Sunday, November 27

Theater Review: Beef and Boards: Beef and Boards Christmas 2011

Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre's annual holiday offering, "A Beef & Boards Christmas" opens this year with 10 new performers, including two pint-size ones: Ethan Halford Holder and Olivia McKenna.

Toning down the show from the flying reindeer of last year, this go round is a quieter holiday sing along and dance rendition of the Indy tradition. The north side venue brought in audience favorites Sarah Hund, John Vessels and Jayson Elliott (Indiana native) from out of town. You'll remember them best from the "Smoke on the Mountain" trilogy. Also on hand to co-host are returning B&B darlings Kenny Shepard and Deb Wims.

Shining brightest are the Holidaires, made up of Vessels, Hund and Elliott in "The Challenge" between Elliott and Hund, with each outdoing the other on numerous stringed instruments and Vessels popping in for his well-loved humorous touches. And, for a little taste of country, Elliott and Hund also team up for "Tennessee Christmas," while Vessels filled the air with the audience's laughter while performing, "All I want for Christmas."


Holder and McKenna also create a memorable moment with their mini version of "Baby, It's Cold Outside," and act as smaller hosts with Shepard and Wims.
The hosting adult couple performed their "Marshmallow World" Raggedy Ann and Andy dance with usual enthusiasm, always a favorite with the young and old (and this critic).

Bottom Line: "A Beef & Boards Christmas" is a heart-warming holiday show with something for everyone from ages 2 to 92.

For schedule, tickets and details, visit BeefandBoards.com
Photo Credit: JulieCurryPhotography.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 M magazine and the following newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter.

Friday, November 25

Gotta Go Ultimate Gift Guide 2011

Image/ChocolatefortheSpirit
It's time for the fourth annual Gotta Go Ultimate Gift Guide 2011, giving you ideas accumulated through personal experience, referrals and submissions. The handy list (in no particular order) is wrapped with links and recipient suggestions making it easier to find a perfect gift for just about everyone.

This year's Ultimate Gift Guide has a new item: the Judges' Favorite Award. The judges were unanimous in their enthusiasm of the inaugural distinction.

Without further ado...

JUDGES' FAVORITE AWARD
Chocolate for the Spirit
What: Gourmet hand-crafted chocolates
Who: Chocolate lovers, hostess gift, monthly club, stocking stuffer
Image/Burton'sMaplewoodFarms

Burton's Maplewood Farms
What: Rum-infused maple syrup, pure maple syrup
Who: Foodies, gourmet cooks, pancake and waffle lovers
Where: BurtonsMaplewoodFarms

Christy Beaver and Morgan Greenseth
What: Mini pies cookbook
Who: Stocking stuffer, Children, gift exchange, baker

Image/CookingGreek
Cooking Greek Indy
What: Baklava cheesecake
Who: Hostess gift, family, individual, cheesecake lovers
Where: CookingGreekIndy

Winnie the Pooh
What: Disney's tale of everyone's lovable bear Cd/Blu-Ray set
Who: Movie buffs, Children
Where: WinniethePooh/Disney

Image/240Sweet

240 Sweet
What: Gourmet marshmallows
Who: Sweet lovers, stocking stuffer, monthly club
Where: 240Sweet

Image/iRenew



iRenew
What: Well-being waterproof bracelet
Who: Elderly, athletes, stocking stuffer
Where: iRenew
Image/LucidAbsinthe






Lucid
What: Absinthe louching gift set with authentic wormwood
Who: Discerning drinker, Absinthe lover,
mixologist
Where: DrinkLucid
Image/SweetTooth



Sweet Tooth Bakery Indy
What: Cake bites/pops
Who: Hostess gift, family, college
students
Where: SweeetToothBakery


CAMUS Cognac
What: Cognac gift set
Who: Discerning drinker, Cognac lover, mixologist
Where: Camus.fr

Image/CookingGreekInd

Cooking Greek Indy
What: Gift basket of gluten-free brownies and cookies
Who: Gluten-allergy sufferers, hostess gift
Where: CookingGreekIndy


Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
What: Disney tale of Captain Jack Sparrow Cd/Blu-Ray set
Who: Movie buffs, Johnny Depp fans, Children
Where: PiratesoftheCaribbean/Disney

