Monday, December 1

Theater Review: Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre: A Beef and Boards Christmas 2014

Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre, Indianapolis, closes the season with its annual holiday variety production, A Beef and Boards Christmas 2014.

It's interesting to watch the changes in the holiday show over the years. The first I attended was my first year reviewing (2007), which is available only in the original newspapers. However, I have included the links to a few I have published in newspapers and posted online over my tenure.

Click here for 2009 review

Some years there are children on stage, others (such as this year) it is a whirlwind of adults-only dancers and singers mixing it up with The Grinch, Santa Claus and Frosty the Snowman.

And the flying reindeer.

So, this time I thought I would give my hits and misses list.

HITS
Indy's own co-host favorites ~ Deb Wims and Kenny Shepard ~ took the reigns once more for this production. Guiding the audience through a myriad of holiday staples, dancing characters and choral groups, the show would not be the same without this attractive and charming pair.

New to the Christmas cast is Heather Patterson-King, who portrayed Mrs. Banks in B&B's Mary Poppins. Patterson-King's vocals were a beautiful addition to each song and highlighted best in "Tennessee Christmas." A most welcome talent who this critic hopes to see (and hear) more of in the 2015 schedule. She is the best thing to be added to the holiday show in quite some time.

Click here for 2013 review

B&B's tradition of saluting the military serving our country always brings me to the edge of welling up. "I'll be Home for Christmas," performed superbly by Matt Branic is full of pride and respect. Here's to the continued practice.

Intermission with Santa Claus is an absolute keeper for me. Although I have no young ones dashing about, the free pictures with the jolly elf gives back to the audience and gives the kids something special.

MISSES
Not casting John Vessels is a big miss in my book. His zany antics bring the audience to tears every time he hits the stage. This year's fun segments seemed less so without this favorite of Indy theatergoers. Watching him plop about during his (see link for review below) rendition of, "All I Want for Christmas," still makes me laugh out loud.

Click here for 2011 review

Seeing children perform on stage gives children in the audience the crazy idea that they, also, can get up there and perform. Not a bad thing. It also holds their attention better than one adult after another. So, I would call it a miss to eliminate the kid factor this year.

I cannot see "Marshmallow World," performed by Shepard and Wims enough. Left out this year, the performers dress as Raggedy Andy and Raggedy Ann for an adorable segment of great music and dancing.

Bottom Line: A Beef and Boards Christmas 2014 offers a family friendly holiday show with song and dance for every age.

Images: JulieCurryPhotography.com

Elizabeth J. Musgrave writes two magazine food and wine columns: Destination Dining and White Linen & Corks,and is a travel, features, food and wine writer, travel and food photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as the Travel & Leisure Adviser on FOX59 Morning News Show. She also is a speaker, consultant and trainer for hospitality, travel and luxury businesses, P.R., and tourism groups, as well as a radio and television guest and host. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Tuesday, November 25

Top 10 Best Ways to Enjoy RumChata

I have loved RumChata since the moment I tried it, which, was someone else’s idea as I hadn't heard of it until then. So, thank you Chef Greg Schiesser… Once I tried it, my mind began whirling with ideas of how to try it in virtually everything. Cocktails, cooking, baking, you name it and I was pouring it in, on and around. And, when I like something this much, I start telling everyone and sharing with them ~ spreading the love, so to speak.

Here are my Top 10 ways to enjoy the cream-based liqueur. It is similar in style to Bailey’s Irish Crème, but rum instead and with cinnamon-y goodness.

1. Straight over ice~ Keep it simple.

2. French Toast~ Dipped in RumChata instead of milk only makes any brunch better. There is an official recipe, but I felt it diluted the RumChata flavor too much so instead just replaced the milk in my normal recipe and it worked great.

3. Winter Warm up~ Using hot cocoa packets for a quick hot drink, mix with RumChata and pour into saucepan. Heat thoroughly, pour into cups and enjoy while sitting by the fireplace.

4. Morning Wake up~ Make your morning java as normal then pour in RumChata instead of creamer, stir and enjoy. You can also pour RumChata into ice cube tray, freeze and use with normal coffee over the ice cubes in a glass for iced coffee deluxe.

5. Cheesecake~ Yes… cheesecake. Do I really need to say anymore than that? Here’s the recipe:

RumChata Cheesecake (from website)
15 graham crackers, crushed
2 tbs butter, melted
32 oz cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup RumChata
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tbs vanilla extract
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 9" spring form pan. In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press into the bottom of the pan. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Slowly blend in RumChata and eggs. Mix in sour cream, vanilla, and flour until smooth. Pour filling over prepared crust. Bake for 1 hour. Turn off oven and let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 5 to 6 hours to prevent cracking. Chill in the refrigerator until serving.

6. Whipped Cream~ This is actually how I tasted it first. While at Chef Greg’s Canvas and Cuisine class at Indiana Grand casino, he poured it into an aerosol can and created whipped topping for individual pumpkin tarts. Feel free to put the whipped cream in your hot chocolate also.

7. Kentucky Cocktail~ Pour 3 parts RumChata to 1 part favorite bourbon into Boston shaker with ice. Shake, pour into short glass and enjoy while betting on the thoroughbreds.

8. Cupcakes~ Okay, you could also use it on cake, so whichever is your favorite. I like it in the icing for spice cupcakes, or a bourbon icing on RumChata cupcakes.

RumChata Frosting (from RumChata website)
1 cup unsalted butter
3-4 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 T vanilla
(up to) 4 T RumChata

Cream butter at medium speed for 2-3 minutes. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and mix at low speed until incorporated. Add vanilla, salt and 2 tablespoons RumChata and mix at high speed for 3 minutes, adding more sugar and RumChata until desired consistency is reached. Frost as desired.

