Thursday, February 28

Book Review: Dizzy by Arthur Wooten

Here’s the thing I like about Arthur Wooten’s work (Leftovers, Birthday Pie, Wise Bear William): You forget you are holding a book. Sounds odd, I know, as I am an avid reader, a writer and lover of turning actual paper pages. However… when you are so absorbed in the story, you forget it is a story…that’s a winner.

Wooten’s storytelling ability continues to entertain while reaching into your spirit and soul to share serious topics with "Dizzy" his latest tale.

Spinning the glamour of Broadway, Wooten immediately launches into a warm, likable character with Angie Styles. Opening with the star chatting with her chauffeur – and bodyguard – Jake, the stage performer draws you into her world with a down-to-earth personality, and a touch of fun-diva attitude.

As a success story, with respect and admiration from colleagues and fans alike, Styles’ background is delved into little by little. Stricken by a rare medical condition (which she shares with the author)called bilateral vestibulopathy with oscillopsia. Difficult to pronounce, more difficult to understand and even more difficult to live with, the illness brings the entertainer crashing to the ground – literally.

Unable to walk straight, focus or balance upright, Styles becomes fodder for the paparazzi piranha who make ratings by portraying the ailing star as having an addiction to alcohol. Using her sardonic humour and courage, Styles fights her way back onto the stage and to a new level of “normal” with the aid of her friends and her own courage at facing reality.

Bottom Line: Easy to imagine this story on the big screen, Dizzy reads so smoothly you will not put it down until the last page has been turned and you are applauding the ending.

Buy the book: GalaxisProductions

About the author: Arthur Wooten is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Wise Bear William, Birthday Pie, Leftovers, On Picking Fruit and Fruit Cocktail. He has also written for television, theater and film and currently resides in New York City.

Website: ArthurWooten.com

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC. Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, an in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Wednesday, February 27

Nominations Now Open for 2013 Indiana Author Award

The public is invited to submit nominations for the 2013 Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award through March 22. The award is a program of The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation and recognizes the contributions of Indiana authors to the literary landscape in Indiana and across the nation. It is funded by The Glick Fund, a fund of Central Indiana Community Foundation.

Intended to elevate the written arts in Indiana, inspiring Hoosiers’ love of reading and drawing greater attention to “home-grown” literary greats, the award celebrates authors whose quality work has made, or has the potential to make, a lasting public impact.

National Author - $10,000 prize
A writer with Indiana ties, but whose work is known and read throughout the country. National authors will be evaluated on their entire body of work.

Regional Author - $7,500 prize
A writer who is well-known and respected throughout the state of Indiana. Regional authors will be evaluated on their entire body of work.

Emerging Author - $5,000 prize
A writer who has published no more than two books during his/her lifetime. The title(s) must have been published within the last 10 years. Emerging authors will be evaluated on these specific works.

In addition to a cash prize, each author’s Indiana hometown public library will receive a grant of $2,500 from the Library Foundation.

Nomination forms are available at IndianaAuthorsAward.org. The nomination process is quick, easy and free of charge. Complete information and eligibility guidelines are included on the nomination forms. New this year, authors previously nominated in the past four years will be considered again for the 2013 Awards.

Any published writer who was born in Indiana or who has lived in Indiana for at least five consecutive years is eligible for nomination. An eight-member, statewide award panel will select winners in three categories from the publicly nominated authors.

The Indiana Authors Award invites involvement beginning with the nomination process and continues throughout the year with outreach to organizations serving readers and writers and an interactive website, culminating with a day of free public programs and a ticketed Award Dinner on Oct. 26, 2013 at the Central Library in Indianapolis.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC. Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, an in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Thursday, February 14

James Dean Film Festival February 21-23, 2013 in Downtown Indianapolis

Star.

Legend.

Icon.

James Dean, Indiana native and film icon, shook the movie industry with his rocket-launched career. Shooting to the top of popularity with just three silver-screen titles under his belt, the star crashed tragically to the ground with an early death at the age of 24.

