Sunday, February 26

Things to do in Indianapolis March 2017


It's warm, it's cold, it's raining, then snowing, then sunny.... strange winter in Indianapolis indeed. You just decide it is a good time to go hiking, when the temps drop and the snow falls. As March rolls its way in, the weather will continue to flip flop. Outside, or in, there are always things to do in Indianapolis.
Here are my TOP 5 recommendations for March 2017.

Broadway in Indianapolis
If you have not seen it, now is the perfect time as Broadway in 
Indianapolis brings a return performance of Jersey Boys to Clowes Memorial Hall, Butler University February 28 - March 5. This will be my third time to catch it, because it is worth it (read my review here). Then, March 30 – April 2, Motown the Musical takes over The Murat Theatre at ONC. Two great eras of music ~ life is good.

WFYI Ice Miller Wine Fest 2017


Hosted by Ice Miller this wine event will be held Fri., March 3, and has been moved to Old National Center. Still the preeminent fundraiser for WFYI, this annual tasting soiree' is THE wine event for Indy.

Livery Stable
Livery has a rooftop dining experience with spectacular views of Mass Ave's splendor, Lockerbie, Chatham Arch and other historic neighborhoods. This most recent restaurant addition to the Mass-College corner is impressive in its simplicity. The understated urban d├ęcor, efficient and friendly service (an important detail to many), and trendy, well-executed menu ~ both culinary and cocktails ~ make this THE place to catch sunlight, starlight and wonderful views.

Central Canal

The best way to break out of those winter blahs is to take a stroll, bike ride, or brisk walk, along downtown's canal. From war memorials, to fountains and fauna, to people watching, there is always something to do along the waterway.




Cabaret

Moved into its new home (for now), The Cabaret is a perfect reason to dress up. Great talent is brought in from all over for the cozy, intimate club-style ambiance. Fri., March 10, Judy Kuhn performs two shows at Cabaret's new location.




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, February 20

Review: Dance Kaleidoscope: DIVAS!

Guest review by John Simmons ~

At first glance, Dance Kaleidoscope’s Divas is virtually critic-proof. After all, what’s not to like about an evening of dance choreographed to the music of some of the world’s most celebrated female singers? The evening promises to be one of pure entertainment … and DK’s Divas is certainly all of that.
But, if you look closer, you’ll see something far more interesting (and intriguing) going on.
Structurally, Divas is divided into halves: the first half features nine numbers choreographed by members of DK’s young dance troupe to the music of such world-class divas as Annie Lenox, Celine Dion, Adele, Stevie Nicks, Kelly Clarkson, Nina Simone, Shirley Bassey, Patti LaBelle and Barbra Streisand.
The second half features world premieres of works choreographed DK’s Artistic Director David Hochoy (to the music of Janis Joplin) and Guest Choreographer Nicholas A. Owens (to the music of the great Aretha Franklin). Both halves are ably supported by Costumers Guy Clark and Cheryl Sparks, with especially noteworthy work done by Lighting Designer Laura E. Glover.
As you’d expect, Divas’ second half is highly-polished. In his remarks at intermission, David Hochoy spoke of his admiration – born at an early age – for the music of Janis Joplin, and his tribute to her is full of flashing colors, waves of movement and choreography that emphasizes the physicality of his young dancers. It’s a tribute that captures the energy of Joplin’s music, if not its (occasional) sadness. 
Nicholas Owens’ tribute to Aretha Franklin is somewhat more varied and, at times, more subdued – featuring such show-stopping numbers as (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman and Respect (two songs that are certainly on everyone’s list of all-time favorite songs) and ending with the lovely and beautifully-choreographed First Snow in Kokomo.
In contrast, Divas’ first half is less a tribute to the divas whose music it celebrates and more of a look inside the minds of the next generation of choreographers, as they explore issues of concern to young people everywhere. Themes covered here include sex, love, the excitement of a first kiss, the joy of self-discovery and the loss of a parent. While technically polished, Divas’ first half is especially interesting because of the idiosyncratic, almost quirky, choices DK’s young artists make.
Jillian Godwin’s First Touch (performed to the music of Adele’s I Miss You), for example, is a very muscular, almost aggressive look at the rush that comes with a new relationship. Missy Trulock’s Edge of Seventeen (choreographed to Stevie Nicks’ song of the same name) features imagery that captures the challenges that women face in dealing with a society that wants them to be both empowered and angelic. Zach Young’s Missionary Man (choreographed to Annie Lenox’s song of the same man) features some sexy – if politically incorrect – choreography, exceeded only by the highly politically incorrect choreography offered by Timothy June’s Enlightenment, a hilarious exploration of diversity and self-discovery danced to Shirley Bassey’s I Am What I Am.
Stuart Coleman makes a bold choice for his Don’t Rain on My Parade (performed by Barbra Streisand) by featuring a single dancer in red (Aleksa Lukasiewicz), in a celebration of the simple joy a person feels in declaring their own self-worth and freedom from expectations (a celebration, Coleman says, that was inspired by the rush he felt when singing Parade solo in a karaoke bar!) These are just some examples of the many delights offered by each of Divas’ nine first half performances.
In his remarks at intermission, David Hochoy spoke about how proud he was of his young dancers and how their work on Divas represents an important first step in helping to preserve the legacy of modern dance. Divas certainly offers an evening’s worth of entertainment, as it celebrates the life and work of some of our most talented female artists. But it also makes you wonder what the future holds – and what works of art DK’s talented choreographers will one day create – as they continue on their journey of self-discovery and channel the artistic power of their own inner divas.


