Tuesday, July 31

Book Review: Patchwork of Me by Gregory G. Allen


Sara Butler is messed up. Really messed up. To the point she talks to herself throughout the story. Attempting to put together her past, Sara works to unblock her mind and to make peace with what filters through in mere bits and pieces.

Patchwork of Me is a tale of a modern day Dorothy, of sorts, hoping a visit to Emerald City (in this case a tiny town in Maine) with her friends will get her home... well, to a home she likes.

Written by Gregory G. Allen, the author has no problem writing about flawed characters. Really flawed. In our interview, Allen stated flawed characters appeal to him because of their true-to-life likenesses and he uses them in his other works also, including Chicken Boy, Proud Pants and Well with My Soul.

Masking her self loathing with degrading, on-command-by-text-message sex, Sara also pretends in therapy she was left orphaned through an auto accident. The truth of why she was brought up in the foster care system is less clear and the root of her pain and self-destructive actions.

Facing her fears reluctantly, Sara is able to come full circle. Helping and supporting her friends, and receiving their support and help, creates a circle of strength for each of the four characters. Sara, frightened and still-a-child emotionally, unable to grow into adulthood until she deals with her lost childhood; Erick and Matty, her two friends dealing with their own identity issues accompany her on the trip to uncover her past. Closed-off Hahn refuses to discuss anything about herself and has to learn, like the other three, that sometimes friends are all the family you need.

Patchwork of Me, a winner of both the 2012 International Book Award-Women's Literature and the 2012 NY Book Festival-General Fiction, features believable characters and hits on real issues without losing the reader in a too-dramatic to be enjoyable style. Although serious problems are brought forth throughout, the book steers clear of depressing through the realistic interpersonal exchanges of the characters.

Bottom Line: Gregory Allen's Patchwork of Me is a journey into a web of friendship, believable characters and real-life situations, softened with the hope that everyone will be able to find a home and family, even if it's not the one you expected.

Click to purchase the works of Gregory G. Allen:
Patchwork of Me
Well with My Soul
Proud Pants
Chicken Boy

Gregory G. Allen is the author of Patchwork Of Me (Winner in the Fiction: Women's Lit category of the 2012 International Book Awards & 2012 NY Book Festival winner for General Fiction), Well With My Soul (finalist in the Literary Fiction category of The USA "Best Books  2011" Awards, short-listed for Indie Lit Awards) and Proud Pants: An Unconventional Memoir; and children's book, Chicken Boy: The Amazing Adventures of a Super Hero with Autism (MeeGenius People's Choice Award grand prize winner).

Allen has been in the entertainment business for more than 20 as an actor, director, writer and producer, and has been featured and interviewed in The Advocate, Huffington Post, PBS' One-on-One with Steve Adubato, Sirius Radio The Morning Jolt and Next magazine.
Photos: Furnished by Gregory G. Allen

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her newest column, Infused at GottaGo.us and FoodandDrinkDigital.com and as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC. Gotta Go is published onGottago.us, BroadwayWorld.com, in M and Retired Living magazines and several newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Friday, July 27

Indiana Landmarks offers free tours in downtown Indianapolis

Indiana Landmarks offers three free tours of downtown Indianapolis through October. The tours will be held on Fridays and Saturdays. Times are arrange to enable visitors to enjoy all three tours in a single day. Reservations are required for groups of 10 and more.

Discover Monument Circle
A guided walking tour exploring Circle City's Monument Circle, including the impressive Soldiers and Sailors Monument and the historic buildings that encircle it.

* Tours depart at 10 a.m. from South Bend Chocolate Company, 30 Monument Circle, and may be canceled during inclement weather.

Indiana Landmarks Center
A $20 million restoration turned a vacant 1890s church into the Indiana Landmarks Center's elegant theaters and reception halls. The story is shared of the landmark that once ranked as the state's largest Methodist church, and the people and changes that revitalized it as a cultural center.

* Tours begin at noon in the lobby of Indiana Landmarks Center, 1201 Central Avenue.

The Morris-Butler House
Built in 1865, the house was restored in the Victorian fashion in the 1960s.

* Tours begin at 1 and 2 p.m. at the towered house, 1204 North Park Avenue (immediately east of Indiana Landmarks Center).

Indiana Landmarks also offers the three tours, and other city walking tours, for $5/person with a $50 minimum charge on a day and time of your choosing.

For more information, visit IndianaLandmarks.org.
Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her newest column, Infused at GottaGo.us and FoodandDrinkDigital.com and as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC. Gotta Go is published onGottago.us, BroadwayWorld.com, in M and Retired Living magazines and several newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Thursday, July 26

Infused: Sassy at 88, Ethel's Brews offers Beer Cocktail recipes

Ethel's Brew, a Brooklyn-based brewery (say that 3 times fast) has opened in the borough with a distinct style unlike most. Your grandmother. The octogenarian face for the company, Ethel, leads the way in your craft beer adventures.