9. Hot Tub Cocktail~ Pour (3 parts RumChata to 1 part Pisa, 1 part vodka) into Boston shaker with ice, Pisa liqueur, a splash of milk and caramel vodka, shake vigorously and pour into tall glass of ice or strain into martini glass.

10. Fruit Dip~ I use this in whipped cream form as a fruit dip and use bananas, apple slices and other fruits for a change of pace from the typical fruit dip. Okay, I also dip gingersnap cookies in it ~

Elizabeth J. Musgrave writes two magazine food and wine columns: Destination Dining and White Linen & Corks,and is a travel, features, food and wine writer, travel and food photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as the Travel & Leisure Adviser on FOX59 Morning News Show. She also is a speaker, consultant and trainer for hospitality, travel and luxury businesses, P.R., and tourism groups, as well as a radio and television guest and host. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Friday, November 7

Wanted: 7th Annual Ultimate Gift Guide 2014 Submissions Now Being Accepted

The 7th annual “Gotta Go Ultimate Gift Guide” is quickly coming upon us, with a shorter
turnaround time available, due to requests. I realize this is tight on time, however, viewers are requesting an earlier feature of the gifts to stay in line with their shopping habits.

The popular event ~ sharing the best holiday and Christmas gift ideas ~ will be televised again this year. I have switched from Fine-living Adviser on Indy Style to be the Travel & Leisure Adviser for Fox 59 Morning News Show. I will showcase winners on the program Thanksgiving morning, November 27 at 9:10 a.m.

Entries must include two of each entry, one for judging purposes and one for presentation on television (if selected).

November 24, 2014 is this year's deadline for entries. The list of winners (with image and website) will be published online at GottaGo.us during the week of November 27, 2014.

Entries will, once again, be selected by a three-judge panel.

Those submitting winning entries will be notified by the email address sent with the entry.

Purchasing and contact information should be included with entry, along with bio of product and company. Images should also be submitted via email. A hi-res image (or two) of each entry must be included via email with information in case needed for the television show.

All questions can be answered by emailing elizabethjmusgrave@gmail.com or elizabeth@gottago.us, or call her at 317-457-3221.

NEW THIS YEAR ~
All gifts will be in a general category as each year has seen a wide variety of items.

However, also new this year: ALL items will be accepted, including toys, children, stocking stuffers, books, food, wine/spirits, jewelry, clothing, et al. Whatever you can think of  ~ with the following exceptions:
No pornographic, fundraiser, political, religious, sexual, illegal, or hate items will be accepted.
Rules and tips: 

• Entries must be EXACTLY as the consumer would purchase ~ size, package everything. Ex. gift packs, gift baskets, monthly club, size, etc.

• Submissions must include 2 (two) of each item: 1 (one) for judging and 1 (one) for presentation on television (if selected).

• PR firms may submit for as many clients as they wish.

• Only three different items may be submitted per product company.

• Food items are allowed again.

• Alcohol and alcohol gift sets will be accepted again this year.

• Perishables are accepted, but please send to arrive the day before judging for best presentation.

• Children and pet items are being accepted again this year.

• Information for purchasing must be included (website, retail locations, etc.).

• MSRP must be included.

• Include social media information (Twittter, Facebook) in email for inclusion on website post.

No pornographic, fundraiser, political, religious, sexual, illegal, or hate items will be accepted.

• Entries must be received by 6 p.m. Monday, November, 24, 2014.

• Send all questions to elizabeth@gottago.us or elizabethjmusgrave@gmail.com.

• Due to the quantity of items received annually, all items cannot be featured and will be chosen by judges.

• Items cannot be returned.

• No monies, by way of donation, fee or otherwise, will be required or accepted by any judge. This is not a media buy or advertising project. It is strictly editorial.

• All decisions by judges are final. Judging will be held Tuesday, November 24, 2014.

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

Elizabeth J. Musgrave writes two magazine food and wine columns: Destination Dining and White Linen & Corks,and is a travel, features, food and wine writer, travel and food photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as the Travel & Leisure Adviser on FOX59 Morning News Show. She also is a speaker, consultant and trainer for hospitality, travel and luxury businesses, P.R., and tourism groups, as well as a radio and television guest and host. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Thursday, October 23

Rocky Horror Picture Show Goes LIVE at The Athenaeum

Get ready to do the Time Warp again ~

If you are familiar, or even if you have never seen, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, chances are you have heard of it. It's one of those classic cult films your mother wouldn't let you go see as a teenager. Then you got old enough to sneak a showing of the movie at a midnight showing somewhere.

Coming to Indianapolis is the live stage version, produced by Zach Rosing Productions. Hitting the stage once before (in 2012 at Footlite Musicals), this go 'round will be performed at The Athenaeum, which will hold the bigger audience it will surely require.

Although the typical props audience members bring to the screen version ~ toast, rice, newspapers, umbrellas etc. ~ will not be allowed due to respect for the historic building's interior, costumes are enthusiastically encouraged. The late shows (10:30 p.m.) will be designated for the rowdier crowds who enjoy calling out at appropriate intervals and reciting the lines with performers.

I don't know about you, but I would think the rowdy version sounds like the most fun although the earlier show may allow you to actually catch the plot if you are not familiar.

A basic synopsis is two young adults, Brad and Janet, are the "Squares" lost and seeking shelter during a storm on a dark, dark night (naturally). They stumble around until they find the ultimate spoof-type castle, old and creepy. They meet the owner, Dr. Frank N. Furter, a transvestite scientist and Rocky, his "perfect" creation, along with other zany characters.

Among the cast are two names that jump out due to admiring their work in other productions I have reviewed over the years.

Danny Kingston is one of those actors. You know the kind. You never know which character he will morph into next: Evil, clueless, emotionally messed ... the list goes on and on. Never have I reviewed a performance in which Kingston was included that the show didn't receive high marks. Quite the chameleon, Kingston loses himself in each role making him a Destination Actor. Watch for him as a Phantom and Transylvanian in this show. For past reviews of Kingston click here. All I can say is if someone of Kingston's calibre is in the ensemble... imagine the talent of the major role's actors.