Flying Wish Paper
What: Flying wish paper
Who: Group, family
Where: FlyingWishPaper


Image/MollyBakes


Molly Bakes
What: Crazy for Cake Pops cookbook
Who: Kids, stocking stuffer, hostess gift, bakers
Where: CakePops/UlyssesPress


Image/StacyNewgent
Jill Silverman Hough
What: 100 Perfect Pairings Main Dishes; 100 Perfect Pairings Small plates
Who: Novice and expert wine drinkers, foodies, office gift exchanges
Image/YandLBauducco




Bauducco Panettone
What: Italian traditional holiday cake with
Hershey's chocolate chips
Who: Hostess gift, family
Where: BauduccoFoods

Holiday World
What: Holiday World public figure Mrs. Koch bobble head
Who: Stocking stuffer, Holiday World lovers


Image/UlyssesPress
Valerie Lum, Jenise Addison
What: Ice Cream Happy Hour
Who: 20-somethings, gourmet cooks, hostess gift, stocking stuffer
Where: HappyHour/UlyssesPress


Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, syndicated blogger, 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.

Sunday, November 20

Hendricks County Launches Tourism Blog

Hendricks County blog to provide insider tourism information
DANVILLE, IN – Hendricks County residents and visitors now have a new tool to keep up with events, attractions and other tourism-related happenings within the county.
            The Hendricks County Convention and Visitors Bureau will officially launch a new tourism blog today called “All Access – Inside Information on Hendricks County.” The site provides real-time, first-person storytelling to complement the HCCVB’s mission to promote Hendricks County and all its fantastic and surprisingly affordable activities.
                “As a local for nearly 10 years and a former newspaper reporter covering this county, I was surprised by how much I didn’t know about all the fun and interesting things to do here,” said Josh Duke, communications manager for the HCCVB. “Arriving at the Hendricks County Convention and Visitors Bureau proved to be an eye-opener for me. Through this blog, we hope to open a lot more eyes as residents and visitors discover all of our hidden gems.”
                The new blog will be accessible through the Tour Hendricks County website or directly at www.tourhendrickscounty.com/blog. The blog will post fresh content at least twice weekly with plans to expand that schedule. Readers also can subscribe for free on the site to get alerts when new content is posted.
The Hendricks County Convention and Visitors Bureau also will begin looking for experienced bloggers to join our team as well as asking many of our industry partners to contribute as guest bloggers. Anyone interested in blogging for the All Access tourism site, should contact Duke at Josh@TourHendricksCounty.com or by calling (317) 718-8750.
Find us on Facebook by clicking here -->> Hendricks County Tourism/Facebook and follow us on Twitter @FastTracktoFun. For more information, visit TourHendricksCounty.com or call (317) 718-8750.



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, November 16

Indianapolis Holiday Shows and Events List 2011

Each holiday season brings questions about which programs and events are best to attend. This year I am taking the initiative and giving a list of some of the wonderful performances and events available in the Indianapolis-metro area that I recommend. Some I have reviewed in the past, others I just have a good feeling about based on past events and programs at the venue. These are the tops in town.

Please let me know any you have enjoyed in the past and your thoughts on these after you attend this year. Also, I would enjoy hearing about any you are aware of that not mentioned in this list.

Click on the contact links to visit the website for tickets, show times, and information.
Happy holidays!

What: There's no Business like Snowbizness-Christine Pedi
Who: The Cabaret at The Columbia Club
When: Dec. 15, 16, 17
Where: 121 Monument Circle, Indianapolis
Contact: TheCabaret.org

What: Yuletide Celebration
Who: Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
When: Dec. 2 - 23
Where: The Hilbert Circle Theatre, 45 Monument Circle, Indianapolis

What: A Christmas Carol
Who: Indiana Repertory Theatre
When: Nov. 25 - Dec. 24
Where: 140 W. Washington St., Indianapolis
Contact: IRTLive.com

What: A Beef and Boards Christmas
Who: Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre
When: Nov. 25 - Dec. 23
Where: 9301 N. Michigan Rd., Indianapolis

What: A Very Phoenix Xmas 6: Our Goose is Cooked
Who: The Phoenix Theatre
When: Dec. 1 - Dec. 23
Where: 749 N. Park Ave., Indianapolis