EB takes its Euro-style busty blonde and brews it with three different malts, several varieties of hops and a French barley.
The 6% ABV brew is named after Ethel Goldschmidt, a beer enthusiast with plenty of tang, just like her brew. She enjoys beer so much she took Burt's, her deceased husband, dream of brewing and turned into a reality. Not that she was inclined to name it after him, however. Ethel is like that. Feisty, straight forward and slightly flirty.

And Ethel? Is she busty and blonde?

Um...no. She is 88 years old and openly admits,and shows, all her sagging self with plenty of sass and humor. Various photos on the company's website and social media sites portray her in a swimsuit or lounging on settee with a beer in her hand and a humorous saying.

She reminds me of the Golden Girls gone bad. I am not even certain whether Ethel actually exists or is just a great advertising figure --- like Mr. Whimple or those guys from Gallo Wines.

The kolsch-style German ale is the first in Ethel's expanding family of ales. The company's ultimate goal is to include IPAs and foreigh-style stouts. For now, Ethel's Brew comes in 12 oz. bottles at local pubs and bars.

With cocktails being created from different origins, such as Champagne, these days, it's no surprise the New York micro brew has invented its own "brewtail". And how does Ethel feel about this mixing of her favorite amber with other flavors?

Keeping true to spunky form, Ethel created a cocktail and named it...after herself and a particular body part. I will let you go to the website (EthelsBrew.com) to get the full name of the drink. Here, I will just share the recipe...

Ethel's Cocktail
3 oz. Ethel's Brew
3 oz. vodka
Pink lemonade

Shake over ice and pour into cocktail glass. Garnish with fresh mint.

Images provided by Ethel's Brew

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her newest column, Infused at GottaGo.us and FoodandDrinkDigital.com and as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC. Gotta Go is published onGottago.us, BroadwayWorld.com, in M and Retired Living magazines and several newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Wednesday, July 25

Indiana Fever 11th annual Fever Bowling Tournament


Indiana Fever sponsors, season ticket holders, fans and local sports celebrities are treated to a night of bowling fun, pizza, autographs and a silent auction that includes unique memorabilia courtesy of the Indiana Fever, other WNBA teams and items of local interest.

The 2011 tournament raised nearly $17,000 for the
Be YOUnique Fund.

WHO
Indiana Fever players and coaches
Indiana Fever corporate partners, season ticket holders and fans
With the exception of Tamika Catchings who will be participating in the 2012 Olympics, the entire Fever team and coaching staff will serve up strikes at its 11th annual bowling tournament which benefits the Be YOUnique Fund, a grant fund of the Pacers Foundation that assists organizations that serve young women and girls.

WHEN
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 (6:30 p.m.; bowling begins at 7:00 p.m.)

WHERE
Pinheads in Fishers (13825 Britton Park Road, Fishers, Ind. 46038)

Images courtesy of Indiana Fever

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her newest column, Infused at GottaGo.us and FoodandDrinkDigital.com and as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC. Gotta Go is published onGottago.us, BroadwayWorld.com, in M and Retired Living magazines and several newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Tuesday, July 24

Spaghetti ice cream named Indiana State Fair ‘Signature Food’ 2012












INDIANAPOLIS – Spaghetti Ice Cream, created by Monroe Concessions, has been voted the 2012 ‘Signature Food’ at the Indiana State Fair. Online voters selected this dish after reading the insights from a panel of eight judges who tasted all six entries.

Click to read review of 2011 fair food.

Fair goers can find this winning dessert on Main Street across from the Pepsi Coliseum, the spot given to the contest’s winning concessionaire every year. The dish sells for $5 and consists of spaghetti shaped gelato, Italian ice cream, with strawberry ‘tomato sauce,’ shaved white chocolate ‘cheese’ and chocolate ‘meatballs.’
Bob and Joanie Monroe of Monroe Concessions in Marion, Ind., came up with the concept after learning that this year’s fair is the “Year of Dairy Cows” and will also feature an exhibit on Italy in the International Pavilion. This is the second time the Monroes have won the contest. Their deep-fried chocolate covered strawberries won the inaugural competition in 2006.

Indiana State Fair
Aug. 3 - 19

For tickets, directions and more information, visit IndianaStateFair.com.

To celebrate the 2012 Indiana State Fair's “Year of Dairy Cows” theme, contest rules required vendors to use dairy products in all food creations. The other entries will all be on sale at throughout the State Fair.