Another person of note in the cast is Erin Cohenour as Magenta. You'll remember my posting about Cohenour when I came upon her belting out several songs at my favorite haunt Chef Joseph's one late night (after reviewing a theater performance I often drop in for live music and one of Sara Yager's fab martinis). While I was chatting with a few others at the bar, she took the mic and reminded me so much of one of my favorites ~ the Empress of Soul ~ Gladys Knight, that I shushed everyone around me to enjoy her talent. Her onstage talents are also well documented, as in Mafia Daughter (M.J. Feruzza).

The film can be seen often, and is worth watching. My thoughts, however, are how often does a person get to see it live on stage in Indianapolis? During Halloween season. That makes this a must-see. So go. Watch. Enjoy. You can thank me later ~ 

Thursday - October 23 - 7:30
Friday - October 24 - 7:30 & 10:30

Thursday - October 30 - 7:30

Friday - October 31 - 7:30 & 10:30
Saturday - November 1 - 7:30 & 10:30


Tickets
$20 for the first weekend (10/23-10/24)
$25 for the second weekend (10/30-11/1)
Call (800) 838-3006 or visit RockyHorrorIndy.bpt.me

Cast and Crew

Leads
Magenta: Erin Cohenour
Brad: Brandon Alstott
Janet: Betsy Norton
Riff Raff: Damon Clevenger
Columbia: Nathalie Cruz
Frank 'N' Furter: Scott Keith

Rocky: Logan Moore
Eddie/Dr. Scott: Paige Scott
Narrator: Dave Ruark

Phantoms and Transylvanians 
Matthew Altman
Danielle Carnagua
Kristin Cutler
Nick Heskett
Danny J. Kingston
Samuel McKanney
Megan Medley
Miranda Nehrig
Elizabeth J. Musgrave writes two magazine food and wine columns: Destination Dining and White Linen & Corks,and is a travel, features, food and wine writer, travel and food photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as the Travel & Leisure Adviser on FOX59 Morning News Show. She also is a speaker, consultant and trainer for hospitality, travel and luxury businesses, P.R., and tourism groups, as well as a radio and television guest and host. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Monday, October 20

Theater Review: Beef and Boards: Fiddler on the Roof

Stark as Tevye
Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre, Indianapolis, brings dancing, music and anti-semitism to the stage for its autumn offering. Fiddler on the Roof, celebrating its 50th anniversary, covers the timeless topic of an ever-changing world. The loosening of strict cultural mores and the resistance of the older generation while the youth embrace the change is set amid the rising hatred of Jews in pre-revolutionary Russia.

Tevye (Douglas E. Stark),  is father of five daughters and faced with helping his Jewish community keep peace with the Russian constable (Ken Klingenmeier). During this uneasy time frame, he is also attempting to make his three daughters of marrying age happy as they break tradition and select their own spouses. This decision leaves Matchmaker Yente (Licia Watson) displeased, along with Tevye's wife and mother of the girls Golde (Lynne Perkins).

You'll remember Stark delightfully playing M. Thenardier in B&B's rendition of Les Miserables. If you are a stickler for accents and dialects being correct and consistent, then it will bother you that Stark played the Jewish Russian villager with zero accent. This was even more noticeable when interacting with Golde, Yente, his daughters and Lazar Wolfe, portrayed by one of my Destination Actors Mark Goetzinger, who all handled the necessary accent even while singing.
Wolfe (Goetzinger) and Tevye (Stark) making deal for daughter.

Wolfe and Tevye are marvelous together while drinking and bartering over the bride-to-be. The dancing is performed well, particularly considering the small stage ~ it is always a pleasure to see how marvelously creative the sets (Michael Layton) and choreography (Kenny Shepard) are in that regard.
Watson as Yente

Overall, this is a popular show in Indy and this cast is balanced and enjoyable as they are obviously having fun with the treasured story. The first several shows are at a near sell-out status and I would expect the remaining shows (through Nov. 23) to be full as well. The fun dancing, familiar songs and enthusiasm of the entire cast is contagious for the audience with many laugh-out-loud moments and singing and clapping along with the songs.

Vocal highlights are "Sunrise, Sunset," with several solos about the growing up of children, and "Do You Love Me," a duet by Golde and Tevye about their lives together.

Bottom Line: Beef and Boards' Fiddler on the Roof provides an enjoyable evening with plenty of dancing, classic songs and matchmaker hijinks.

Images: JulieCurryPhotography.com

Elizabeth J. Musgrave writes two magazine food and wine columns: Destination Dining and White Linen & Corks,and is a travel, features, food and wine writer, travel and food photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for GottaGo.us and BroadwayWorld.com. Catch her as the Travel & Leisure Adviser on FOX59 Morning News Show. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Sunday, October 19

Colts vs. Jaguars 9th Annual Tailgate Event 2014 for Gleaners Food Bank Nov 23

How about a little spring cleaning for the autumn? How about doing that fall cleaning in your pantry and kitchen cabinets? Perhaps you could find a can (or four) of items you thought the family would like, but didn't. Or maybe you've gone on a diet and won't eat that diet-unfriendly item.

I have an idea.

Tuck them into your Colts hoodie pockets or a grocery bag and swing by this event on the way to the game. Indianapolis home-played Colts vs. Jaguars game on November 23, a food-raising will take place at the 9th Annual Tailgate event sponsored by Goelzer Investment Management for Gleaners Food Bank.

I will be in attendance, sweatshirt on, as they accept canned food from folks wanting to help even a little. With so many of our community hurting, I was pleased to accept this invitation, which will be held 11 am - 1 pm, at the Hurst Bean Field parking lot, located directly across from Lucas Oil Stadium.