The country mourned the loss of the Rebel without a Cause and his name has forever been etched in the "Cool" Hall of Fame alongside the likes of Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and Humphrey Bogart. The intense, dramatic style of the quiet star earned the adoration of females of every age. 

In his brief career, Dean starred in just three movies, but managed to capture the hearts and attention of the country before his life ended at the age of 24. These one-time showings will be presented digitally via video projector.




Film Schedule

East of Eden
Thursday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m.

Rebel Without a Cause
Friday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m.

Giant
Saturday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m.
IMAX Theater in the Indiana State Museum will host a three-day James Dean Film Festival in conjunction with the Dean exhibit at the Indiana State Museum. The festival and exhibit honor the Hoosier-born actor whose life and promising future was cut short.

Parking is always free in the White River State Park parking garage. Patrons should bring in parking tickets for validation by the IMAX box office. To purchase tickets or to get more information, visit ImaxIndy.com.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC. Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, an in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Wednesday, February 13

Infused: Top 5 Best Valentine's Day Inspired Cocktails 2013

Cupid's arrow, romance, admitting to your sweetheart your undying affection. Primarily this is accomplished through tokens including: flowers ~ most specifically roses, jewelry, dinner out and notes of adoration.

However, often the intent can be accomplished simply with the right cocktail.

I invited experts in the world of spirits, wine and beer, including sommeliers, mixologists, restaurants, pubs, distillers and manufacturers to send their Valentine's Day-inspired cocktails.

Recipes of love potions came in from across the United States. The list was compiled and narrowed down to the ones most in spirit with the holiday and consisting of uniqueness, great taste and visual appeal. I present to you the...







Top 5 Best Valentine's Day Inspired Cocktails 2013

(1) Romeo and Juliette
(image above)
Who: Blush Ultraloung in Le Merigot Hotel at Casino Aztar (Steven Lagenour and Catherine Daters)
Where: Evansville, IN
Website: CasinoAztar.com
Inspiration: Romeo is a classic and classy drink with a twist. A great spin on a classic Sidecar to inspire the romance. Juliette captures the bittersweet romance of this classic tale.
Recipe: ROMEO: 3 oz Ginger Brandy, ¼ oz St Germain Elderflower liquor, ½ oz Orange juice, Rim the glass with orange wheel and dip in sugar. Put all ingredients in shaker, pour on the rocks. Add Orange Wheel garnish and enjoy. JULIETTE: 1 oz Godiva White, 1 oz Crème De Cacao White, ¾ oz Chambord, ½ oz of Absolut Kurant, Splash of crème, ½ of Hpnotiq Harmonie, Fresh Blackberry puree. Put all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Layer in the glass with Blackberry puree and Hypnotiq Harmonie blended together. Atop the puree, carefully add sweet white chocolate and berry mixture, combining the sweet and bitterness together.

(2) His & Hers
Who: Flemings Prime Steakhouse
Where: Indianapolis, IN
Website: FlemingsSteakhouse.com
Inspiration: His and Hers was created for each to have a special drink for the Valentine’s - perfect for a couple.
Recipe: Hers-Venetian Valentine: .5 oz Quady Elysium (muscat dessert wine), .5 oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, 4 oz Mionetto Prosecco. Serve in a champagne flute-garnished with a Luxardo Cherry. His-Mint To Be: 1.5 oz Gentleman Jack, 1oz. Domaine De Canton, 2 oz. POM juice, .5 oz. Simple Syrup, 8 fresh mint leaves,


(3) Amore Smooch
Who: SASSI
Where: Scottsdale, AZ
Website: Sassi.biz
Inspiration: The kiss of romantics everywhere
Recipe: 1 oz of Godiva White liqueur, 1 oz of Svedka Cherry Vodka, 1 oz of Crème de Cacao. Mix all ingredients in a martini shaker, strain into a stemless martini glass (bottom of the glass filled with crushed ice and 2 fresh rose petals).