Cheese Squared (Coffman Concessions)
Chipotle, creamy spinach or garlic herb cream cheese wrapped in Swiss cheese, then lightly breaded and fried. ($6 for 5 squares)

Moo Chew Meal (American Dairy Association)
A light, refreshing lemon chiller milkshake served with a sourdough grilled cheese sandwich loaded with American and Pepper Jack cheese. ($5)

Micro Beer Cheese Sauce (Barto’s Catering)
Local micro brew-fused beer cheese sauce served on either fresh cut fries, hefty burger or on the side for dipping. ($1/cup)

Caramel Corn Sundae (Baskin Robbins)
Vanilla ice cream with hot caramel topping, caramel corn, fresh whipped cream, nuts and a cherry. ($5.50 for 2 scoops)

Blue Ribbon Cannoli (Bakerman Concessions)
A crisp Italian cookie shell filled with sweet, whipped ricotta cheese, whipping cream, powdered sugar, mini chocolate chips and dried berries, topped with a powdered sugar sprinkle. ($6 for 2)

Cumulus Radio sponsored this year’s competition, which is in its seventh year. WFMS and WJJKon-air personalities directed listeners to the radio stations’ web sites to view a video of the judges’ comments and get an itemized listing of all the entries.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her newest column, Infused at GottaGo.us and FoodandDrinkDigital.com and as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC. Gotta Go is published onGottago.us, BroadwayWorld.com, in M and Retired Living magazines and several newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Don McClean Debuts Aug. 3 & 4 at Symphony on the Prairie

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
40 Years of American Pie: An Evening with Don McLean
August 3 & 4
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra welcomes iconic and award-winning singer/songwriter Don McLean in his debut with the ISO at Marsh Symphony on the Prairie Friday and Saturday, Aug. 3 and 4, at 8 p.m. at the Conner Prairie Amphitheater. The concerts, titled 40 Years of American Pie: An Evening with Don McLean, will feature many of McLean’s beloved songs and hits such as “American Pie,” “Crying,” “And I Love You So,” “Vincent (Starry, Starry Night)” and “Castles in the Air.”
“American Pie” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2003, and McLean was inducted into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame in 2004.

40 Years of American Pie: An Evening with Don McLean also features Tony Migliore (Music Director, Conductor, Piano), David Smith (Electric Bass), Carl Vipperman (Electric Guitar) and Jerry Kroon (Drums).

Tickets: Adult: $22/$27; Children: $11/$13. Available at: Marsh, MainStreet or O’Malia’s supermarkets, Hilbert Circle Theatre Box Office, (317) 639-4300, IndianapolisSymphony.org

Premium Parking passes may be purchased for $20 each exclusively through the Hilbert Circle Theatre Box Office. All other Conner Prairie parking is free-of-charge and there are many volunteers available to assist patrons in carrying their belongings from their vehicles to their seats.

Guests may bring their own food, beverages (including alcohol), blankets, and lawn chairs or reserve a table for up to 10 people just feet from the stage for $59 (plus the ticket price).

Stay up-to-date on weather and traffic conditions by tuning in to WIBC (93.1 FM), the official radio station of Marsh Symphony on the Prairie. Patrons can sign up for the ISO’s Symphony weather text message service by texting WEATHER [date of performance] (e.g. WEATHER AUGUST 3) to 24025. This service will be available for every performance and will be updated by the ISO as conditions change.

Due to road construction on the northeast side of the Indianapolis metropolitan area, the ISO and Conner Prairie encourage patrons to “Know Before You Go.” WIBC-FM will offer the latest traffic updates for patrons en route.

Website: Don McLean
Website: For directions, tickets, and shows, visit IndianapolisSymphony.org
Image: ISO

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Read her newest column, Infused, at FoodandDrinkDigital.com and GottaGo.us. Catch her as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC. Gotta Go is published on Gottago.us, BroadwayWorld.com, in M and Retired Living magazines and several newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Monday, July 23

Theater Review: Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre: Nunsense

When is a greeting card more than a greeting card? When it spawns a commercially successful international sensation known as Nunsense, one of off-Broadway's most commercially successful shows. Six sequels, three spin offs and a television show followed quickly. Originating from Dan Goggin's line of nun-based humorous cards, the popular Little Sisters of Hoboken convened once again on stage at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre, Indianapolis.