To contribute to the food donation to Gleaners, Colts fans are invited to stop by Hurst Bean Field prior to the Colts game to drop off canned food. Drop boxes will be located at the entrance areas of the Hurst Bean Field parking lot as well.

Goelzer will donate skids of beans for the cause to go along with the canned foods. Why beans? They wanted to give food that is high in complex carbohydrates, protein and dietary fiber, helping to satisfy hunger because it is absorbed slowly. Beans are also high in calcium, iron, folate, and potassium.

About Gleaners
Since its inception, Gleaners has distributed over 320 million pounds of food and critical grocery products to more than 250 hunger relief agencies serving needy Hoosiers. In addition to food distribution to hunger relief agencies, Gleaners serves our most vulnerable populations, children and seniors, through specialty programs such as BackSacks: Weekend Food for Kids, School-Based Food Pantries, the Summer Meals for Kids Program and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program. In Gleaners’ 21-county service area, more than 260,000 struggle with hunger and food insecurity—and 107,000 of them are children. To learn more, log onto Gleaners.org.

About Goelzer
For more than 45 years Goelzer Investment Management has been actively involved in the Indianapolis community and with various charities while growing to become one of the leading investment firms in Indiana. As an independent, fee-based firm, Goelzer provides comprehensive investment planning, advice and portfolio management services.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave writes two magazine food and wine columns: Destination Dining and White Linen & Corks,and is a travel, features, food and wine writer, travel and food photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as the Travel & Leisure Adviser on FOX59 Morning News Show. She also is a speaker, consultant and trainer for hospitality, travel and luxury businesses, P.R., and tourism groups, as well as a radio and television guest and host. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Friday, October 3

Movie Review: Gone Girl

“Gone Girl’’ opens with as much hype as only Hollywood can throw at a movie they hope will make a gazillion dollars but aren't sure it will. The flick is based on the book of the same name written by Gillian Flynn, and stars Ben Affleck as the shallow, philandering husband, Nick Dunne, who is top suspect in the disappearance of his pretty blond wife, Amy, portrayed brilliantly by Rosamund Pike. Many twists and turns, and what-the-hecks fill the screen from this bestselling novel.

Where to start with this movie?

Okay, first ~ you will probably hate the ending. And, I don't mean hate like you hate cooked spinach. I mean absolutely loathe the way you probably (or should have) hated the ending in Cast Away with Tom Hanks. Without giving it away in a spoiler, it is an unsatisfying ending that surpasses the long list of improbable straws and breaks the impossible-to-believe camel's back. It will leave you walking away coming up with your own ideas on how it should have ended. Never a good sign.

However, the cast is stellar. And ... I will be the first to admit at being more than a little pleasantly surprised at Affleck's performance. I have always thought of him as the "pretty" one of the Matt Damon/Ben Affleck duo, with Damon being the much more "talented" one, particularly in "The Talented Mr. Ripley."

Shame on me.

I am delighted to see that Affleck has become an actor worth watching for more than his square jaw and ruggedly handsome looks. He steps into the frustrated, but clueless, role well not realizing his every comment and move are tightening the legal noose around his neck. Giving in to his self-centered carnal needs, he even goes so far as to having a sleepover at his sister's house with his very young, sexy student, played by Emily Ratajkowski.

When a novelist's work is picked up and made into a film, celebrations are held ~ the big time has been reached. If the film flops, the author can always fall back on the fact the screenwriter misinterpreted their work. But if the screenplay is written by the original author, there is nowhere to hide; no one else to blame.

Which is where we are with this confused work. Is it a thriller? A satire? A statement piece of the horrors of the writers (both main characters and the mother) who cannot find work and fall into poverty after the collapse of the publishing world? Many writers are able to blend more than one genre successfully, this one doesn't quite reach that seamless goal, going in too many directions with too many half-done story lines.

The directing of David Fincher, know for works such as “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," is tight and flows well. How much responsibility holds the director, however, in putting out a movie without correcting gaping holes in the plot? I don't know if he is allowed to ask for rewrites, but will assume as the top guy that he is allowed to, and should have with this one.

Let's talk about the elephant in the room ~ the bedroom to be exact. How necessary is it to see on a giant screen a man performing cunnilingus on a woman, or the frontal shot of a man after receiving pleasure from a woman? Or the close up of a woman's breasts several times? It adds zero to this particular plot, detracts from the flow of the movie actually, and, even though it is Affleck for the 'V' shot and Neil Patrick Harris' full view, it makes for uncomfortable moments with audience members.

The Plausibility Factor
We go to the movies for escape, to broaden our knowledge and to test our boundaries and give a lot of creative licensing to the writer in order to achieve those goals. When the first inaccuracy comes along, we shrug it off. When they continue, they add up and the filmgoer leaves the theater feeling rather cheated at the blatant mistakes.

If the Dunnes were wracked with money issues, and the trust fund was gouged by Amy's parents and the last of it was used to by The Bar, how could they afford to lease a mega mansion in a tiny, dried up town with no income except the barely-making it tavern? And the expensive furnishings, cars and lifestyle they have? Okay, we'll get past that for the sake of the story.

But ... every FBI agent in the country will roll their eyes at how utterly stupid the film makes these guys look. Standing around the "kidnapped" victim, hanging on her every word without questioning anything and believing every syllable that drops from her lips? Chastising the one local yokel cop (Kim Dickens), who dares to bring up an inconsistency ~ seriously? A multi millionaire is killed and left in a bloodbath, in his bed, by a nobody from a hick town in Missouri and no one checks her story?

Which brings us to the next implausible point.
How did Amy slash, perfectly connecting with, the jugular vein of her old/new boyfriend, portrayed by America's darling Neil Patrick Harris with the tip of a boxcutter? And why did Flynn feel a need to make him rather creepy also? How many psychotics does one story need? Nick tries to bring up the fact his wife was able to get a box cutter while allegedly tied up but no one else thinks of it (like the FBI or cops) and tells him to shut up.