(4) Burning Love
Who: TY KU
Website: Trytyku.com
Inspiration: The passion of lovers
Recipe: 3 oz TY KU Sake, handful of cinnamon hearts. Serve chilled

(5) Love Potion #15
Who: Orchids at Palm Court (Chef Todd Kelly)
Where: Cincinnati, OH
Website: OrchidsatPalmCourt.com
Twitter: @Orchids_at_Palm, @OrchidsChef
Inspiration: The pomegranate has historical associations with sensuality
Recipe: 1 oz OYO Honey Vanilla Bean Vodka, 1 oz Cointreau, 1/2 oz Lemon Juice, 1 oz Pomegranate Juice Syrup (juice reduced by half), 1 oz simple syrup and top with soda water. Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into martini glass and garnish with fresh pomegranate seeds and lime twist.

Images furnished by entries

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC. Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, an in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Tuesday, February 12

National Maple Syrup Festival March 2-3 & 9-10, 2013 Includes Sweet Victory Challenge

The maple sugar season kicks off at the National Maple Syrup Festival in Medora, IND during the first two weekends of March (March 2-3, 9-10)

In its fifth year, the festival draws thousands of visitors who want to experience the fun, the flavor, and the history of maple syrup from Native American times, to the early settlers, and learn about the newest syrup creations being developed for the finest restaurants.
There are also many treats to sample, including maple pork chops, maple baked beans and pancakes smothered in real maple syrup.

Activities include bluegrass music, history re-enactors, crafts, artwork, the world’s greatest pancake flipper (according to Guinness), as well as, artisan foods and syrups to sample and purchase. Events are ongoing and take place inside the local school and outdoors on the rustic Burton's Maplewood Farm where each season more than 700 maple trees are tapped for the farm’s artisanal, barrel-aged syrup creations. Shuttle buses are available to take visitors between the two venues.

One of the highlights of the event is the Sweet Victory Challenge sponsored by King Arthur flour where the best amateur cooks in America will compete for prizes with their own original maple syrup recipes. These dishes will be whipped up by volunteer cooks, judged by professional chefs and sampled by lucky visitors Entries are due by February 22.

All benefits from the National Maple Syrup Festival go to the Heads Up!!! Foundation that supports the Craniofacial Anomalies Program at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. While most of the events are free to the public, food prices are reasonable and shuttle service is $8 for adults and $6 for children and seniors.
Over the years the festival has been growing with more to see, taste and do. Medora is an easy day trip from Louisville, Cincinnati, Evansville, Terre Haute and Indianapolis. Located near the Hoosier National Forest, the Hoosier Wine Trail, and the Covered Bridge Loop, Medora is located just few miles from Seymour, Indiana (the boyhood home of singer John Mellencamp) where lodging is available.

King Arthur Flour is known by avid bakers for its consistent baking performance and lack of chemical additives. A variety of King Arthur’s unbleached flours and additive- and preservative-free baking mixes is available at supermarkets nationwide. King Arthur Flour’s mail-order catalogue is available online at kingarthurflour.com and at The Baker’s Store in Norwich, Vermont.

Images: E J Musgrave; Burton's Maplewood Farm

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC. Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, an in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Monday, February 11

Northside Nights 2013: March 11-24

The Melting Pot
Northside Nights, the northern take on Devour Downtown, returns for foodies and occasional diners alike to enjoy the wondrous edible fare on Indy's upper end. Fourteen days worth of culinary offerings tempt the palate for a special price and menu at each location.

The third year includes 36 restaurants giving guests a prix fixe meal. Tech savvy folks can follow updates on Twitter by following @NorthsideNights. Below are participating restaurants and links for reviews which will be updated regularly.

