Friday, July 24

Theater review: Theatre on the Square: (TOTS): Love, Loss and What I Wore

The entire last year before my mother passed away she was 100 percent blind. She insisted, however, on someone taking her out to purchase one last Christmas gift she hand selected: a full-length black leather coat. I like to think her arms are around me holding me close as she did so many times as a child.

To this day, even though it has been more than 15 years, that coat is pulled out and cherished each winter. Friends and family have remarked on its worn appearance, but I wear it nonetheless.

Theatre on the Square: (TOTS) presents Love, Loss and What I Wore by Nora Ephron,  and her sister Delia Ephron. Based on the book by Iline Beckermen, it's a casual setting of five women recalling the most cherished memories of their lives through laughter, tears and eye rolling. Scarves, dresses and hats are a time-machine of tender moments, anger and sorrow.

The all-female cast includes, Cindy Phillips, Miki Mathioudakis, Adrienne Reiswerg, Bridgette Schlebecker and Rhoda Ludy, and is directed by Gari Williams.

There is perhaps no play more satisfying to watch than one in which the actors are so obviously enjoying it themselves. The talented cast members sit facing the audience and interchangeably play various characters throughout eras of attire, mishaps and memories.
Shared are poignant life-changing events, remembering Mom's horrendous taste in cool clothing, and even how sisters and lovers can share the best and worst of times through shopping for a dress or purse. Much laughter, nods and tears are shared between audience members as they recall their own trysts, trials and triumphs.

Clothing, like few other items in our lives, will instantly bring back memories of where we were, who we were, and conjures up every emotion imaginable. This show can almost be likened to a non-musical version of Menopause: The Musical in that it is a perfect portal to laugh, open up about, and cherish what life is ~ and isn't ~ as a woman.

Bottom Line: TOTS' Love, Loss and What I Wore is THE show to watch with gal pals, sisters, mothers and anyone wanting to understand your curious obsession to particular items of clothing.

The production is a fundraiser for the Mass Ave. theater, with a silent auction, and plays through August 1.

Images: Furnished by TOTS

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, wine and food photographer, and performing arts, wine and restaurant critic. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Tuesday, July 14

Indiana Brewer's Cup 2015 Winner Announced

Over the weekend, the Indiana State Fair Indiana Brewers’ Cup Competition 2015 was held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

Although there were nearly 1,300 entries at the 17th annual event, the most in competition history, three honors were scooped up by one brewery. Having recently tried out their wares, including beer and food, it is not difficult at all to see why they rocked the competition.

Chilly Water Brewing Company, 719 Virginia Ave., Indianapolis, blew by its competition, earning Professional Best of Show, Indiana Brewery of the Year, and Grand Champion Brewery of the Year.

Home Brewing saw a similar fete with Tim Palmer of Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI) also winning across the board, taking the titles of Home Brew Best of Show and Home Brewer of the Year. FBI was also awarded Home Brew Club of the Year and the Bill Friday Home Brew Club Award.

This was the first time the Brewers’ Cup was open to the general public, including a tasting and awards ceremony reception. Entries were expanded to include ciders and meads, showcasing a vast variety of top home brewers and professional brewers. As one of the nation’s largest competitions, entries were received from across the country, including: Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Texas, South Dakota and Oklahoma.

Brewers’ Cup Champion, Chilly Water Brewing Company will be featured every day at the Beer & Wine exhibit in Grand Hall during this year’s Indiana State Fair, August 7-23.

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 and consultant 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.