And, glaringly ~ if every single inch of the lake house is hooked up to security cameras recording every single second, every single day, as NPH states clearly, there would be evidence contradicting Amy's story completely and she would have been fried, electrocuted or lethally injected without doubt ~ reasonable or otherwise.

Turning in a fabulous performance as the charming attorney Tanner Bolt is Tyler Perry. His bigger-than-life personality and polished schmoozing lit up the screen leaving you wanting more about this lawyer for those in the legal limelight. Perhaps a film about his exploits should be forthcoming. Every role's actor was selected carefully, no matter how small, including television journalists, performed by (Missi Pyle) and (Sela Ward) demonstrating the top-notch skill of Laray Mayfield, the casting director for this film.

If I were the 'stars' type reviewer, I would give it one star for writing, five for acting, rounding out to three overall. See it, but don't blow your budget on it. What could have been an intelligent thriller turned into an insult to those looking for one, but will score high in the fun film category. Likely it will do well at the box office and frustrate nit pickers like me.

Bottom Line: Gone Girl is entertaining, but implausible, with outstanding performances by the entire cast going too many directions to give full attention to any of the numerous story lines.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave writes two magazine food and wine columns: Destination Dining and White Linen & Corks,and is a travel, features, food and wine writer, travel and food photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as the Travel & Leisure Adviser on FOX59 Morning News Show. She also is a speaker, consultant and trainer for hospitality, travel and luxury businesses, P.R., and tourism groups, as well as a radio and television guest and host. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Saturday, September 20

Theater Review: IRT: The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Indiana Repertory Theatre (IRT), breaks its pattern of opening with an edge-of-the-seat drama and opens the 2014-2015 season with a comedy. Last year the downtown theater started its season with The Crucible, in 2012 it was the stark (and fantastic) Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,  the sensually dark Dracula in 2011 had everyone talking and Holes opened the historic theatre in 2010.

This year's offering for Indy ~ Shakespeare's, The Two Gentlemen of Verona ~  is one of the Bard's earliest works and tells of two friends who become opponents in the game of love.

If you have been loathe to sample, or reacquaint yourself with, Shakespeare, this comedy is good one to try. Friends go on their individual life's journeys and reunite only to fight over the affection of a woman. While Proteus, portrayed by Chris Bresky, and Valentine, played by Charles Pasternak, search for the loves of their lives, they find their own character and flaws.

Ryan Artzberger portrays the comedic servant, Launce, with Crab, his faithful canine sidekick (who received oohs and aahs throughout the show). Female love interests were: Lee Stark as Julia and Ashley Wickett as Silvia.

The laugh-a-minute comedy is a great addition to the LORT theatre's list. Solid performances by the entire cast are enjoyable to watch and highlighted most by Pasternak's smooth portrayal of the play's morally just character.

I must admit, however, that although this is a play worth seeing for any stage fan, it lacks the wow factor of opening shows in years past. When one sets the bar as high as IRT has done with its season starters for so long, to open with a comedy is ~ anticlimactic.

Much better to continue with grabbing potential theatre-goers and current subscribers with another by-the-throat drama. This one could easily have been set to stage somewhere in the middle of the season. Perhaps they will return next year to a schedule with an anticipated play such as one by Tennessee Williams (my hope) and set the standard high once more.

Bottom Line: Charles Pasternak turns in a flawless performance in IRT's season opener comedy, The Two Gentlemen of Verona.

Images: provided

Elizabeth J. Musgrave writes two magazine food and wine columns: Destination Dining and White Linen & Corks,and is a travel, features, food and wine writer, travel and food photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as the Travel & Leisure Adviser on FOX59 Morning News Show. She also is a speaker, consultant and trainer for hospitality, travel and luxury businesses, P.R., and tourism groups, as well as a radio and television guest and host. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Wednesday, September 17

Ruffs & Tails at the IRT 2014 Benefits Humane Society of Indianapolis

Dog parents will get a chance to help the Humane Society of Indianapolis while enjoying a night out on the town with their four-pawed friends. The Indiana Repertory Theatre is launching its inaugural ‘Ruffs & Tails’ event Owners and their furry pals can meet other canines, nibble on human and doggy treats and get their picture taken wearing Shakespearean ruff.

The event takes place opening weekend of IRT's 2014-2015 season with The Two Gentlemen of Verona and their furry, tail-wagging cast member, Crab. Dogs are welcome to enjoy Three Dog Bakery goodies with flavors they’ll love including vanilla, peanut butter and carob. Think your dog is the most adorable in Indiana? Win over the crowd and have your dog’s picture taken in Shakespearean ruff to show off his or her theatrical side. Pictures of each future star will be taken and a specialty Three Dog Bakery gift basket will be awarded to the most ‘liked’ dog photo on the IRT’s Facebook page.

Learn more about the Humane Society and bring donations for their Humane Society Wish List. Donations include an entry to win a class from Bark Tutor School for Dogs. With special code, “IRTdog,” $2 per ticket of the Wed, Oct. 1, 7:30 pm performance and the Sun, Oct. 12, 5pm performance will be donated to the Humane Society of Indianapolis.

For more information about the IRT (Indiana Repertory Theatre), schedule, ticket pricing and full season calendar, please visit irtlive.org.

Image provided
Elizabeth J. Musgrave writes two magazine food and wine columns: Destination Dining and White Linen & Corks,and is a travel, features, food and wine writer, travel and food photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as the Travel & Leisure Adviser on FOX59 Morning News Show. She also is a speaker, consultant and trainer for hospitality, travel and luxury businesses, P.R., and tourism groups, as well as a radio and television guest and host. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Tuesday, September 16

Restaurant Review: Top 10 Best Northside Nights 2014

Northside Nights 2014 will take place Sept. 15-28 bringing Indy's northernmost eateries into the
 limelight. The restaurant week, similar to Devour Downtown, is a foodie favorite with independents and chains sharing value-priced menus alike. The culinary fest includes 45 eateries for a peek at places you have been dying to try, check back on favorites and discover ones you have not heard of before the food event.

