktails 2014

2012 winning entry LastDropBar.com
Think you (or your mixologist) has the best recipe for a cocktail inspired by Halloween? Selected Halloween-inspired cocktails will be featured in Gotta Go, giving readers the Top 10 best entries to enjoy and create with the 3rd annual Top 10 Best Halloween Cocktails 2014.

All recipes, images and contact information for the submission need to be in via email to elizabeth@gottago.us or elizabethjmusgrave@gmail.com, by Friday, October 10, 2014. Posting will occur the week of October 26. This will be a fun way for readers to enjoy cocktails made with great products and inspired by a ghoulish holiday.


All entries must include images of the cocktail and all of the below information (template below). Please remember to send a Twitter handle/link and website link. This helps the readers go immediately to you and check out how wonderful your company, bar, restaurant, et al, is and follow you on Twitter.

Those chosen will be featured on GottaGo.us. 

E-mail submissions only are required, no physical attendance needed for this one.

Include (in order and completely) the following information:

1) Cocktail's themed name

2) Bar/company/restaurant/mixologist/winery name and location

3) Website and Twitter handle so readers can check you out!

4) Recipe, including measurements, garnish and glassware

**Don't forget** 
5) Inspiration for drink-obviously Halloween, but what exactly inspired you to make this particular drink? The idea is to feature cocktails inspired by Halloween and all the scary, fun, ghoulish feelings about the holiday. Let your imagination run wild with this one...it can go many directions: Candy, apples, Jack-o-lanterns, costumes, movies, songs, vampires ...you get the idea!

6) Image-Please make sure it is a good quality.

This is open to anyone within the spirits/wine/beer company/restaurant realm including mixologists, bars, fine dining, bartenders, sommeliers, hotels, companies, spirit entrepreneurs, et cetera.

***Special Note***
Several cocktails were disqualified in past Top 10 cocktail lists due to the drink name and/or inspiration missing or not applicable to the theme. Let's see your best themed drink! Sending in a cocktail with a non-themed name and/or inspiration will, unfortunately, be disqualified.

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.