Northside Nights 2013
Participating Restaurants
(GF) Gluten Free ~ (V) Vegetarian ~ (Ve) Vegan

Blu Martini (V) 
Hall's Castleton Grill (V) 
Peterson's (V) 
Stone Creek Dining-Noblesville 
Chef Mike's Charcoal Grill 
Daddy Jack's 
Pizzology (V) 
Dessert at Blu Martini
Sushi at Blu Martini
Late Harvest (V) 
Kincaid's (V) 
Ruth's Chris (V)
Nickel Plate 
Cobblestone Grill 
Kona Jack's Fish Market & Sushi Bar 
Sangiovese Ristorante 
Hellas Cafe (V) 
Eddie Merlot's 
Harry & Izzy's (V)-lunch or dinner 
Mitchell's Fish Market 
Michael's Southshore(V) 
Fleming's Prime Steakhouse 
Oakleys Bistro (V) 
Seasons 52
Arni's Restaurant (GF,V)-lunch or dinner 
Stone Creek Dining-Zionsville 
Sullivan's Steakhouse (V) 
The Melting Pot (GF,V) 
For a review of The Melting Pot chocolate martini, click here.
Grille 39 Restaurant
Belle Vita (V) 
J.Razzos (V) 
Shiraz (V)
Ocean Prime 
Scotty's Lakehouse (V) 
Scotty's Brewhouse (V)
MacKenzie River Pizza, Pub, Grill (GF,V)
Rusty Bucket Corner Tavern (V)
Images: E J Musgrave

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC. Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, an in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Sunday, February 10

Theater Review: Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre: 9 to 5 the Musical

Once upon a time, not so very long ago...was a world where women were looked upon as inferior in the business world. They were sexually harassed, passed over for promotions, received lower wages for the same position. In 1980 a movie took a humorous look at the "what if" factor giving females everywhere a laugh at their "Good Ol' Boys Club" bosses.

Beef and Boards brings that hit film, "9 to 5" to the Indianapolis stage as it continues its 40th anniversary of success. Three ladies (Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda in the movie) Doralee, Violet and Judy, accidentally poison their boorish, sexist boss Franklin Hart, Jr., (Dabney Coleman in film). When he survives, they kidnap him until they have proof of his embezzlement of company funds.
Bringing in the queen of our hearts, Sarah Hund, is always a smart move ~ popular with Indy audiences and critics alike. As one of my Destination Actors, Hund never fails to light up the stage ~ seen at B&B in Sound of Music, Smoke trilogy, ...Spelling Bee, and Singin' in the Rain to name a few. This time the musician, singer, and stage and television performer takes on the role of Judy Bernly, new girl to the office. Forced into the workforce by a midlife husband who leaves her for a 19 year old, Bernly strives to prove her worth in life to her ex, bosses and herself.
Normally given comedic and quiet roles, she is allowed to strut her stuff this go round. Hund brings down the house with her empowering, soulful and vulnerable solo, "Get out and Stay Out."

Violet Newstead, the hard-working woman who accidentally drops rat poison in Hart's coffee, is performed by Annie Edgerton. She last delighted us as Paulette in Legally Blonde, stealing the show and capturing Indy's attention. As the intelligent, drab, overlooked assistant to Hart, Edgerton's animated "Potion Notion" is delightful and charming, allowing her whimsical side to shine along with her strong, smooth vocals.

Portraying adorable Doralee Rhodes, the Texan with a big heart, is Crystal Mosser, making her debut at B&B. Her sweet temper turns spicy when she learns her boss, Hart, has spread the rumor they are having an affair. Mosser shines brightest during her fiery temper scenes.

Andrew Lebon steps up to the despicable role of the sleazy boss giving the audience someone to loathe.

Scenic designer Michael Layton's set smoothly transfers the audience from office building to hospital, backyard and various home settings ~ no simple feat on the small stage.

*Special note ~ marijuana smoking and sexual conversations make this show inappropriate for children.

Bottom Line: Beef and Boards brings a DD-sized frolicking, adult fun to Indianapolis with "9 to 5: the musical."

Images: JulieCurryPhotography.com

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC. Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, an in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Friday, February 8

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra's 2013 Symphony on the Prairie Season

on the Prairie season includes romance, rock and river.
2013 Symphony on the Prairie Schedule

June 21-22
Classical Tales of Romance
Marcelo Lehninger, Conductor
The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra kicks off the summer series with classical masterworks with a romantic theme, such as Rimsky-Korsakov’s epic work, Scheherazade, and more.

