Sunday, October 30

Concert Review: The Cabaret: Stephanie J.Block

Stephanie J. Block             Image/Mark A Lee of Great Exposures
Stephanie J. Block lit up the poshest venue in Indianapolis Friday evening with her wit, energy and talent. The Cabaret at The Columbia Club, 121 Monument Circle, aka the third floor's Crystal Terrace, twinkled with stardust as Block brought her own brand of vivaciousness to attendees of the upscale club's annual fundraiser.
Block and Jackman Photo/Joan Marcus
The star of Broadway hits such as "The Boy from Oz" and "Wicked," channels Liza Minnelli, Block's best friend. "Just don't tell Liza," she jokes and immediately outshines even the room's lovely crystal chandeliers with "Ring Them Bells" and "Maybe This Time."

As sweet as a cupcake -- infused with a shot of bourbon -- Block packs an unforeseen punch with the innocent "Never Neverland (Fly Away)" only to give that spirited kick with "Defying Gravity." Proving executive director Shannon Forsell still has the golden touch in bringing quality talent to the Circle City; Block brought the audience to its feet for three separate ovations throughout the performance.

Image/Bill Westmoreland
Block's CD, "this place i know" includes fun, female-friendly "15 Pounds (away from my love)," the heartbreaking "The Hardest Part of Love," and "I Will Always Love You," as a duet with Dolly Parton.

Bottom Line: Stephanie J. Block lights up The Cabaret at The Columbia Club with her thousand-watt charm and talent. "this place i know" showcases Block's range with songs from fun and sassy to reflective and somber.

For tickets, complete schedule, upcoming performances and directions, visit The Cabaret at The Columbia Club.

Thanks to Mark A. Lee of GreatExposures.net

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC, and follow her on Twitter @GottaGo and Facebook. Gotta Go is published in M magazine and the following newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter.

Wednesday, October 19

Review: ThrillCall

Often, nowadays, I am asked to review more than live performances, food, wine, hotels, spas, and my other standard items. (The list grows more and more.) It has extended to items I have not reviewed, or tried, before. I am always partial to broadening my horizons, so I said yes when asked to check out and give an opinion on a concert website, ThrillCall.com. 
The gist of this site is to make your life easier in regard to locating, remembering and buying tickets for, musical artists. It seems to be a similar idea to Travelocity, in that they find the lowest price for tickets and allow you to decide, only it's for music. Only there is much more on this site than just ticket purchasing. An interesting concept; it makes me wonder if theater is next to receive the comparison site treatment. Having not delved into this new style of site more than the everyday concert attendee, I was rather pleased.

The site is user-friendly with  quick page loading, easy to locate sections, such as calendar, reviews, etc., and the sign up form is short and simple. Always a plus, in my book.

Also, the customizing to my musical preferences is a huge plus. If you do not want to be notified of every concert within the confines of the United States, no problem. Just click a few places and narrow it down greatly to just locals, for instance, or certain genres, artists, or venues. Also handy is the ability to follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

I look forward to delving into this site more and read the reviews, bios on artists, and the calendar. But, please check it out and give me some feedback. I am always open to your knowledge and experiences and would like to hear if this site is as good as it seems.

Website: ThrillCall.com

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC, and follow her on Twitter @GottaGo and Facebook. Gotta Go is published in the following newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter.

Tuesday, October 18

Movie Review: The Way Heartland Film Festival 2011

"The Way" is written and directed by Emilio Estevez, ("Bobby" 2006) and stars Martin Sheen (Apocolypse Now 1979, The American President 1995) as the play-it-safe father, Tom Avery. Son Daniel, portrayed by Estevez, has a different outlook on life. In fact, they are polar opposites. As Daniel explains to his life-numb dad, "You don't choose a life, you live one."

Ironically, Tom is an opthalmologist who helps his patients see things much more clearly than he sees things himself.

Wrapped up in his country-club lifestyle, Tom receives the call every parent fears.