As it was so popular for Devour Downtown, I am noting the Top 10 Best menus by highlighting the "Top 10" restaurants in green. All restaurants will have links to the menus for the event. An asterisk marks new participating restaurants.

How did I decide? The criteria includes those that seem to be the best combination of good value, innovative menu and going above the others (ex. offering beer or wine also). And, so I give you the ...


Northside Nights
Top 10 Best Restaurants 2014

1881 Grille at Marten House Hotel

Bazbeaux

Bella Vita at the Marina

Champps Americana

Chef Mike's Charcoal Grill

Coalition Pizza*

Cobblestone Grill

Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant

Divvy

Eddie Merlot's

Fleming's Prime Steakhouse

The Gathering Bistro & Pub at Geist

Hall's Castleton Grill

Harry & Izzy's North

Hellas Cafe

Hollyhock Hill*

J. Razzos (Carmel)

J. Razzos (Westfield)

Late Harvest Kitchen

The Local Eatery & Pub

The Loft at Traders Point Creamery

MacKenzie River Pizza Company (Carmel)

MacKenzie River Pizza Company (82nd Street)

Matt the Miller's Tavern

Mellow Mushroom*

Melting Pot

North End BBQ*

Oakley’s Bistro

Ocean Prime

Patrick's Kitchen and Drinks*

Peterson's

Pizzology

Rockstone Pizza & Pub

Sahm's Restaurant & Bar

Scarlet Whiskey & Wine Bar

Scotty's Brewhouse

Seasons 52

Stone Creek Dining (Noblesville)

Stone Creek Dining (Zionsville)

Sullivan's Steak House

Woody's Library

The list of participating restaurants and corresponding menus will be updated online at NorthsideNightsIndy.com. Additional information and special offers will also be posted on the Northside Nights Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave writes two magazine food and wine columns: Destination Dining and White Linen & Corks,and is a travel, features, food and wine writer, travel and food photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as the Travel & Leisure Adviser on FOX59 Morning News Show. She also is a speaker, consultant and trainer for hospitality, travel and luxury businesses, P.R., and tourism groups, as well as a radio and television guest and host. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Monday, September 15

Broadway in Cincinnati 2014 - 2015 Season Includes Redheads, Lions and Elves

Cincinnati is only an hour and 15 minutes away from Indy and a skip across the river from Louisville. It only makes sense to include Cincy in your go-to towns, pop over and catch a live show and escape for a weekend.

This is particularly true if you see a show in the 2014 - 2015 season lineup that Indianapolis or Louisville doesn't have in its schedule (click here to see Indy's lineup), or (click here to see Louisville's schedule). Or, perhaps you missed the show in your own city.

Either way, Cincinnati has grand hotels, like Netherland, tasty food like in the hip OTR neighborhood or at Moerlein Lagerhouse, and listed below are the great shows to catch while in town.





Broadway in Cincinnati
2014 - 2015 Season

DIRTY DANCING
September 23 – October 5, 2014
It’s the summer of 1963, and 17 year-old Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman is about to learn some major lessons in life as well as a thing or two about dancing. On vacation in New York’s Catskill Mountains with her older sister and parents, Baby shows little interest in the resort activities, and instead discovers her own entertainment when she stumbles upon the staff quarters when an all-night dance party is in full swing. Mesmerized by the raunchy dance moves and the pounding rhythms, Baby can’t wait to be part of the scene, especially when she catches sight of Johnny Castle the resort dance instructor.

ONCE
November 11 – 23, 2014
Winner of 8 2012 Tony Awards including Best Musical, an impressive ensemble of actor/musicians play their own instruments onstage. A Dublin street musician is about to give up on his dream when a beautiful young woman takes a sudden interest in his haunting love songs. As the chemistry between them grows, his music soars to powerful new heights. It's an unforgettable story about going for your dreams and the power of music to connect us all.

ELF The Musical
December 2 – 7, 2014
 
Buddy, a young orphan child, mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy’s enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity, and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.

CINDERELLA
January 6 – 18, 2014
 
This production features an incredible orchestra, jaw-dropping transformations and all the moments you love—the pumpkin, the glass slipper, the masked ball and more—plus some surprising new twists. Be transported back to your childhood as you rediscover some of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s most beloved songs, including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible” and “Ten Minutes Ago,” in this Broadway experience for anyone who’s ever had a wish, a dream... or a really great pair of shoes.

ANYTHING GOES
February 17 – 22, 2014
All aboard for this winner of three 2011 Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival and Choreography as Cole Porter’s musical comedy is sailing to Cincinnati. When the S.S. American heads out to sea, etiquette and convention get tossed out the portholes as two unlikely pairs set off on the course to true love…proving that sometimes destiny needs a little help from a crew of singing sailors, an exotic disguise and some good old-fashioned blackmail. Peppering this timeless classic are some of musical theatre’s most memorable standards, including “I Get A Kick Out Of You,” “You’re the Top,” and of course, “Anything Goes.”

Disney’s THE LION KING
March 31 – April 26, 2015
Cincinnati’s best-loved musical makes a triumphant return to the Aronoff Center following its record-breaking 2007 engagement. Marvel at the breathtaking spectacle of animals brought to life and thrill to the pulsating rhythms of the African Pridelands and an unforgettable score including Elton John and Tim Rice’s Oscar-winning song “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” and “Circle of Life.” Let your imagination run wild when the Tony Award-winning Broadway sensation returns to the stage.

