Wednesday, December 7

Theater Review: Theatre on the Square (TOTS): A Christmas Survival


So many delightful, and deserving, events to attend and performances to review... in that vein, an opportunity has presented itself to me. A gentleman in the world of theater for whom I have much respect has transplanted from New York City to his hometown of Indianapolis and offered to relieve me of some of the numerous reviews worthy of attention in town.


Without further ado ~ enter a review by John Simmons ...

A Christmas Survival Guide has been a staple of many Christmases Past but, even if you’ve seen the show before, you haven’t seen the version now being performed at Theatre On The Square’s intimate, cabaret-style Stage 2 Theater. The TOTS’ creative team has refurbished this holiday chestnut with an assortment of up-to-the-minute pop culture references, well-placed four-letter words and sexy double entendres.

How much a particular sketch tickles your funny bone will, of course, depend on your particular brand of humor. Some standouts include: a hyper-sexed rendition of ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ (with and Eric Brockett); a hilariously hyper-frenzied rendition of ‘Sleigh Ride’ (Anna, Shauna Smith and singing standout Josiah McCruistion); Mrs. Claus (Eric, in drag and employing an accent of undetermined origin) complaining about being neglected by her husband, especially on Christmas Eve; a lonely young woman (Gabby Niehaus) hitting up a department store Santa (Josiah) for a date to the office Christmas party; and a lusty Saint Nick himself (Josiah) extolling the virtues of being ‘the man with the bag’ when attracting the ladies.
Pet owners, in particular, will appreciate the holiday gift exchange between a dog, a cat and their human (Anna, Eric and Josiah). Those who’ve seen the show undoubtedly have favorites of their own (as will you).

The humor is broad and adults only, and some sketches work better than others. A Christmas Carol, it’s not. A Christmas Guide’s laughs also work best when they are shared with others. So, this holiday season – if you and your friends are looking for something more naughty than nice – why not trot down to TOTS and spend an evening with A Christmas Guide’s lively cast (ably assisted by Stage Manager and Cast Member Nikki Sayer and skilled piano man Levi Burke) in ushering in some Yuletide cheer?

The show’s setup is simple: the play’s characters are reading chapters from Dr. Holly’s self-help book, A Christmas Survival Guide, with pre-recorded voice overs letting the audience in on the advice being read. There’s no real story line, but a series of musical comedy sketches (with many offering new takes on classic Christmas songs) about maintaining a brave face when celebrating Christmas in the modern age.
Images: TOTS
John Simmons recently moved back to his hometown of Indianapolis from New York City, where he stage managed or produced numerous off-Broadway shows. John was also General Manager of The Active Theater. Active Theater alumni who have gone on to bigger and better things include Grace Gealey (aka Anika on Fox’s Empire) and Lucy Owens (now appearing in Miss Sloane).

Elizabeth J. Musgrave writes magazine food and wine column: Destination Dining and is a travel, features, food and wine writer, travel and food photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic. 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.

Thursday, November 10

Hyatt’s Christmas in the Kitchen 2016

The holidays are a special time of year, with hope and joy being shared. This year, many people have told me they need a little extra happiness in their lives. It has truly been a rough journey these past few months for all of us. But, I imagine, not as difficult as some children and their families have it. I recommend reaching out to give back to someone who needs joy in their lives this year to find the happiness and joy we need in our lives right now.

Here is one way ~

Indianapolis’ premier holiday event, Hyatt’s Christmas in the Kitchen, returns to benefit Indiana Children’s Wish Fund and grant special Christmas wishes for Indiana Wish children. The holiday food extravaganza takes place Dec. 8 in downtown Indy's Hyatt Regency, 1 S. Capitol. The event is held in the Hyatt’s main kitchen and ballroom beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Guests will enjoy a wide assortment of delicious appetizers, entrees, desserts, famous “Polar Bear” drinks, wine and spirits. All of the culinary creations, crafted by Executive Chef Rolf Rothen and his culinary team, will be prepared right in front of the guests in the Hyatt kitchen.