Flying to St. Jean Pied de Port, France to retrieve his son's body, Tom learns Daniel died while taking the Christian pilgrimage known as Camino de Santiago, The Way of Saint James, or "The Way" for short. It involves trekking across 800 kilometers of Spain's countryside with the end destination of the Santiago de Compostela cathedral in Galicia.
Receiving the ultimate seal of approval, a golden, heart-shaped wreath, during Indianapolis' Heartland Film Festival this year, is a sure sign the film is going to touch you emotionally. Truly Moving Pictures awards the wreath to movies believed will touch viewers and make a difference in the world.
The personal triumphs, setbacks and internal healing throughout the journey will have you near tears more than once. To avoid creating a film too depressing to watch, Estevez wisely allows Sheen's charm and one-line quips to lighten the mood.
Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez in "The Way"
Helping in that respect are fellow travelers, a Dutch marijuana enthusiast (Yorick van Geningen) who 
has a penchant for eating, an angry young Canadian woman (Deborah Kara Unger) and a creative writer form Ireland (James Nesbitt) who comes along the trip to find a new storyline.

The mood of the film boomerangs, logically, as the various characters deal with their inner demons. To have it any other way would have been a false path to choose, and as fans of Estevez knows, he stays true to a story line.
Bottom Line: See. It. Now. "The Way" celebrates life and death, bringing forth emotions you had forgotten.


*Opening October 21 in theaters across the United States.
Photos: Submitted by production
Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC, and follow her on Twitter @GottaGo and Facebook. Gotta Go is published in M magazine and the following newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter.

Monday, October 17

Theater Review: Beef and Boards: It's a Wonderful Life

Stockberger and Hopkins
"It's a Wonderful Life" opens Indianapolis' holiday season this week on stage at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre. The classic Christmas tale of learning to appreciate and having faith in yourself and others is a favorite with audiences.

The "Gotta Go" spotlight shines strongest on three individuals. Destination Actors, Eddie Curry as Clarence-Angel Second Class, Jeff Stockberger as Pa Bailey and Uncle Billy, and Sean Patrick Hopkins as George Bailey. Curry and Stockberger both have a strong presence on stage and many actors fade when onstage with either.

Hopkins makes his debut on B&B's stage with a performance that, rather noticeably, varies based on which other actor is onstage. His performance actually seems to match theirs. The stronger and more confident the other actor, the stronger and more confident his own performance becomes. An unusual personality quirk to be certain.
Hopkins and DiLellio

Hopkins' time with Betsy DiLellio as Mary Hatch Bailey, seemed to be spent holding back, perhaps not wanting to upstage anyone? Perhaps he felt he should blend in with the others. When George unleashes his feelings for Mary, the audience gets a more true sense of his ability.

Subsequently, when Stockberger's Uncle Billy, the absent-minded and often drunk relative, loses a large sum of money, Hopkins' performance comes alive. It is difficult to share the stage with someone who is larger than you, both with stage presence and true physical size, but it seemed to light the fire needed in Hopkins. The intensity with which he rallies as he loses patience with Billy's ineptitude (portrayed dead-on by Stockberger) is a marvel to watch as Billy cowers in fear and shame.

Curry and Hopkins
Hopkins' portrayal as George in deep despair, anger and desperation while interacting with the strength of Curry's enchanting portrayal of Clarence is the other highlight of the show. The two battling it out verbally while fighting George's internal demons bring out the confidence in the younger actor. The pair pulled the audience into the moment of heated debate while retaining the necessary disbelief of the situation by George.

Bottom Line: Curry, Stockberger and Hopkins create the energy in Beef and Boards' It's a Wonderful Life.

For tickets, schedule and performances, visit BeefandBoards.com
Photo credit: JulieCurryPhotography

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC, and follow her on Twitter @GottaGo and Facebook. Gotta Go is published in M magazine and the following newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter.

Sunday, October 16

Heartland Film Festival 2011 Announces Winners

Heartland Film Festival 2011 celebrates its 20th anniversary with well known directors, such as Angelo Pizzo (Hoosiers, Rudy), Corbin Bernsen (Carpool Guy, Donna on Demand) and Emilio Estevez (The Way, Bobby) alongside high school first-timers. The Indianapolis-based festival, which runs through Saturday, Oct., 22, is designated as the "festival with heart" supporting films which touch viewers emotionally.