The rollicking ladies of the convent are in dire straits for quick cash. Fifty-two nuns have died from botulism caused by the poor culinary skills of an unseen cooking sister (Sister Julia, Child of God). With only 48 buried due to improper money management, the wacky spiritual ladies contrive a revue and cookbook sale to raise the remaining funds needed to bury the dearly departed...before the Board of Health slaps them with a hefty fine for storing the stiff sisters in the walk-in freezer.
Amanda Butterbaugh as Sister Amnesia

A cast of five Sisters: Rev. Mother Superior Mary Regina (Nancy E. Carroll), Hubert (Mary Robin Roth), Amnesia (Amanda Butterbaugh), Robert Ann (Lin Tucci) and Leo (Laurie Walton), revolves constantly on stage and throughout the audience prior to the first and second acts.

In some shows a particular role is created perfectly to easily become the audience favorite. In some, an actor takes a role and makes it that way. Then you have the situations such as Beef and Boards' Nunsense. Sister Amnesia is almost a shoo-in to be an audience favorite and Amanda Butterbaugh takes the opportunity and puts it over the top. The role is noted as her favorite and she has played in off-Broadway productions and in tours. Butterbaugh's comedic timing in her endearing portrayal of the sweet nun with amnesia (received from a crucifix falling on her head) will steal the hearts of absolutely everyone and is worth the ticket price alone.

Nancy E Carroll as Rev. Mother Superior
Rev. Mother Superior (most notably portrayed by Rue McClanahan) is given a crusty, but likable portrayal by Broadway veteran Carroll, who also directs the production and toured in the role for two years. Pairing just the right amount of eye-rolling with glimpses of a soft heart, Carroll creates a thoroughly enjoyable character.

Created for the stage in 1985 and television subsequently, various punchlines and one-liners referencing popular topics in the '80s are adjusted for today's current events, particularly during Sister Robert's (Tucci) impersonations.

With adult-based humor involved, parents might want to leave the little, impressionable ones at the sitter for the evening. As hilarious as a nun tripping on an illegal inhalant might be for some, others might be less comfortable with their children viewing this scene.

Bottom Line: Beef and Boards' Nunsense gives Catholics and non Catholics alike an evening of rowdy fun, lessons in religion and fundraising.

For tickets, show times and directions, visit BeefandBoards.com.
Images: JulieCurryPhotography.com

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her newest column, Infused at GottaGo.us and FoodandDrinkDigital.com and as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC. Gotta Go is published onGottago.us, BroadwayWorld.com, in M and Retired Living magazines and several newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Sunday, July 22

iNDYfRINGE 5th Annual Longest Dinner 2012 August 7


















IndyFringe Theatre's 5th annual fundraiser, The Longest Dinner 2012, features local chefs, local food and local drinks. The fundraiser features attendees sitting at one long table at the IndyFringe Theatre grounds, located at 719 E. St. Clair St., Indianapolis.

Dinner will be created by local food-advocate chefs Regina Mehallic (R Bistro), Erin Kem (R Bistro) and Micah Frank (Black Market). The event begins at 6 p.m. with a three-course dinner starting at 7 p.m.

Early reservations are encouraged as the event will be limited to 150 participants this year. Live entertainment includes, music, buskers and street theater. Proceeds will benefit the building fund. Inclement weather location is the historic Fire Station, located at 748 Mass Ave., Indianapolis.


What
IndyFringe Longest Dinner
When
Tuesday, August 7, 6 p.m.
Where
IndyFringe Building
Website
For tickets, details and directions, click IndyFringe.org.

Featured Chefs
Regina Mehallick, Executive Chef and owner of R Bistro,
Erin Kem, Sous Chef at R Bistro, Micah Frank, Black Market

Menu
Artisan breads from new local bakery, Amelia's

1st course
Summer Harvest Salad with Blueberries, Corn & Grain.

Main course
Roasted lamb, summer vegetable curry and Tunisian flat bread

Dessert
Local peaches with Trader's Point Vanilla yogurt & shortbread

* Most of these foods are sourced from Indiana farmers.
** Vegetarian option available.

Wines and Beers
Handcraft Chardonnay-lush, silky dry white with notes of vanilla, tropical fruit and toasted oak.
Handcraft Petite Syrah- juicy, rich, dry red with notes of black berry, mulberry and cedar.
Flat12 BIERWERKS local craft beer.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her newest column, Infused at GottaGo.us and FoodandDrinkDigital.com and as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC. Gotta Go is published onGottago.us, BroadwayWorld.com, in M and Retired Living magazines and several newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Tuesday, July 17

Cocktails, Corsets & Cupcakes with Bixby's & Missouri History Museum Through Aug. 28

St. Louis' award-winning Bixby's and the Missouri History Museum get Underneath it All with Above it All through Aug. 28, 2012. In conjunction with the museum's latest, unique exhibit, Underneath it All, which presents a timeline of historical lingerie and fashionable silhouettes, the upscale eatery pours cocktails and presents its own exhibit of demi plates, hors d' oevres and desserts.