An elaborate silent auction is held throughout the event to raise funds for the wishes of Indiana's littlest patients.
Individual tickets are $150 (admittance into the event with seating) or $100 per person (admittance into the event without seating). They are almost sold out, so get them quickly.

Indiana Children’s Wish Fund, established in 1984, grants wishes to Indiana children, ages 3-18, who suffer from a life-threatening illness. Wishes include trips to the beach, Disney, shopping sprees, meeting celebrities, family vacations and home computers. To date, the organization has granted more than 3,300 wishes to Indiana children.

Reservations are limited. To purchase tickets, contact Indiana Children’s Wish Fund at (317) 913-WISH or visit IndyWish.org. 


Indiana Children's Wish Fund Mission
"We grant wishes to Indiana children, ages 3-18, who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening or terminal illness. Our mission is to bring joy, something to look forward to, and a sense of normalcy to special kids in our state. We are Indiana Children’s Wish Fund."

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. 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, July 6

Restaurant Review: Bravo Cucina Italiana

I hadn't been to Bravo Cucina Italiana restaurant since I judged their chef competition a few years back. So, when invited to check out the new Savory Summer Nights menu, I accepted and stopped in for a bite.

Located on Indianapolis'  north side, and about two dozen states, I chose to try out the Willow Lake spot. (Click here for all locations) First, a quick run down:

Restaurant: Bravo Cucina Italiana
Dress: Casual
Cost: $$$$

Menu: Italian
Antipasti Salad
For those who have not eaten at Bravo, each restaurant is allowed to tweak the menu slightly, which you will want to keep in mind while scanning the online menu.

The most noticeable difference, I found, is the wine list.

I tasted a couple appetizers, three entrees, a salad, and a dessert or two. Also, a peach Bellini found its way to my table, along with a wine I selected from the list.

Grilled Chicken entree
The service was friendly and casual ~ don't dine here if you prefer the more formal atmosphere and staff.

What I had

Antipasti Salad: Romaine, sopressata, Provolone, pepperoncini, red onion, black olives, marinated red peppers, basil, oregano, red wine vinaigrette ($5.99). Well priced and large in size, I recommend sharing this if you plan on having any apps and entrees.

Calamari Fritti: Creamy horseradish, Pomodoro sauces ($12.29). Again, portions are meant for sharing, and the horseradish sauce is not too hot for enjoyment.
Crispy Shrimp Napoli: Green onions, charred tomato Napoli sauce ($12.99). Although I soldiered on with entrees, I could have stopped after these two appetizers and been perfectly content with the flavors, quality and value. Plan on sharing, and eating with a fork, rather than a finger food style appetizer.
Crab-crusted Salmon

Grilled Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomato Goat Cheese: Herb marinated chicken breast, pesto bread crumbs, Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, haricot vert, lemon butter ($14.99). This is definitely my favorite (not counting dessert) food tried. The flavor combination was balanced and the chicken juicy.


Shrimp Scampi Pasta: Fresh capellini, tomatoes, lemon, white wine, chili flake, pesto bread crumbs, garlic crostini ($13.99). The lemon and white wine sauce is simply divine with the capellini pasta and flash seared shrimp. I would like to see the shrimp grilled instead, which would add a nice layer of flavor to this dish.

Crab Crusted Salmon: Roasted red peppers, zucchini, spinach, lemon butter, crispy fingerling potatoes. This is definitely for the heat lover with the Cajun spices on the farm-raised salmon.
Warm Cookie Butter Blondie

Warm Cookie Butter Blondie: Vanilla bean gelato, cookie butter caramel, and sugared pretzels ($5.49). Served warm, the brownie was the perfect ending for the meal ~ and created an unsharing streak in me. With vanilla bean gelato atop, melting slowly into the blondie, this is considered a two-spoon dish for good reason.

Drinks: Peach Bellini: (Pictured at top of page) Slushy-style and garnished with a fresh strawberry gives this drink the extra touch to make it a hot-afternoon must.

Wine: Although the list was Sauvignon Blanc-heavy, I found a bottle of Chardonnay from Sicily (Porta Palo $26), which was absolutely delightful. Tropical fruit forward, the white wine is thirst quenching and pairs perfectly with all three entrees. The only downside is the price on the wine, which is triple retail (This is typical in restaurant, btw).