Martin Sheen, David Alexanian and Emilio Estevez of The Way
Cash prizes accompany the awards, including $100,000 grand prize for the Narrative Feature category, which tops the prize money given at Sundance, Tribeca and Toronto film festivals. Winners were announced Saturday, October 15, at the Murat Theatre in Old National Centre, Indianapolis.

2011 Winners
Award for High School Film Competition
($2,500) "Sacrifices of my Father" (Miguel Lopez)
Vision Award for Best Short Film
($10,000) "Thief" (Julian Higgins)
Award for Best Documentary Feature
($25,000) "Crime After Crime" (Yoav Potash)
Grand Prize for Narrative Feature
($100,000)-"Red Dog" (Nelson Woss)

Red Dog, an Australian film by Nelson Woss, is about a dog loved by all who loses its owner. The true tale  has touched the hearts of more than Aussies. It has crossed the pond and looks toward being release, possibly, in the U.S. It can be viewed at AMC Showcase 17 Wednesday, Oct., 19 and Saturday, Oct., 22; and at AMC Castleton Square Friday, Oct. 21.
Rohan Nichol and Nelson Woss of Red Dog

For a full time schedule and list of films of Heartland Film Festival 2011,
visit TrulyMovingPictures.org.
Photo Credit: Izzy Evans
Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as Indy’s Arts & Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC, and follow her on Twitter @GottaGo and Facebook. Gotta Go is published in the following newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter.

Friday, October 14

Theater Review: Broadway Across America Beauty and the Beast

Broadway Across America brings Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" to the stage at Clowes Memorial Hall, Indianapolis, this week. Little girls in attendance were in ribbons, patent leather shoes and their prettiest Belle gown or pink frock with the young lads sporting similar style as parents and children came in anticipation of a bigger-than-life story.

Emily Behny as Belle, seems a little lost in the show's beginning, gaining confidence in the second act with her vocals growing stronger, most notably in "A Change in Me." Her strongest trait, compassion, shows during the reading aloud to Beast, portrayed by Dane Agostinis, in the library and the dinner table scenes.

The highly anticipated "Be Our Guest" music and dance scene not only did not disappoint, it was the highlight of the evening. The excellent choreography by Matt West brings dishes, silverware and condiments to life, including Radio City Music Hall's Rockettes-style moves to the delight of parents and children.

Photo by Joan Marcus
Noteworthy, also, are two side characters. Michael Haller turns in the most solid performance of the cast as Lumiere the candelabra. Jordan Moore was delightful as Chip the teacup.

Make note that although "Beauty and the Beast" is considered a children's program, there are two points which may make even broad-minded parents uncomfortable. First, the feather duster, Babbette, bends over seductively, calling out Lumierre's name in an attempt to attract his attention. Second, Madame de la Grande Bouche pulls a silver flask, yes I said flask, out of the bosom of her dress and takes a few swigs of what we are to assume is alcohol.

The remainder of the program is kid-friendly offering a fun introduction for first-time theater attendees. I recommend sitting in the first ten rows in order to get the full measure of the streamers and special effects.

Bottom Line: Broadway Across America brings Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" to Indianapolis with flash, Champagne and dancing dishes.

For tickets and schedule, visit BroadwayAcrossAmerica.com
Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as Indy’s Arts & Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC, and follow her on Twitter @GottaGO and Facebook. Gotta Go is published in the following newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter.

Wednesday, October 12

Heartland Film Festival 2011 Film Schedule


Heartland Film Festival 2011 
20th Annual Film Festival: Oct. 13-22

A record 129 American and international films will screen during the 2011 Heartland Film Festival, which takes place throughout Indianapolis.

For premiere of The Way and complete 2011 Heartland Film Festival lineup, visit HeartlandFilmFestival.org.

All cash prizes and awards will be presented at the annual Heartland Film Festival Awards Ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 15 at the Old National Centre in downtown Indianapolis. The first evening of film screenings will take place Friday, Oct. 14 at AMC Castleton Square 14 on the Northside, where all award-winning films will be shown and the Crystal Heart Awards for short films will be presented.
In addition to the Award-winning films, Heartland will also screen Official 
Selection films. These films are not in competition for the cash prizes, but are eligible for the Audience Choice Awards. Regular screenings of both Official Selection and Award winning films will take place Saturday, Oct. 16-Saturday, Oct. 23 at AMC Castleton Square 14 and AMC Showplace Indianapolis 17 on the southside.