What: The Nutcracker
Who: Indiana Ballet Conservatory
When: Dec. 16 - 18
Where: Toby Theatre, Indianapolis Museum of Art, 4000 Michigan Rd., Indianapolis

What: 15th annual Dickens of a Christmas
Who: Greater Lafayette Commerce
When: Dec. 3 - 4
Where: Lafayette and West Lafayette city streets and businesses

What: The Year of Frog and Toad
Who: Actors Theatre of Indiana
When: Dec. 16 - 18
Where: Pike Performing Arts Center, 6701 Zionsville Rd., Indianapolis

What: The Nutcracker
Who: Indianapolis School of Ballet
When: Dec. 16 - 18
Where: Scottish Rite Cathedral, 650 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis
Contact: IndyBallet.org

What: Christmas at the Lilly House
Who: Indianapolis Museum of Art
When: Nov. 12 – Dec. 31
Where: Indianapolis Museum of Art, 4000 Michigan Rd., Indianapolis
Contact: imamuseum.org

What: Jolly Days Winter Wonderland
Who: The Children’s Museum
When: Nov. 25 – Jan. 8
Where: 3000 Michigan Rd., Indianapolis
What: Conservatory Crossing
Who: Garfield Park Conservatory
When: Nov. 25 - Jan. 8
Where: 2505 Conservatory Dr., Indianapolis

What: Christmas at the Zoo
Who: Indianapolis Zoo
When: Nov. 19 – Dec. 31
Where: 1200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis
Contact: IndyZoo.com

What: Victorian Holiday Teas
Who: Indiana Landmarks
When: Dec. 3, 10, 17
Where: Morris-Butler House, 1204 N. Park Ave., Indianapolis

What: Boogie Woogie Holidays
Who: BobDirex
When: Dec. 2 - 17
Where: The Athenaeum, 401 E. Michigan St., Indianapolis
Contact: BobDirex.com


What: Celebration Crossing
Who: Indiana State Museum
When: Nov. 25 - Dec. 31
Where: Indiana State Museum, 650 W. Washington St., Indianapolis
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.

Thursday, November 10

Phoenix Theatre A Very Phoenix Xmas 6: Our Goose is Cooked

A Very Phoenix Xmas 6:
Our Goose is Cooked
 
December 1-23, 2011
Indianapolis The Phoenix Theatre of Indianapolis will produce A Very Phoenix Xmas 6: Our Goose is Cooked as its annual alternative holiday production from December 1-23. Conceived and directed by Bryan Fonseca, producing director, this show is a tribute to variety shows of the past and includes humorous and poignant sketches, traditional and not-so-traditional holiday music and dance numbers. 

Charles Goad
This year’s show is no exception, with several sketches from various playwrights – both local and from across the country – that include Christmas, Hanukkah and a few other holidays thrown in.  “We have six excellent voices this year, so we are taking advantage of that talent by including several musical numbers and at least one a capella piece,” stated Fonseca.  “The cast this year includes four actors that have been in at least one Xmas show and a few that are new to the production. We are certainly proud to have Chuck Goad back at the Phoenix for this holiday season.” 

With the recent success of musicals Avenue Q and Spring Awakening, dance will be a bigger part of this year’s show. Choreographer and Dance Kaleidoscope performer Marielle Greenlee is working with the cast on special dance numbers.

“Every year, the dance numbers are among favorites with the audience, so we are pulling out all the stops for dance numbers this year,” said Fonseca. This year’s sketches include ones written by previous Xmas favorites Daniel Guyton and Mark Harvey Levine, as well as some new playwrights. 
The cast includes four veterans of past Phoenix Xmas productions: Scot Greenwell, Jason Gloye, Claire Wilcher and Gayle Steigerwald.  Rounding out the cast are Carly Kincannon and Abby Gillan (both recent cast members of Spring Awakening at the Phoenix) and Charles Goad, who is coming back to theatre after taking a break for over two years.  