Although the museum's exhibit is open daily, Tuesdays are the hot night with the "Above it All" reception for fashionistas, girlfriends and trendy folks.

From 5:30 - 7:30 p.m., the second floor will get racy with Bixby's Sous Chef Callaghan Carter's epicurean nibblers, including tomato-mozzarella antipasto plates, orzo primavera with grilled shrimp, watercress vichyssoise shooters, smoked paprika and citrus hummus with veggies, and summer squash flatbread with local goat cheese.

And for dessert?

Nothing but cocktail cupcakes will do in tempting flavours of vanilla Champagne, strawberry daiquiri, citrus colada, and chocolate cosmo.

Smart cocktails of infused summer spritzers and a premium cash bar, including Skinnygirl cocktails, will be available during the event.

About the exhibit

As a reflection of identity throughout the ages, clothing can be used to reflect one's status in society -- or to rebel against it in the case of the bra-burning era. Various efforts have been using undergarments to highlight or create an illusion of perfection with the female body.
Underneath It All showcases the fashionable silhouettes of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries through dressed mannequins and their coordinating “undressed” mannequins. The undressed mannequins display the undergarments needed to create that silhouette.

From bustles to bullet bras, petticoats to panty hose, corsets to camisoles, Underneath It All tells the story of women’s progress in a changing society through fashion.

For Tuesday evening's Above it All event, purchase tickets ($20) and reserve a spot by visiting AboveitAll/qrickets.com. To reserve early and receive a unique gift bag, call Bixby's at 314-361-7313 or email aboveitall@bixbys-mohistory.com.

For viewing of the Underneath it All exhibit sans cocktails, visit MOhistory.org for details, directions and hours.
Underneath It All continues through Jan 27, 2013.

Images: Bixby's; Missouri History Museum

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her newest column, Infused at GottaGo.us and FoodandDrinkDigital.com and as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC. Gotta Go is published on Gottago.usBroadwayWorld.com, in M magazine and these newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Monday, July 16

Heartland Actors’ Shakespeare on the Canal returns to White River State Park

Othello

July 20-22, 2012
Free performances open to the public

WHATHeartland Actors’ Repertory Theatre (HART) returns to White River State Park with a full-scale production of Shakespeare’s Othello. HART’s Shakespeare on the Canal at White River State Park stands as the only full-scale, professional “Shakespeare-in-the-Park” event in Indianapolis. Each summer, the series has collectively attracted more than 6,000 Hoosier audience members since its debut in 2008.

WHERE
Celebration Plaza Amphitheater-White River State Park, 801 W. Washington St., Indianapolis

WHEN
July 20 and 21 at 8 p.m., and July 22 at 2 p.m.

HART’s 2012 Shakespeare on the Canal in White River State Park is FREE open to the public, made possible through the generous support of The Lily Endowment, Central Indiana Community Foundation and the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation, as well as other donations from private individuals.

Audience members are encouraged to arrive early to the free event in order to enjoy picnics and live pre-show music and events on the lawn of the Celebration Plaza Amphitheatre.

For information, directions and events, visit WhiteRiverStatePark.org.

For more HART information, visit HeartlandActors.org.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her newest column, Infused at GottaGo.us and FoodandDrinkDigital.com and as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC. Gotta Go is published on Gottago.us, BroadwayWorld.com, in M magazine and several newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Concert Review: Tom Wopat: Love Swings: The Cabaret at The Columbia Club

Quite often when listening to a singer you think, "Oh, that's what he can do." Once in a rare while you listen and think, "I can't wait to hear what else he can do." So it was with Mr. Tom Wopat when he jauntily ambled onto the poshest stage in town, The Cabaret at The Columbia Club, Indianapolis. The three-time Tony Award-nominee ('99, '08, '11) of stage and screen shared samples from his musical works, including his most recent CD, Tom Wopat: Consider it Swung.

Stepping out from the shadows of another performer is difficult at best. Stepping out from one's own shadow is more difficult. Made even more so if that shadow is known world-wide and the steps take you into an unfamiliar-to-fans arena. Starting over, Re-identifying oneself is tough -- just ask Cher. However, if, and I do mean if, it works then you can never be stereotyped again. By anyone. That's a feeling that comes from inside and can't be taken away.

Wopat has accomplished just such a feat. Rather than staying in the shadow as a wise-crackin' country bumpkin, the actor-singer-songwriter created a new shadow -- and a little bit of a swagger that can only come from having hung by his fingertips and successfully climbed back on top -- one performance at a time.