June 28-29
Movie Music of John Williams
Alfred Savia, Conductor
The ISO celebrates renowned composer John Williams in a concert weekend dedicated to some of his most memorable film scores.

July 3-5
Star Spangled Symphony
Alfred Savia, Conductor
The ISO’s annual salute to America’s favorite patriotic music with a fireworks finale.

July 12-13
Classic FM
Jack Everly, Conductor
ISO Principal Pops Conductor Jack Everly takes a trip down memory lane on the Classic FM dial with a symphonic tribute to 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s iconic rock ‘n’ roll, disco and pop music.

July 19-20
50 Years of Rock ‘n’ Roll: Music of The Rolling Stones
Brent Havens, Conductor
Brody Dolyniuk, Vocals
Hailed as “the World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band” by The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, The Rolling Stones celebrated 50 years together in 2012. Brent Havens and the ISO highlight this award-winning group’s signature sound with hits such as “I Can’t Get No (Satisfaction),” “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and “Start Me Up.”

July 26-27
Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4
David Glover, Conductor
ISO Assistant Conductor David Glover leads the ISO in two evenings of Tchaikovsky’s monumental Fourth Symphony, a work the composer himself said is “better than anything I’ve done so far.”

*Aug. 2-3
Indy Jazz Fest at the Prairie
In a special partnership with Indy Jazz Fest, the art form called “the purest expression of American democracy; a music built on individualism and compromise, independence and cooperation,” will debut exclusively in a concert weekend on the Conner Prairie stage.

*Aug. 9-10
The Contours: Motown Magic
After a successful debut at the Conner Prairie Amphitheatre in 2012, the Motown group, The Contours, returns to recreate the vocals and polished choreography of the artists representing that famous Detroit-based label.

*Aug. 16-17
2013 marks the 20th anniversary of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s arrival onto the music scene. With the release of their new CD, Rattle Them Bones, BBVD comes back to the Prairie with its signature grooves, “Why Me,” “The Jitters,” “Diga Diga Do” and more.

*Aug. 23-24
From California to New York, River City Brass Band delights audiences with its signature blend of brass and percussion and its renditions of many jazz, big band, swing and American standards.

*Aug. 30, 31 and Sept. 1
Classical Mystery Tour: Music of the Beatles
The group that has lit up Marsh Symphony on the Prairie for the past six summers returns to lead audiences through mosaic of many Beatles’ favorites and pays tribute to the 45th anniversary of the group’s universally-acclaimed White Album, listed as No. 10 on Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.”

*The ISO does not perform in these concerts.

10-ticket value packs, full season table subscriptions and group reservations on sale Feb. 25; single tickets and single reserved tables go on sale April 15

Order Value Packs and season table subscriptions at Hilbert Circle Theatre Box Office, by calling (317) 639-4300 or at IndianapolisSymphony.org.
For group sales, contact Margaret Henney at (317) 231-6788.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC. Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, an in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Tuesday, February 5

St. Louis Shakes Things Up with Adult Style Kid Drinks

The restaurants of St Louis' casinos ~ Lumiere Place and River City ~ have figured out a solution to a never-ending problem for adults. one that has plagued each of us since the moment we hit puberty.

One of the best things about being a child is the food. You taste so many things for the first time and, often, can remember for the rest of your life your first hot dog, pizza, or ice cream. Memories remind you of happy times (or not so happy) times when you eat your favorite foods.

Certainly we remember our first adult beverage ~ that Little Kings in high school, the screwdriver made with swiped vodka from a parents' cabinet ~ and you laugh about it later.

One of the worst things about growing up is giving up, one item at a time, those favorite foods. Health reasons, weight watching and other various reasons require you to give them up forever. Sometimes you give it up because you have to decide between an adult beverage and a child's favorite.