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE AND TICKETS
December 1            Thursday                      7:00 pm

December 2            Friday(Producer’s Party) 8:00 pm
December 3            Saturday                      8:00 pm
December 4            Sunday                         2:00 pm

December 8            Thursday                      7:00 pm
December 9            Friday                          8:00 pm
December 10          Saturday                      8:00 pm
December 11          Sunday                         2:00 pm

December 15          Thursday                      7:00 pm
December 16          Friday                          8:00 pm
December 17          Saturday                      8:00 pm
December 18          Sunday                         2:00 pm

December 20          Tuesday                       7:00 pm
December 21          Wednesday                  7:00 pm  
December 22          Thursday                      7:00 pm
December 23          Friday                          8:00 pm  

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays: $15 CheapSeats
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays: $25 for adults; $15 for ages 20 and under
Group rates are available for parties of 12 or more.

During the run of the Xmas show, the annual Phoenix Holiday Silent Auction will be held in the theatre lobby. Auction items are displayed in our lobby for patrons to bid on before, during intermission and after the show.

Tickets: call 317-635-7529 or at phoenixtheatre.org.  All seating is general admission on a first-come, first-served basis. The Phoenix Pub, located inside the theatre, offers beer, wine, soft drinks, coffee, and bottled water, as well as treats, and all refreshments may be taken into either theatre and consumed during the performance.


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, November 9

The Nutcracker performed by Indianapolis School of Ballet Dec. 16-18

INDIANAPOLIS SCHOOL OF BALLET Presents
The NUTCRACKER

Press Release-Indianapolis School of Ballet will perform its fifth annual production of The Nutcracker Dec. 16-18 at the historic Scottish Rite Cathedral Theater, 650 N. Meridian St., in downtown Indianapolis. The Friday, Dec. 16 performance is at 7:30 pm. There will be two performances on Saturday, Dec. 17; a matinee at 2 pm and 7:30 pm. The Sunday, Dec. 18 performance is at 3 pm. 

Tickets are on sale now for all performance and can be purchased indyballet.org, or by calling 317-955-7525, 10 am - 7 pm, Monday through Friday, or 9 am -2 pm on Saturday.

E.T.A. Hoffman's charming holiday tale, The Nutcracker, is brought to life in a classical ballet presentation by Victoria Lyras, ISB founding artistic director. This interpretation is set in Victorian Indianapolis recreated by master scenic artist and designer C. David Higgins through his 25-foot by 50-foot backdrops, replicas of the Morris-Butler House, an Indiana Landmarks museum house. Exquisite hand-made costumes are by Loukia Finale, former seamstress in Oscar de la Renta’s Manhattan atelier and costumer for the Piraeus Theater in Greece. Barrymore Award-winning designer James Leitner crafts the production’s lighting and design.

Lyras is again combining forces with ballet mistress and master teacher Fiona Fuerstner to set choreography performed by more than 80 dancers including ISB pre-professional students and faculty, with professional guest artists. Ballroom dancers from Indianapolis-based Riolo Dance will portray the adult partygoers in the first scene depicting a holiday gathering as part of an ongoing professional collaboration between Lyras and Marie Riolo Roach. Professional choreography in the ballet includes pieces by Robert Rodham, Fuerstner, Lyras and George Balanchine. 
The Indianapolis School of Ballet has again received permission from the George Balanchine Trust to use Balanchine’s famous Act Two Grand Pas de Deux in this production.  The Trust requires the engagement of approved repetiteurs to stage Mr. Balanchine’s choreography. Ms. Lyras has been honored with staging this work for ISB’s production.

Featured guest artists include Paul Vitali and Chris Lingner. Vitali, formerly of the Pennsylvania Ballet and Feld Ballets/NY, returns as Herr Drosselmeyer, the benevolent maker of magic who gives young Clara her beloved nutcracker. Lingner, a native of Indianapolis who danced in national tours of Movin’ Out and Hairspray, will perform the role of Cavalier and Snow King.

For more information, tickets and schedule of performances, visit indyballet.org or call 317-955-7525.

Photo Credit: Freddie Kelvin
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.

Tuesday, November 8

Pawn Stars Road Show at Hoosier Park Saturday


Pawn Stars Appraise Local Treasures at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino

Anderson, Ind.; – Nov. 7, 2011 – The cast of History Channel’s “Pawn Stars” reality television series will bring their pawn shop inspired Gold & Silver Road Show to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino Saturday, Nov., 12. Ticket holders will have the opportunity to have their treasures appraised and purchased during three separate shows in the Terrace Showroom.