Official Selection films included under the narrative features category:
25 Hill, A Buddy Story, A Year in Mooring, Africa United, An Ordinary Family, For Robbing The Dead, Janie Jones, Little Red Wagon, Love Birds, The Lutefisk Wars, Much Ado About Nothing, My Last Day Without You, Nathan and the Luthier, October Baby, Peloton, Saigon Electric, Score: A Hockey Musical, Somebody's Hero, The Selling, Sophie, Trinity Goodheart, Unicorn City and Works in Progress.
Official Selection films under the documentary features category: 
A People Uncounted, A Journey In My Mother's Footsteps, Becoming Santa, The Blood in this Town, Boys of Bonneville: Racing on a Ribbon of Salt, Child of Giants: My Journey with Maynard Dixon and Dorothea Lange, Digital Man/Digital World, Dying to do Letterman, Family of the Wa'a, First Generation, Give A Damn?, God In The Box, Happy You're Alive, The Loving Story, Malaki-Scent of an Angel, More To Live For, Mulberry Child, My So-Called Enemy, The Peddler, The Pruitt-Igoe Myth: An Urban History, The Redemption of General Butt Naked, Sarabah. These Amazing Shadows, Why I Write: The Twin Poets, The Welcome, YERT - Your Environmental Road Trip and Zero Percent. 

Official Selection films under the short film category: 
Azad (Free), Bahiya & Mahmoud, Berliner Osten (East Of Berlin), Blood Ties, Blue, The Burying Beetle, Challenging Impossibility, The Country Club, Crossing Salween, Day Of Rememberance, Desperate Crossing, The Dreamer, Dreamgiver, Drum Beats, Fatakra (Firecracker), Ghild, The Girl And The Fox, Girlie Jar, The Greatest Return, Grow Up Already, Gu Yeo-Rum-Eui Ba-Da (A Scene At Sea), Habibti, Journey Of The Beams, Knight To D7, Kofi, Le Jeu Des Soldats, Library Of Dust, Living For 32, Magic Orange, The Man Who Never Cried, Miyuki's Wind Bell, North Atlantic, Old Radicals, Paper Flower, Persimmon, The Quiet Life, Raise My Hands, Saving Pelican 895, Scraps, Sin País (Without Country), Sun City Picture House, Sunnyview, Take 2, The Telegram Man, Twins, Two Life, Vibrations

Special events
  • The 10-day film festival opens Thursday, Oct. 13 with the screening of The Way, starring Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevezscheduled to be at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
  • Additional events include the annual Heartland Film Festival Awards Ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 15 where attendees can experience the glitz and glamour of Hollywood at the Old National Centre downtown.
    • Sunday, Oct. 16 presents an opportunity to meet with Festival filmmakers during Reel Conversations: the Filmmakers’ Brunch at the Omni Severin Hotel and the Family Movie Event on Sunday, Oct. 16 featuring The Lost Medallion: The Adventures of Billy Stone at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
  • Film enthusiasts can attend the Heartland Institute Seminars for free on Monday, Oct. 18 at 7:30 pm and on Wednesday, Oct. 20 at 7:00pm at the Castleton AMC theater to hear Heartland Film Festival Award-winning and Official Selection filmmakers as they break down their filmmaking process from screenwriting to directing to producing.
  • The Festival will come to a close on Saturday, Oct. 22 at the Indianapolis Museum of Art with the time twister, Shuffle, starring T.J. Thyne, and the announcement of the 2011 Audience Choice Award winners.
Ticket Information
Regular screening tickets are available at http://www.trulymovingpictures.org/heartland-film-festival/tickets/ by calling 866-HFF-1010, or at theaters during the festival. Single tickets are $7.50 each when purchased in advance online or through the ticket line. Tickets purchased at the theaters are $9 each.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as Indy’s Arts & Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC, and follow her on Twitter @GottaGo and Facebook. Gotta Go is published in the following newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter.