Now you can have your shake and liquor too.

For beer drinkers, the casino's Guinness chocolate  milkshake will quench your thirst. The dark stout pairs well with the frozen flavor and keeps chocolate cravings at bay.
St. Louis' River City Casino, Lumiere Place and Four Seasons Hotel have created a complete menu of adult beverages harking back to delicious childhood favorites.

On a rotating seasonal menu, "Adult Milkshakes" made with the fun-loving grown up in mind include:

White Chocolate Truffle
Vanilla ice cream, Godiva White Chocolate Liquor, Chambord
Chocolate Truffle
Chocolate ice cream, Chocolate vodka , Chambord
Chocolate Orange
Chocolate ice cream, Chocolate vodka, Cointreau
Naughty Strawberry
Strawberry ice cream, B&B, Strawberry Pucker
Nutty Irish
Vanilla ice cream, Frangelico, Irish Cream, Nutella
Rocky Road
Chocolate ice cream, marshmallow vodka, vanilla vodka, sliced almonds, Chocolate chips
Key Lime Pie
Vanilla ice cream, Lime Vodka, Whipped Vodka, fresh squeezed juice of 2 limes, graham cracker mixed in and sprinkled on top of whipped cream, wheel of lime as garnish.
For those who grew up watching E.T. find his way home, River City brings the colorful candies into the bar for a special treatment. Skittles-infused vodka cocktails satisfy the little kid in all of us with the brightly hued martinis tasting exactly like the popular candies.

Bottom Line: Residents of St. Louis, and anyone within driving distance, will be able to feel like a kid again ~ one drink at a time.
 Images: E J Musgrave

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC. Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, an in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Monday, February 4

ISO Reaches Financial Goals ~ Musicians will Continue for 5 More Years

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra exceeds $5 Million
goal for “Life. It’s Better with Music” campaign

*Press Release*
INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Symphony Society’s Board of Directors announced today that it has exceeded the $5 million goal for new donor commitments in connection with its major fundraising campaign. Due to the overwhelming support received in the past 10 days, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra is still compiling the results, but the final tally will be announced when all gifts and pledges are accounted for and documented.

“We are thrilled by this strong support from the community, especially in these final days,” said Martha Lamkin, board chair for the ISO. “On behalf of the ISO board, staff and musicians, we thank all of those who have come forward to support the ISO at this critical juncture. As a result of this achievement, the five-year contract with our musicians negotiated last fall will go into effect at midnight tonight.”

To order tickets, click on IndianapolisSymphony.org.

Since Oct. 16, 2012, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra has been operating under a short-term “bridge” agreement while this major fundraising initiative took place to raise $5 million in new donor commitments. Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay and Indiana Pacers owner Herb Simon pledged lead gifts of $750,000 each in mid-December, and board member Yvonne Shaheen provided a dollar-for-dollar matching gift of $500,000 to support the effort.

The “Life. It’s Better with Music” campaign was the first phase in ensuring a financially sustainable future for the Orchestra over the next five years. The ISO will continue calling on all subscribers, patrons, affiliate group members, corporate leaders and other supporters to purchase single tickets and subscriptions, provide support for programs and educational efforts, and make legacy and annual fund gifts so that the ISO can continue to be an integral part of the central Indiana community through its many music programs and other outreach activities.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC. Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, an in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Sunday, February 3

Infused Book Review: The New Old Bar by The Hearty Boys

Everything trends, and what once was old is new again – that is particularly true with cocktails. Where you once would slip onto a bar stool and ask for a Sex on the Beach or some other flashy, brightly-colored, 80s-style drink, nowadays you can find patrons asking for a Tom Collins, Old-Fashioned, or some other throwback to an earlier era known as Pre-Prohibition.

"The New Old Bar" is written by Steve McDonagh and Dan Smith (aka The Hearty Boys), who fell in love with old school drinks at right about the same time as everyone else in the nation. Luckily, unlike everyone else, they wrote a book about it offering 200 recipes, nibblers and tips for the aspiring home bartender.