Covering songs is the norm. Twisting, tweaking and tossing them about until they are your own shows a true talent and desire to raise your own bar, expanding in to new areas. Wopat offers his customized versions of (Somewhere) Over the Rainbow, Let's do it, Let's Fall in Love and I Get Along Without You Very Well. Credit for the renditions was given by the singer to his collaborators: producer and bass player, David Finck and pianist Jason Sherbundy (Smash, Catch Me if You Can).

I last saw Wopat in Indianapolis in 2009 performing the role of Billy Flynn in Chicago. Switching gears throughout his show this past weekend reminded me of that performance in his ability to slow down, speed up and, seemingly, flip moods. In one moment you are drawn into his own haunting Thailand Seas,  then bobbing to the brassy Jet Song and finally, laughing during the utterly delightful Making Whoopee. During the tune, the crooner admits his past scoundrel ways complete with several ex wives, allowing his impish side to show ever so slightly.

Best demonstrating the star's strong baritone vocals was The Moon's a Harsh Mistress sans a microphone. Just a man, a song and emotions. Raw emotions.

A new musical work, as yet untitled, will be released in early 2013. Receiving two CDs from Wopat, I listened to the Broadway cast recording of Annie Get Your Gun in which he starred with the ever-adorable Bernadette Peters.

Nice.

Then I listened to Consider it Swung.

And listened. And listened again. In fact, I am still listening to it.

The only criticism I have is that Wopat didn't share with Indianapolis a live version of his That's Life, Ode to Billie Joe and Deacon Blues. Exactly why they create CDs. Each is worth the price by itself. (This one is available at TomWopat.net.)

Bottom Line: Stepping out of his own shadow, Tom Wopat may well become known as a different type of duke...the Duke of Swing.

For upcoming performances, tickets and directions, visit TheCabaret.org or call 317-275-1169.
Images: Mark Lee

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her newest column, Infused at GottaGo.us and FoodandDrinkDigital.com and as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC. Gotta Go is published on Gottago.us, BroadwayWorld.com, in M magazine and these newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Sunday, July 15

Infused: Restaurant Review: Cafe Benelux

Cuvee des Trolls                                   Image/Musgrave
Milwaukee, with its brewing roots strongly in German soil, has been invaded by the Belgians and Dutch. And the local residents don’t seem to mind.

Where are the Belgian biers holed up? Those daring, bold invaders can be found hiding right out in the open. The open rooftop, that is.

Café Benelux, 346 N. Broadway, offers a rooftop advantage of views overlooking the ultra cool, revitalized neighborhood of the Historic Third Ward. Warehouses, built in the 1800s, are now filled with an eclectic array of pubs, fashion shops, spas, theaters and more, including Milwaukee Public Market and Riverwalk.Within steps of Lake Michigan, Benelux landed in a scenic spot to woo German-origin residents and visitors alike away from their traditional stein-filled liquids.

Named for the Lowland European region of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, Café Benelux features a 41-page Bier Book and it is taking no prisoners.
Bier, which has been hand-picked from the nooks and crannies of the favored European Lowland region in its breweries and monastaries, include a diverse, but well-focused menu of draughts, Saisons and Farm ales, Lambics and more. Gluten-free options are not just an afterthought with an entire page of 5.3% a.c. to 7 % a.c. options.

Pannenkoeken                      Image/EJMusgrave
On the extensive list, dark ales include Gulden Draak at 10.5% a.c. to the Tilburgs Dutch Brown Ale at a, comparably low, 5% a.c.  Sours, Amber Reds and IPAs are all on the frontline to take over the Lake Michigan-city’s taste buds.

Bitterballen         Image/EJMusgrave 


Cuvee des Trolls might just be worthy of the status of starred general with its blond malts and dried orange peel scents. Bitter, sour and occasionally sweet, this officer for the Brasserrie Debuisoon in Leuze-Pipaix, Belgium commands respect from all.
Glassware, which is considered an important piece of equipment and not just a decorative chalice, is paired properly with regard to each bier. Palettes come in four 120 ml. pours selected from 30 biers while the Lowland Meter gives you 10 selections to share with pals. The Kwak Carousel offers four beaker-like glasses of the amber liquid and the Kwak Liter has a two-handed beaker for your pleasure.

Kwak Carousel                              Image/Benelux
Pairings are equally taken seriously when it comes to the food selection. Taking the server’s expert suggestion, the pannenkoeken (a Dutch crepe/pancake, pancetta, egg and combination) frites and bitterballen (a Dutch meatball-type snack common in pubs) all hooked up well with the Cuvee des Trolls.

Bottom Line: With a passion so devoted to the culture and bier of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, Café Benelux makes the Lowlands proud and Milwaukeans content.