I LOVE LUCY LIVE ON STAGE
June 2 – 14, 2015
It’s 1952 and you are a member of the studio audience awaiting the filming of two hilarious and oh-so-familiar I LOVE LUCY episodes. Stepping back in time onto the Desilu Playhouse soundstage, a charming host entertains and enlightens you to the behind-the-scenes filming process, the 1950s hi-fidelity technology and this brand-new thing called “television.” The episodes begin and you witness, firsthand, the side-splitting antics in the Ricardo’s New York apartment and thrill to the Cuban sounds of “The Ricky Ricardo Orchestra” at the famed Tropicana Nightclub. In-between scenes? The Crystaltone Singers perform live advertising jingles of the show’s newest sponsors in perfect 50s style harmony. Can you say “Brylcreem?!”


Elizabeth J. Musgrave writes two magazine food and wine columns: Destination Dining and White Linen & Corks,and is a travel, features, food and wine writer, travel and food photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as the Travel & Leisure Adviser on FOX59 Morning News Show. She also is a speaker, consultant and trainer for hospitality, travel and luxury businesses, P.R., and tourism groups, as well as a radio and television guest and host. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Saturday, September 13

Wanted: Halloween Inspired Cocktails 2014

2012 winning entry LastDropBar.com
Think you (or your mixologist) has the best recipe for a cocktail inspired by Halloween? Selected Halloween-inspired cocktails will be featured in Gotta Go, giving readers the Top 10 best entries to enjoy and create with the 3rd annual Top 10 Best Halloween Cocktails 2014.

All recipes, images and contact information for the submission need to be in via email to elizabeth@gottago.us or elizabethjmusgrave@gmail.com, by Friday, October 17, 2014. Posting will occur the week of October 26. This will be a fun way for readers to enjoy cocktails made with great products and inspired by a ghoulish holiday.


All entries must include images of the cocktail and all of the below information (template below). Please remember to send a Twitter handle/link and website link. This helps the readers go immediately to you and check out how wonderful your company, bar, restaurant, et al, is and follow you on Twitter.

Those chosen will be featured on GottaGo.us. 

E-mail submissions only are required, no physical attendance needed for this one.

Include (in order and completely) the following information:

1) Cocktail's themed name

2) Bar/company/restaurant/mixologist/winery name and location

3) Website and Twitter handle so readers can check you out!

4) Recipe, including measurements, garnish and glassware

**Don't forget** 
5) Inspiration for drink-obviously Halloween, but what exactly inspired you to make this particular drink? The idea is to feature cocktails inspired by Halloween and all the scary, fun, ghoulish feelings about the holiday. Let your imagination run wild with this one...it can go many directions: Candy, apples, Jack-o-lanterns, costumes, movies, songs, vampires ...you get the idea!

6) Image-Please make sure it is a good quality.

This is open to anyone within the spirits/wine/beer company/restaurant realm including mixologists, bars, fine dining, bartenders, sommeliers, hotels, companies, spirit entrepreneurs, et cetera.

***Special Note***
Several cocktails were disqualified in past Top 10 cocktail lists due to the drink name and/or inspiration missing or not applicable to the theme. Let's see your best themed drink! Sending in a cocktail with a non-themed name and/or inspiration will, unfortunately, be disqualified.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave writes two magazine food and wine columns: Destination Dining and White Linen & Corks,and is a travel, features, food and wine writer, travel and food photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as the Travel & Leisure Adviser on FOX59 Morning News Show. She also is a speaker, consultant and trainer for hospitality, travel and luxury businesses, P.R., and tourism groups, as well as a radio and television guest and host. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Friday, September 12

Theatre on the Square 2014 - 2015 Season Includes Calendar Girls, a Sister and Dr. Ruth

Theatre on the Square
2014 - 2015 Season

Calendar Girls 
September 12 – October 11, 2014
Based on a true story ~ when Annie’s husband John dies of leukemia, she and best friend Chris resolve to raise money for a new settee in the hospital waiting room. They manage to persuade four fellow WI members to pose nude with them for an “alternative” calendar, with a little help from hospital porter and amateur photographer Lawrence. The news of the women’s charitable venture spreads like wildfire, and hordes of press soon descend on the small village of Knapeley in the Yorkshire Dales. The calendar is a success, but Chris and Annie’s friendship is put to the test under the strain of their new-found fame.

Lightning and Jellyfish 
October 17 – November 8, 2014
Set in a rock-and-roll poster shop in the ’80s, Lightning and Jellyfish takes a realistic one-set play and explodes it, taking us into the hearts—and futures—of its characters. It’s about an evening in the life of a young woman on the brink of change–change that she’s trying to convince herself that she’s ready for. Realism vs. romanticism. Youth and frustration. Coming-of-age as a process rather than as moment. It’s about what we forgive in others and ourselves.

Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical 
November 14 – December 20, 2014
It’s Christmastime in the Armadillo Acres mobile home community, and everyone is filled with visions of kegnog and beer. In this sequel to "The Great American Trailer Park Musical," you’ll meet new residents of north Florida’s premiere mobile home community, including Darlene (the neighborhood Scrooge), her boyfriend Jackie and Rufus (a redneck with a heart of gold). Longtime Armidillo Acres residents Betty, Lin and Pickles are back with voices as big as their hair, but when a freak accident strikes Darlene, everyone’s Christmas cheer will be put to the test.

Late Night Catechism 
January 2 – 24, 2015
Catechism classes are never as much fun – or as hilarious – as when led by Sister. A piece of theater taking audience members back – sometimes nostalgically, sometimes fearfully – to the children they once were. Sister teaches an adult catechism class to a roomful of “students” (the audience). Over the course of the play, Sister goes from benevolent instructor, rewarding the “students” for correct answers with glow-in-the-dark rosaries and laminated saint cards, to authoritative drill sergeant. These abrupt mood swings are bound to strike a resonant chord with everyone who survived the ups and downs of going to school, with an omniscient authoritarian at the helm.