Bottom Line: Bravo's Savory Summer Nights menu offers a value-driven menu for the Italian foodie.



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, June 19

Movie Review: Finding Dory

Finding Dory may just be the most anticipated movie of all time. Seriously. We all assumed after the hit of Finding Nemo, and the instant adoration of Dory, the tang with a memory handicap, a sequel would be spewed out asap.

At least within a couple or three years. Year after year went by with no Dory. It became obvious there would not be a sequel, after all. Then the unthinkable happened: a sequel after 13 years. The worries became how it would do at the box office and whether the story line would be worth the wait and as interesting as the original film.

Worry no more. All is well with Dory and the Disney-Pixar team created another blockbuster with its sequel. We learn about Dory's "childhood" and how she came to be on her own.

Ellen Degeneres' brilliance, and popularity, comes from her ability to present Dory as an adorably naive without being annoyingly ditzy, showing glimmers of misunderstood brilliance in her approach to life and its challenges.
As Dory seeks out her parents, Nemo and Marlin follow along to find her. Although Dory discovers her memory during the journey, Marlin discovers how important Dory is to him and his family. Many laughs happen along the way, and new characters are introduced.

Perhaps the story line seems a little preachy to some, but it is truly a worthy message concerning caring for sea life, and the importance of family.

Bottom Line: Finding Dory is a must see film, which stands on its own or, as a sequel to Finding Nemo. Plan on a third movie to round out the set. Pray it doesn't take another 13 years.

Cast List
Dory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .ELLEN DEGENERES
Marlin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .ALBERT BROOKS
Hank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ED O’NEILL
Destiny . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .KAITLIN OLSON
Nemo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . HAYDEN ROLENCE
Bailey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . TY BURRELL 
Jenny . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DIANE KEATON 
Charlie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .EUGENE LEVY 
Young Dory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SLOANE MURRAY 
Fluke . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .IDRIS ELBA 
Rudder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DOMINIC WEST 
Mr. Ray . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BOB PETERSON 
Wife Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . KATE MCKINNON 
Husband Fish (Stan) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .BILL HADER 
Sigourney Weaver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SIGOURNEY WEAVER 
Passenger Carl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ALEXANDER GOULD 
Gerald . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . TORBIN XAN BULLOCK 
Crush . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ANDREW STANTON 
Chickenfish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . KATHERINE RINGGOLD
Tween Dory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LUCIA GEDDES 
Squirt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BENNETT DAMMANN 
Husband Crab (Bill) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . JOHN RATZENBERGER 
Sunfish “Charlie Back and Forth” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ANGUS MACLANE 
Gill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .WILLEM DAFOE 
Bloat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BRAD GARRETT 
Peach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ALLISON JANNEY 
Gurgle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . AUSTIN PENDLETON 
Bubbles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . STEPHEN ROOT 
Deb (& Flo) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .VICKI LEWIS 
Jacques . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . JEROME RANFT

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, May 31

Chef Joseph’s at The Connoisseur Room: Summer 2016 Line up


As you may have guessed, Chef Joseph's, 115 E. Ohio St., is one of my favorite restaurants and hangouts in Indianapolis. Now, they have heard the cry of theater goers' needs for needing a place to go after the curtains close and have opened their posh place for late diners.

The downtown hot spot is pleased and honored to be named as one of Indy's 2016 Top 10 locations for Jazz in Indianapolis. The RAT pack-ish eatery has announced its live, local entertainment schedule.

Beginning in June, additional hours will be added to their Thursday and Friday evenings from 11 pm – 2 am. Featuring Jan & Casey's Groove Machine, the Charlie Balentine Trio, King Crabb, Ferris, the Yeager Swing Quartet, the James Knott Trio, Cozy Myers, Xenobia Green, Nancy Moore, Matthew Houghland, Yvonne Allu and Co., the late-night favored spot accepts reservations at ChefJosephs.com/reservations.