Numerous well-known drinks are included such as the Sidecar and Gimlet, as are drinks with varying quantities of ingredients. The Dark and Stormy has but two, while the Celery Mary has a lengthy eight.

Would I recommend this to a budding home bartender? Absolutely not. I am not certain I would recommend this to even a second-level home bartender, as there are layered drinks which take practice and a delicate touch. Nor do I believe I would recommend this to the budget-conscious home bartender: the included inventory of must-have liquors is a lengthy list consisting of four or five gins, three rums and five whiskies, and much more. There is also an expectation one will be comfortable making syrups, fancy garnishes, and shrubs.

Wow.

Remember the Sears & Roebuck Wish Book that came out every holiday season? You would curl up with it and mark the pages of all the toys you hoped Mom and Dad would notice and buy for you? This book could be entitled the "To Aspire List" instead.
When one reaches a certain level of expertise, it’s easy to forget the basic level of the novice. I had a Geology 101 professor in college who was a seismology expert, flown all over the globe for his opinion. He couldn't even remember basic geology, let alone have empathy for the novice. I don't believe this book is quite that daunting, but certainly I can see a beginner becoming discouraged over attempting to float liqueurs over the back of a spoon and using a match to draw the oils from citrus for a drink.

However, for the person who has mastered the basics, and found a desire to create their own secondary items, accumulate gadgets for their bar and want to impress guests, then this is the book to buy. McDonagh and Smith share tricks, tips and history to make lasting impressions with cocktails and fun bar food.

Bottom Line: "The New Old Bar Book" brings Pre-Prohibition cocktails to the forefront with style for the cocktail enthusiast with a desire to take it to the next level.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC. Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, an in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Saturday, February 2

February 2013 Indiana Winery Events Offer Chocolate, Knitting, Massage & More

February 2013 Indiana Winery Events
Ongoing
Wednesdays New Day Meadery, Indianapolis,  massages are offered 6-9 pm ~ $10 for a 10-minute massage and a glass of cider or honey wine.

Ongoing
Fridays and Saturdays, Chateau Thomas, Nashville tasting room features live music 7-10 pm. A wide selection of gourmet cheeses is offered to pair with wines.

February 2, 9, 16, & 23
Chateau Thomas, Plainfield, features its singer/songwriters series in February. Musicians play 2-4 pm Saturdays, except for Feb. 16 when the guest musicians play 1-3 pm.

February 2 & 3
Mallow Run Winery, Bargersville, hosts its Soup & Wine weekend. Superbowl Chili and great music will be served.

February 6
New Day Meadery, Indianapolis, hosts Ladies Night 6-9 pm. A night of relaxing, socializing, shopping and massagess.

February 8
Join the new Winzerwald Evansville tasting room for the Mardi Gras Crawl. Nearly 20 businesses invite you for an evening of fun at area restaurants, Winzerwald Tasting Room, the new Tin Man Brewery and more. For details visit Winzerwald Winery Evansville Tasting Room or call 812-423-2427.

February 9
Celebrate Valentine's Day at Grateful Goat Vineyard & Winery, Palmyra. Me and You perform Noon-4 pm. 

February 9
The great Schocolade Celebration fest returns to Lanthier Winery, Madison. Bring your sweetheart for cocoa treats of all types and tastes. Gather friends, family or someone special for a sweet day of chocolate, wine and laughter. Discover this chocolate frenzy just in time for a valentine getaway. Free admission-event open 11 am-3 pm. Winery open 11 am-5 pm. This event is adults only.

February 9 & 10
Mallow Run Winery, Bargersville, hosts Soup & Wine weekend. Mardi Gras Jambalaya and great music will be served.

February 9&10, 16&17
Indian Creek Winery, Georgetown, offers a free chocolate fondue tasting. Enjoy chocolate and wine.