*Note* Dance Kaleidoscope will return with the performances:

April 1: Kaleidoscope of Dance Gala, The Westin, Indianapolis - Buy Tickets Online

April 6-9: DK & Friends, IRT - Buy Tickets

June 1-4: The Indianapolis Colts presents Dance is a Contact Sport, IRT - Buy Tickets

Images: Crowe's Eye Photography
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, February 6

Theater Review: You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown by Buck Creek Players


An appreciation of the Buck Creek Players’ 200th production, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, starts with a recognition of the show’s production values. Director Steven R. Linville and his creative team have done a wonderful job of translating one of the world’s most beloved comic strips into a three-dimensional setting.

Set designer Dan Denniston’s work is particularly impressive. Whether it is Snoopy’s doghouse, a school bus, an over-sized easy chair or Lucy’s psychiatrist’s booth famously proclaiming that “The Doctor is In,” Denniston’s designs (and their execution) accurately capture the look and feel of the panels from Charles Schulz’s famous comic strip. Costume designer Donna Jacobi also does a nice job: her costuming for Snoopy is especially clever, while her Woodstock is a work of art. As its name implies, You’re a Good Man, documents the trials and travails of one Charlie Brown, a self-deprecating young man who remains admirably determined to try his best against all odds. He can never win a ballgame (but continues playing baseball); he can never successfully fly a kite (but continues trying to do so); has a terrible crush on a pretty red-haired girl (but can never quite muster up the courage to talk to her … you get the idea). Charlie’s story is told in a series of vignettes and musical numbers, making You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown more like watching a live-action comic strip than a show with a traditional narrative.

Buck Creek has assembled a winning cast to tell this story, starting with D. Scott Robinson (who makes for an able and admirable Charlie Brown). Jessica Bartley is consistently funny (and uber-cute) as Charlie’s argumentative kid sister, Sally. Stacia Ann Hulen is appropriately bossy as Peanuts’ diva-in-waiting, Lucy Van Pelt, while Jacob E. Peterman does a nice job as her younger (and overly philosophical little brother), Linus. Scott A. Fleshood (Schroeder), Jonathan D. Krouse (Snoopy) and Emma Wilson (a quirky and endearing Woodstock) round out the cast … with Fleshood and Krouse each leading the cast in two shop-stopping numbers: Beethoven Day (Fleshood) and Suppertime (Krouse) … with Suppertime being especially snazzy, filled with old-style Broadway razzmatazz.

Peanuts has always been one of our most literate comic strips, with surprisingly complex philosophical and psychological overtones that - in its heyday in the 1960s and '70s - catapulted the comic strip into pop culture icon status (Peanuts ended publication with Charles Schulz’s death in 2000). And while adults can still look back on Peanuts and its characters with fondness, today a show like You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown is really for kids and those who are kids at heart.

If anything works against Buck Creek’s Charlie Brown, it is that the show’s late January/early February run dates (in the dead of winter, when most folks stay at home) may rob the show of the younger, more family-oriented audience it deserves. So …

If you’re looking for some fun, family-oriented entertainment for your kids (and the kid in you), it is well worth your time to brave the cold, journey to Buck Creek and join Charlie, Sally, Lucy, Linus, Snoopy, Schroeder and Woodstock as they tell the delightful (and delightfully entertaining) story of You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.

Show:
You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown Buck Creek Players
Dates: February 3, 4, 10 and 11 at 8:00 February 5, 12 at 2:30


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.