For more information about Chef Joseph’s at The Connoisseur Room, go to ChefJosephs.com

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, May 11

Indiana Historical Society (IHS) Concerts on the Canal 2016 Lineup

Thursday nights spent lounging along the canal in Downtown Indianapolis is a favorite among urbanites. A bottle (or two) of wine, nibblers and a blanket is all that is required for those wishing to enjoy the evening. The Concerts on the Canal series is hosted by the Indiana Historical Society throughout the summer.

This summer's concerts run from May 26 through July 28 with the new Free Admission Thursdays, which includes extended hours in the venue on concert dates. 

Musical entertainment begins at 6 p.m. on concert Thursdays and will feature a variety of styles from jazz, blues and swing to rock, R&B and pop favorites.
Free seating is available on the grassy knoll, which is across the canal from the History Center. Guests can also purchase seating on the History Center's Kruse Family Stardust Terrace in tables of eight ($50/$40 IHS members) or tables of four ($40/$30 IHS members), and single-seats at the community table ($10/$8 for IHS members).

No pets or smoking are allowed on the Terrace.

Patio visitors are welcome to bring their own food and non-alcoholic beverages. All alcohol must be purchased on-site, and a cash bar will be offered. Guests can also purchase food from Hoaglin To Go, available through the History Center's Stardust Terrace Café and at an outdoor grill.

The History Center will offer free admission and extended hours on concert dates, until 8 p.m. Concertgoers are encouraged to take full advantage of access to the Indiana Experience, as well as a weekly selection of IHS's traveling exhibits. Exhibits explore topics such as Indiana disasters, the state's rich automotive past, the lives of Hoosiers during Prohibition and more.
In addition, IHS is making it possible for guests to enjoy a free day of fun and music leading up to the city's 4th of July fireworks. On Monday, July 4, the History Center will be open from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., with free admission. From 5 - 9:30 p.m., IHS will offer a special patriotic concert.

The Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, home of IHS and the Indiana Experience, is located at 450 W. Ohio St., downtown along the canal.


Membership, information and resources: (317) 232-1882 or IndianaHistory.org.

Concerts on the Canal 2016

May 26
Concert: The Cool City Band, featuring Shannon Forsell, Jimmy Guilford and Laney Wilson
(Swingin' music from the lounge era)
Traveling Exhibition: One Shot: The WWII Photography of John A. Bushemi

June 2
Concert: Flying Toasters (High energy dance favorites)
Traveling Exhibition: Hoosiers and Their Hooch: Perspectives on Prohibition

June 9
Concert: Actors Theatre of Indiana (Cole Porter Birthday Celebration)
Traveling Exhibition: A Visual Journey: From AIDS to Marriage Equality by Mark A. Lee

June 16
Concert: Indy Nile (Eclectic mix of classic rock, funk and blues)
Traveling Exhibition: The Great War: From Ration Lines to the Front Lines

June 23
Concert: The Funk Quarter (New Orleans Rhythm and Blues)
Traveling Exhibition: Steamboats a Comin' The Legacy of the New Orleans

June 30
Concert: Everett Greene (Love songs and jazz standards)
Traveling Exhibition: Auto Indiana

July 4
Concert: Indianapolis Municipal Band (5 to 6 p.m.) (Patriotic tunes and marches)
The Tad Robinson Band (7:30 to 9:30 p.m.) (Americana, soul and roots)
Traveling Exhibition: Faces in the Crowd: Indiana and the Political Process

July 7
Concert: Greta Speaks (Rock and pop classics)
Traveling Exhibition: Who is a Hoosier?

July 14
Concert: Brenda Williams (Classic R&B hits from the '60s and '70s)
Traveling Exhibition: The Golden Age: Indiana Literature (1880-1920)

July 21
Concert: IUPUI: David Mannell featuring Laura Hammer-Erhart, Becky Barton and Heather Hinton
(Bicentennial tribute and nostalgic favorites)
Traveling Exhibition: Auto Indiana

July 28
Concert: The Bishops (Party songs you love to dance to)
Traveling Exhibition: Indiana Disasters

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, 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.

*******
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.

********

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

*********

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.