Directions, full menu and bier information can be found at CafeBenelux.com.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her newest column, Infused at GottaGo.us and FoodandDrinkDigital.com and as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC. Gotta Go is published on Gottago.us, BroadwayWorld.com, in M magazine and these newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Saturday, July 14

Indiana Ballet Conservatory Announces New Studios

IBC student, Elise Shea                                                          Siggul/VAM Productions 2012
The Indiana Ballet Conservatory announces an open house Fri., July 27, 5 - 7 pm to introduce its new studios located at 849 W. Carmel Drive and allow students to enroll for the fall semester.

All students enrolled in the fall semester will participate in The Nutcracker performed at the Indianapolis Museum of Art's Tobias Theater in December.

Since opening in 2010, the world-class faculty, consisting of Alyona Yakovleva, Tatiana Pali, Sergey Sergiev and Hailey Agran, has garnered both international attention and hometown support. Each year the number of students has consistently increased. Over the summer semester, IBC tripled the enrollment of its student body.

Students were invited April 25 to participate in the Youth America Grand Prix International NYC Finals, the largest international student ballet scholarship competition in the world. With more than 115 ensembles from America, Brazil, Mexico, Italy, Korea, South Africa, Spain and Switzerland, IBC placed in the top 12 with an ensemble piece created by faculty member, Sergey Sergiev, and danced by senior-level students Sterling Manka, Mark Pecar, and Alex Ray.


Sergiev was named the Outstanding Choreographer at this year's YAGP Indianapolis regional competition, which he received also in 2009 as well as the Choreography Award at the World Ballet Competition in 2010. In 2011, IBC earned the Outstanding School Award, while Yakovleva and Pali both received Outstanding Teacher awards.

The general public is welcome to attend an informal End-of-Summer Gala Friday, July 27, 7 pm at the new studios. There is no admission fee, but donations are encouraged. 

For open house and 2012-13 enrollment information, visit IndianaBalletConservatory.org.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her newest column, Infused at GottaGo.us and FoodandDrinkDigital.com and as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC. Gotta Go is published on Gottago.us, BroadwayWorld.com, in M magazine and these newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Sunday, July 8

PNC Pavilion Offers Wine and Beer Tastings at Concerts

PNC Pavilion Offers Wine Tastings, Beer Samplings and Cook Outs at Concerts

As the summer concert season kicks into full gear at Cincinnati's PNC Pavilion, the venue announces pre-show cook-outs, wine tastings and craft beer tastings are included with every ticket purchased.

Cook-Out Series
Concert-goers will be treated to a free cook-out while local bands provide entertainment. Being served will be a variety of brats, mets and hot dogs along with salads and all the fixin's.

July 23 Heart

July 25 Steve Miller Band

Aug 11 Jackson Browne

Aug 17 Il Volo

Wine Tastings SeriesConcert-goers will sample three selections of wine from a total of six different wines (three Red and three White) to choose from. All six selections will be available for purchase throughout the evening to enjoy at the show or to take home for another special occasion.

July 30 Crosby, Stills & Nash


Wines: Blufeld Riesling; Apothic White Blend; Clos Du Bois Unoaked Chardonnay; Franciscan Chardonnay; Clos Du Bois Rouge (Red Blend); Diseno Malbec;

Craft Beer Sampling Series
Included with the price of each ticket to the shows below, concert-goers will be treated to a craft beer sampling featuring an array of this year’s most popular craft beers.

July 11 Everclear, Sugar Ray, Gin Blossoms, Lit & Marcy Playground

Beers: Victory Summer Love; Anderson Valley Summer Solstice; Shiner Ruby Redbird; Samuel Adams Porch Rocker; Moerlein Exposition; Magic Hat Elderbetty; Thirsty Dog Labrador Lager; Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold; Smuttynose Old brown Dog; Rogue American Amber; Brooklyn Pale Ale; Mt. Carmel IPA; Sierra Nevada Torpedo; 21st Amendment Back in Black; Newcastle Seasonal; Angry Orchard Dry

Aug 8
Train with Mat Kearney and Andy Grammer
Beers: Samuel Adams Oktoberfest; Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar; Anchor Liberty; Victory Prima Pils; Great Lakes Burning River; Sierra Nevada keller-weisse; 21A Watermelon Wheat; Lost Coast Tangerine Wheat; Thirsty Dog Twisted Kilt; Victory Prima pils; Moerlein Northern Liberties; Samuel Smith Strawberry beer; Blanche de Bruxelles; Anderson Valley IPA ; Angry Orchard Ginger Cider; Magic Hat #9

For show times, tickets and directions, visit Riverbend.org.


Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her newest column, Infused at GottaGo.us and FoodandDrinkDigital.com and as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC. Gotta Go is published on Gottago.us, BroadwayWorld.com, in M magazine and these newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Friday, July 6

6 Best Reasons to Return to Cincinnati

What does the general population really know about Cincinnati?