Wolves 
January 30 – February 28, 2015
In Wolves, two men’s folie à deux overtakes their small apartment and spills out onto city streets. When ex-boyfriend Jack brings a strange man home to woodland-obsessed Ben’s apartment, the Narrator can barely keep a lid on the looming violence. This “deconstruction” of the Little Red Riding Hood story is a darkly comic, predatory fairy tale for adults that explores the conflation of sex and fear in modern culture, the comfort of lava lamps, and the dangers of a handy axe.

An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein
March 6 – April 4, 2015
Welcome to the darkly comic world of Shel Silverstein, a world where nothing is as it seems and where the most innocent conversation can turn menacing in an instant. The 10 imaginative plays in this collection range widely in content, but the style is unmistakable.

Rapture, Blister, Burn 
April 10 – May 2, 2015
After grad school, Catherine and Gwen chose polar opposite paths. Catherine built a career as a rockstar academic, while Gwen built a home with her husband and children. Decades later, unfulfilled in polar opposite ways, each woman covets the other’s life, commencing a dangerous game of musical chairs—the prize being Gwen’s husband. With searing insight and trademark wit, this comedy is an unflinching look at gender politics in the wake of 20th-century feminist ideals.

Becoming Dr. Ruth
May 8 – 30, 2015
Everyone knows Dr. Ruth Westheimer from her career as a pioneering radio and television sex therapist. Few, however, know the incredible journey that preceded it. From fleeing the Nazis in the Kindertransport and joining the Haganah in Jerusalem as a scout and sniper, to her struggles to succeed as a single mother coming to America, Becoming Dr. Ruth is filled with the humor, honesty and life-affirming spirit of Karola Ruth Siegel, the girl who became “Dr. Ruth,” Americaʼs most famous sex therapist.

The Perfect “10” - A Dramatic Comedy with Music
June 5 – July 4, 2015
After a separation from a long-term relationship, a hilarious, self-foiling sexual conquest ensues in hopes of recapturing lost years chasing fantasies of youthful beauty in this semi-autobiographical story loosely inspired by the classic 1979 film starring Dudley Moore, Julie Andrews and Bo Derek.

Love, Loss and What I Wore
(fundraiser for TOTS)
July 10 – August 1, 2015
Written by Nora and Delia Ephron and based on the book by Ilene Beckerman, the show is a scrapbook of stories about unfortunate prom dresses, the traumatic lighting in fitting rooms, high heels, short skirts and the existential state of having nothing to wear. Accessorizing these tales — which are mostly comic but often sad or sentimental too — are the mothers who disapprove, the men who disappear, the sisters who’ve got your back.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave writes two magazine food and wine columns: Destination Dining and White Linen & Corks,and is a travel, features, food and wine writer, travel and food photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as the Travel & Leisure Adviser on FOX59 Morning News Show. She also is a speaker, consultant and trainer for hospitality, travel and luxury businesses, P.R., and tourism groups, as well as a radio and television guest and host. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Wednesday, September 10

Indianapolis Symphonic Choir 2014 - 2015 Season

The Indianapolis Symphonic Choir opens its 2014 - 2015 Season with Mozart: Requiem, followed by the 200-member Symphonic Choir’s annual holiday favorite Festival of Carols with four performances in downtown Indianapolis and Carmel.

From the traditional Handel’s Messiah to the consistently classy annual Gala Bel Canto, the season is highlighted with the world premiere performance of Farué Requiem & Fairouz Zabur pairing the intimate piece with a new commissioned work from composer Mohammed Fairouz. A pillar of choral-orchestral repertoire, Beethoven’s Ninth concludes the season alongside the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Krzysztof Urbański.

Indianapolis Symphonic Choir
2014 - 2015 Season

Mozart: Requiem
Friday, Oct. 10, 2014, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014, at 5:30 p.m., Hilbert Circle Theatre (with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra)

Festival of Carols
Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014, 7 p.m., Scottish Rite Cathedral; Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014, 8 p.m., The Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts; and Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., The Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts

Handel’s Messiah
Friday, Dec. 19, 2014, 8 p.m., The Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts
(with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra)

Gala Bel Canto: New York, New York
Saturday, Mar. 7, 2015, 6 p.m., The Conrad Indianapolis

Fauré Requiem & Fairouz Zabur
Friday, April 24, 2015, 8 p.m., Hilbert Circle Theatre
(with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and Indianapolis Children’s Choir)

Beethoven’s Ninth
Friday, June 12, 2015, 8 p.m. and Saturday, June 13, 2015, 5:30 p.m., Hilbert Circle Theatre, and Sunday, June 14, 8 p.m. at The Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts
(with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra)
Season Subscriptions are available for $145 and individual tickets range from $20 to $62. Student tickets are $15. Tickets and more information are available at indychoir.org or by calling the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir at (317) 940-9057.

About the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir 
The Indianapolis Symphonic Choir is proud to be one of central Indiana’s most established and dynamic musical institutions, marking its 78th season in 2014 - 2015. Among the most active symphonic choruses in the nation, the choir reaches in excess of 25,000 people each season with more than 25 performances and a comprehensive educational outreach program.
The 200 volunteer singers demonstrate the choir's commitment to musical excellence through their talent and dedication during each 42-week season. The choral partner of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Symphonic Choir was founded in 1937 at the ISO’s request to perform the great choral-orchestral repertoire. The choir is now in its sixth year as the official choral partner of Indianapolis Public Schools, providing teacher training, educational resources, performance experiences and free printed music.

Images provided

Elizabeth J. Musgrave writes two magazine food and wine columns: Destination Dining and White Linen & Corks,and is a travel, features, food and wine writer, travel and food photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as the Travel & Leisure Adviser on FOX59 Morning News Show. She also is a speaker, consultant and trainer for hospitality, travel and luxury businesses, P.R., and tourism groups, as well as a radio and television guest and host. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.