“Pawn Stars” is the History Channel’s highest-rated series, averaging eight million viewers an episode. The reality series gives viewers a glimpse into the colorful world of the pawn business through the day-to-day operations of the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop located in Las Vegas, Nevada. Patriarch Richard is joined by his son Rick, grandson Corey, and family friend Austin ‘Chumlee,’ in running the pawn business that was successfully adapted into one of television’s most watched programs in 2009.

Three separate Gold & Silver Road Show sessions will take place every two hours beginning at 10 a.m. and ending at 4 p.m. in Hoosier Park’s Terrace Showroom. Starting at 6 p.m., the cast of “Pawn Stars” will host a private reception for those ticket holders who purchased reception passes.

Tickets: $15 and up
Ticket holders will be allowed to present their items for appraisal and potential purchase. Passes into a private reception with the cast of “Pawn Stars” are being sold for $40. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster by calling 800-745-3000 or by visiting Ticketmaster.com. Tickets may also be purchased directly from the box office located in Shelby’s Gifts at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. Club Centaur members will receive a 20 percent discount on tickets purchased at the Hoosier Park Box Office.

For events, directions and details visit Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, at www.hoosierpark.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 M magazine and the following newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter.

Monday, November 7

Movie review: Anonymous

"Anonymous," now open in theaters, is receiving mixed reviews from critics and moviegoers alike.
The Shakespeare "authorship"conspiracy, which has been tossed about for centuries, charges that the world's most read, taught and performed works of English literature are, in fact, not penned by William Shakespeare, portrayed by Rafe Spall.

Various theories and alternative authors have been mentioned, including the idea there was a group of individuals writing collectively under one pseudonym. Resurfacing over time, the conspiracy theorists each put forth their own surmised view, including the Oxfordian, which is this film's basis.

Shakespeare, known throughout history, is a twice-removed character from the proposed true playwright. In this fable it is Edward De Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, portrayed by Rhys Ifans (Notting Hill). From frolicking in bed with his (unbeknownst to him) mother, to unwillingly marrying a shrew, the earl is played with absolute cowardice, frustration and despair by Ifans. A nod at Oscar time for his performance would not surprise this critic.

Due to inner turmoil, religious constraints and political back stabbing, any involvement in plays is considered seedy making Edward, as a nobleman, unable to be awarded his due credit. The earl orders up-and-coming playwright, Ben Johnson (Sebastian Armesto) to "front" his work. Johnson is ousted by a quick-witted Shakespeare, an actor able to read but not write, who happens upon the scheme. Being paid well, both continue on with the fabrication until death.

The film attempts to explain the reason for almost every one of the Bard's plays as if the earl had written an unauthorized biography of the royal family, including his own incestuous affair with Queen Elizabeth I. Vanessa Redgrave portrays superbly the aging monarch injecting both compassion and sadness into the character; traits not normally found within that role. Another actor in this movie who may receive Oscar attention.

Whether or not the true identity of the playwright is Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon, a frightened royal family member, or a play-writing group of many, remains unclear due to lack of cohesive evidence.

Bottom Line: Take "Anonymous" with a grain of salt as you would with any conspiracy-theory film and it turns into, not an unveiling and accurate documentary, an enjoyable and entertaining flick.
Photos: Sony Pictures
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.

Thursday, November 3

Emilio Esteves Hosts Live Chat Tonight on "The Way"

Pour yourself a glass of something, get a plate of nibbles and tune in to Emilio Estevez as he discusses LIVE on Twitter about his movie The Way.
The director/actor/writer is also a winemaker and owner of Casa Dumetz in California.

Starring Martin Sheen, my review can be found by clicking GottaGo/TheWay. It includes a trailer of the feel good movie to familiarize yourself before the big chat. What a great use of social media to reach fans and the curious immediately. Kudos to Mr E. for his modern technique of connecting with the public!

Twitter fan chat with Emilio for The Way at 8pm EST/5pm PST.

Emilio responds to Twitter fan questions via his account: http://www.twitter.com/emiliotheway To ask questions, Twitter users simply reply to @emiliotheway & include the hashtag #thewaychat in their note. 

For those on Twitter
Please re-tweet the following message from Emilio: http://twitter.com/#!/EMILIOTHEWAY/status/131414843172454400
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.