February 9&10, 16&17
Grab your sweetie and swing into Monkey Hollow Winery, Saint Meinrad, for chocolates paired with a selection of our award-winning wines. And just in time for Valentine's Day, the release of the sensational Strawberry Wine as well as the return of bodacious Blueberry Wine.
February 9&10, 16&17 
Madison Vineyards Estate Winery ~ Bed & Breakfast, Madison, hosts its B &B Valentine Dinner Package. Stay 2 nights in the B&B, enjoy wine and appetizers Friday evening, fresh flowers and chocolates in your room, a four-course dinner with wine at the winery Saturday, February 16 or a gift certificate for dinner at a local restaurant on the 9. Advance Reservations Only.

February 14
Chateau Thomas Winery, Plainfield, hosts its annual Valentine's Day dinner Thursday February 14 at 7 pm. It includes a four-course dinner and wine pairing. Reservations are required by calling 317-837-9463.

February 17
Oak Hill Winery, Converse, hosts a free seminar. Appreciating Wine 101, a 90-minute workshop, begins at 4:30 pm, covering basic wine terminology, types of wine, wine regions, reading wine labels and more.

February 21
Wine & Canvas night at Mallow Run, Bargersville, 6:30-9:30 pm. Registration required at Wine & Canvas Bloomington or call (812) 345-1019

February 23 & 24
Mallow Run Winery, Bargersville,  hosts Soup & Wine weekend. Texas-Style Taco Soup and great music.

February 23-24
Oliver Winery, Bloomington, hosts its Barrel Tasting Weekend at the main tasting room on SR 37. Customers can sample barreled wines on a guided tour of the cellar and production space.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC. Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, an in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Friday, February 1

Theater Review: IRT A Little Night Music

IRT, Indianapolis, brings an atypical performance (for them) to its stage through February 17. Stephen Sondheim's "A Little Night Music" is a delightful romp for the well-seasoned performers and audience alike.

Sondheim, composer and lyricist, whose works also include "Sweeney Todd", "Follies" and "Gypsy," is considered one of the greatest in musical theater.

The Academy and Tony award winner also garnered a Top 40 hit from "A Little Night Music" ~ "Send in the Clowns" ~ recorded by Judy Collins and performed by Sylvia McNair at IRT. The two-time Grammy Award winner plays the role of Desiree Armfeldt, the aging star of stage, with a vulnerable undertone and a delightful flirty and charming flair making it easy to see why men fell all over themselves for her. Desiree comes to terms with her life, disappointments and dreams, reaching the point of knowing what she wants.

And what she wants is Fredrik Egerman, portrayed perfectly by James Rank. Egerman, in the throes of a mid-life crisis, rushes into a unconsummated marriage with 18 year old Anne, a child both emotionally and literally. Rank establishes clearly he is unsatisfied with his life and wife, in "Now" which highlights his vocal ability, and reminisces about his lost love, Desiree.
Desiree and Egerman meet up for a late night rendezvous after her performance while on tour in his town. "Send in the Clowns" is popular for obvious reasons and McNair's version is heartrendingly wonderful.

Marrying "the old man" for his financial attributes, teenager Anne is actually in love with Egerman's son, Henrik. The 19 year old is given the right touch by Nicholas Fitzer as the uptight seminary pupil intent on being worthy of his future title. Anne's vain character is realized passionately by Grace Morgan's ability to portray a self-centered girl who is in a mismatched relationship. Her 11-month stand off in performing "wifely duties" is suited well for the Swedish 1900 era and setting of this story.

The story continues with a fun Greek Chorus-like group of singers and dancers, a weekend at the country estate of at Desiree's mother, Madame Armfeldt, played by Fontaine Syer and Desiree's daughter, Fredrika, played by Maggie Williams. The two love Desiree, understand her and wait patiently for her to come around to maturity.

The play centers around Desiree's lifestyle choices and her true dreams in a farcical manner which keeps the pace moving along and the audience enjoying this tale of love in all its forms.

Bottom Line: IRT scores another hit with its "A Little Night Music."

Images by Zach Rosing

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC. Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, an in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.