WKRP in Cincinnati?

Okay, granted that immensely popular show brought the spotlight to this Midwest city, but there is more to it than a sleepy town harboring aging disc jockeys.

So much more.

When visiting a city, it is next to impossible to see everything in one visit. Mentally you make a list, often forgetting the majority of it by the time you reach home. Attempting to remember all you wanted to go back and delve into six months, or years, later is nearly futile. What if, instead of a mental list, you had an actual list?

A recent visit to the city along the Ohio River proved that it is revitalized, re-energized and revamped. Sampling various hot spots, eateries and attractions, I made an actual list of reasons to go back.

Six reasons to be exact.

1) World Choir Games- The ONLY city in the United States ever slected to host the annual "Olympic of Choirs" which is currently taking place (July 4-14). More than 400 choirs from around the globe will descend upon the town, bringing choral music in a gigantic way.

2) Cincinnati Museum- A Day in Pompeii, the limited-time exhibit provides a goose-bump inducing atmosphere of the ancient town covered in a matter of hours by the volcanic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79. Available only through Aug. 12, it is a must-see. The museum center (worth the drive alone) houses many museums in one and an OMAX-similar to IMAX except it wraps around you in an oval.

3) Netherland Plaza Hotel- Tinkling ivories, opulent French Art-Deco decor and soft-spoken, attentive staff ready to cater to your every whim create the ambiance every fan of old Hollywood glamour desires. Whether waiting for the elevator to whisk you to a suite, dining in the National Historic Landmark hotel's Orchids at Palm Court or sipping a Fleuri 75 cocktail at The Bar at Palm Court, you'll catch yourself glancing around for a glimpse of Bogey and Bacall.

4) Over-the-Rhine- The quirky, fun section of Cincinnati known as OTR to locals and those in the know, is the original brewing district started by a wave of German immigrants. Once the prohibition wiped out beer happenings, the settlement became more like a ghost town. Revitalization efforts give a younger generation a high-energy place to live, work and play, with restaurants, eclectic shops and live theater venues opening in historic buildings made of Italianate architecture.

5) Food- OTR's hip eateries, gourmet gastropub fare at Moerlein Lager House, award-winning menus from Orchids at Palm Court's Executive Chef Todd Kelly and Pastry Chef Megan Ketover, the Cincinnati-style guacamole at Nada, must-have Flying Pig Wings and Armadillos on the menu at sports bar & grill Cincy's on Sixth, Pompilios lasagna, the list goes on and on...Cincinnati culinary experts are striving to be considered a foodie's destination once again and they are definitely well on their way.

6) Christian Moerlein Lager House- If you haven't heard about this castle of beer baron Gregory Hardman yet, you are way behind the times. Hardman has resureccted the brewing heritage that once made Cincinnati one of the four kings of beer prior to that horrible blight on history known as Prohibition. Read review here.

These are just six of my reasons to return to Cincinnati although there are many more. Please leave your comments and questions about your own favorite reasons to return to Cincinnati.

Photo credits: E.J.Musgrave; Cincinnati Museum; World Games

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 on www.BroadwayWorld.com and in M magazine and the following newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter.

Tuesday, July 3

Andy Griffith Dies at 86

Andy Griffith
(June 1, 1926 – July 3, 2012)
Andy Griffith, beloved American actor of film and, most notably, television has passed away at the age of 86. An ambulance was called to his home in Dare County, NC Tuesday morning according to Dare County Sheriiff J.D.Doughtie. Former UNC president and close friend, Bill Friday, confirmed the actor's death.
Best known for two successful television programs, his title series, The Andy Griffith Show, aired from 1960-68. The situation comedy centered around Sheriff Andy Taylor of the small town Mayberry, and the antics of the straight-man's side kicks.

Matlock, airing from 1986-95, was a 60-minute legal drama with a healthy dose of quirky scenarios and comedy. Griffith portrayed lovable curmudgeon, sleuth and criminal defense attorney Ben Matlock who always outsmarted the murderers and found justice for his innocent clients.

Grammy Award-winning southern gospel singer, Griffith sang and played various instruments on both long-running shows and in his break out film, A Face in the Crowd (1957). Griffith's most successful album, I Love to Tell the Story: 25 Timeless Hymns, earned platinum status.

Although exact cause of deathis not know, Griffith was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, a nervous system disorder, in 1983. He underwent quadruple bypass surgery in May, 2000, after suffering from a heart attack.

Survivors include wife Cindi, and daughter Dixie. Preceding Griffith in death was his son Andrew Griffith, Jr.

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