Sunday, October 9

Theater Review: From Dark Pages tracks Jack the Ripper

Progressive plays lead the audience throughout an area rather than performing on stage in front of a sitting audience. From Dark Pages is performed in this method, covering the three-story 1865 home known as the Morris-Butler House, 1204 N. Park Ave., Indianapolis.

Being new to this type of theater, it didn't take a second thought to accept an invitation extended by Indiana Landmarks organization. It's best to arrive 15 minutes early as the performance starts promptly.
Upon arrival, you are escorted or directed toward the sitting room to await host Dr. Watson, portrayed by Terry Wetherald. Yes, that Dr. Watson of Sherlock Holmes' fame. Author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, performed by John Skipper, arrives to help guide the audience throughout the museum to meet Victorian-era characters (remember to curtsy or bow to the Queen) and uncover facts regarding infamous Jack the Ripper.

The ultimate goal is to discover the true identity of London's murderer of Whitechapel's ladies of the evening. One such lady, Elizabeth Stride, portrayed by Cyndi Skipper, meanders about the museum, propositioning audience and cast members, and offering opinions of the case in the most delightful way possible. Until she is brutally murdered.

Wetherald, John and Cyndi Skipper interact with each other and the audience in a thoroughly enjoyable manner, inserting one-liners while sharing advice about the case. Characters met along the journey include royalty, a medium, and dead bodies. Although a few parts are somewhat grisly, the bantering keeps the mood light.

Bottom Line: Amateur sleuths, literary and history buffs alike will enjoy From Dark Pages, as this twist to normal theater fare offers a relaxed and entertaining performance in an Indiana historical landmark.
For tickets, performance times and directions, click IndianaLandmarks/FromDarkPages.
Photo from website.
Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as Indy’s Arts & Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC, and follow her on Twitter @GottaGo and Facebook. Gotta Go is published in M magazine and the following newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter.

Tuesday, October 4

Ultimate Gift Guide 2011: Now Accepting Submissions


4th Annual Gotta Go
Ultimate Gift Guide 2011

The fourth annual “Gotta Go Ultimate Gift Guide” is quickly coming upon us, with Nov. 5 being the deadline for entries. It will be published in the newspapers' holiday issues and online at GottaGo.us.

Those submitting winning entries will be notified by the email address sent with the entry. Purchasing and contact information should be included with entry, along with bio of product and company.


Categories
• Food
• Wine/spirits/beer
• Nonfood
Rules and tips:

• No pornographic, sexual, illegal or hate items will be accepted.
• Entries must be received by 6 p.m. Nov. 5, 2011.
• Ship entries to: “Gotta Go,” 2960 S. Keystone Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46203
Attn.: Ultimate Gift Guide-Elizabeth J. Musgrave.
• Send all questions to elizabethjmusgrave@yahoo.com.
• Items cannot be returned.
• No monies, by way of donation, fee or otherwise, will be required or accepted by any judge.

Thank you for your interest. I look forward to a variety of gift ideas again this year.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC, and follow her on Twitter @GottaGo and Facebook. Gotta Go is published in M magazine and the following newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter.

Sunday, October 2

Scottish Highland Games & Festival, October 8

The 2nd annual Indianapolis Scottish Highland Games and Festival will be held Saturday, October 8 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Latvian Community Center, 1008 West 64th St. 

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard will make a special appearance at 3 p.m. He will make an announcement and participate in a special ceremony with Mary, Queen of Scots.


Sponsored and organized by the Scottish Society of Indianapolis, the day will feature world class athletes competing in the caber toss, hammer throw and sheath toss. Scottish and Celtic music including Mother Grove band, Fountain Trust Pipe Band, bagpipe soloists and other performers, will perform throughout the day. Food and merchandise will also be available. Historical re-enactors portraying Mary, Queen of Scots, and her royal court will be featured during the festival.

Advance festival tickets are $8 and available by clicking here. Event day tickets are $10. Céilidh will begin at 6 p.m. with an additional $5 admission charge.

In 2010, the inaugural Indianapolis Scottish Highland Games and Festival drew more than 1,400 visitors.
For more information and schedule, visit IndyScot.org.


Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as Indy’s Arts & Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC, and follow her on Twitter @GottaGo and Facebook. Gotta Go is published in the following newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter.