It’s spring, all it does is friggin’ rain, so let’s see why rain is soooo important: Indy’s 22nd annual Orchard in Bloom Garden Show allows garden enthusiasts to experience green living, firsthand. Featuring the Discovery Network’s environmental guru Sara Snow, the exhibition features landscape displays and helpful hints to help attendees move toward a greener, healthier lifestyle.
Like burlesque? Like a swanky place? You can combine your interest at White Rabbit Cabaret on Friday with their Hasenpfeffer: The Year of the Rabbit. Hasenpfeffer is White Rabbit Cabaret's in-house performance group: precious Lilly Lou, mysterious Aaminah and sassy Alabaster Betty, just to name a few — are they’re performing with the Muncie Brothers this Friday in their newly styled show to celebrate their one-year mark at White Rabbit. The Cabaret promises a fabulous night of dancing and delicious debauchery.
As far as I’m concerned, this is the must of the musts: Chris Mooney will appear at Center for Inquiry of Indiana on Friday evening, in a talk entitled “The Science of Why We Deny Science.” Mooney will explore the issues he unveiled in a recent Mother Jones article: the psychology and brain science behind our denial of climate change, as well as our faith-based belief systems. Don’t want to go? Why, because you are in denial?? Mooney is also author of “The Republican War on Science.”
Opening on Friday is the Divafest at IndyFringe. IndyFringe, I’m telling ya, never slows down these days; there is always something cool going on — and this event features plays by female playwrights, including The Wedding Belles, a one-act musical about a bride who cancels her wedding; Seeing the Universe’s Magic Through the Eyes of an In-Betweener, a play examining the new age of human culture; and a last-minute entry is Deep in Love, by one of my favorite playwright/performers, Deborah Asante.
I’m on hog heaven. Another favorite event of the year is here: the Stutz Artist Open House, and I know you love it, too. This year, a record-breaking number of artists, over 80, will open their studios for you to see their art and how that art is created. Live acoustic music and food from Bearcats Restaurant and Roll With It Bakery will be provided, as if you needed any further titillating. If you can’t go on Friday night, because of all the other cool things going on, you have a Saturday opportunity as well.
Also playing this weekend is Butler Ballet's spring ballet, Sleeping Beauty, the most enchanting of fairy tales about a beautiful princess who is cursed by an evil fairy, forcing her entire kingdom to fall into a sleep for a hundred years until — spoiler alert — her prince charming comes, awakening her with a kiss. Guest appearances by the Bluebird, Puss-in-Boots, the White Cat, Red Riding Hood and the Wolf.
Another fundraiser: No self-respecting dog-lover will miss the 8th annual Mutt Strut at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Not only does the 2.5 mile walk provide the opportunity to show off your favorite canine, all proceeds from the event go to support the Humane Society of Indianapolis. Be ready to strut rain or shine. Mutt Strut is an inclusive event, all are welcome whether or not they bring a pet.
Yup, another fundraiser, the Art for Beds event at Murat that supports Gennesaret Free Clinics in supporting health services to the homeless and working poor throughout the city. This year’s Art for Beds fundraiser boasts a variety of entertainment, including the musical stylings of jazz saxophonist Gregg Bacon and a silent auction packed with goodies like sports memorabilia, art work and restaurant gift certificates.
And now, what I would call the Mother of All Fundraisers, Spotlight 2011 at Clowes Memorial Hall. We even gave this event a Cultural Vision Award some years ago, and you just can’t beat all of your favorite Indy performing arts organizations raising money to benefit HIV education and prevention in Indiana. The extravaganza features 20 organizations, including The Nicholas Owens Dance Company presenting "Weather the Storm," the Actors' Theatre of Indy performing "Cell Block Tango" and the Children's Choir tackling Les Miserables. All proceeds go to programs supported by the Indiana AIDS Fund.
This Saturday, April 30, the inaugural Hendricks County Film Festival will be unveiled at the Rave Motion Pictures in Plainfield’s Metropolis Mall. This is a one-day event, including three separate screenings. A total of 17 independent short films are on display — films that were submitted from around the world.
Selections include a locally-made film from Brownsburg, a WWII drama and a documentary from the United Arab Emirates.
The three showings begin at 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. and an award ceremony will immediately follow the last screening. Tickets are only $7 for an individual screening or $20 for an all-day pass, and may be purchased at the Danville Public Library, the Hendricks County Convention and Visitors Bureau (in Danville), or online.
Below find short descriptions of the selections.
First screening: 1 p.m.
Director: Ben Hur Sepehr
Run time: 33 min
Nazi General’s son is wounded during the bombings in WWII. The camp’s doctor has been transferred and the only one available is a condemned, elderly Jewish inmate of the concentration camp.
The Ranger from Kelly Street
Director: Jack Swanstrom
Run time: 12 minutes
Harry Perlmutter, a private in the Ranger Battalion, details his capture as a survivor of an ambush at the Battle of Cisterna (1944) in which approximately 700 Rangers were involved.
Plight of the Earth Fairy
Director: Kim Sheridan
Run Time: 10 minutes
The Earth Fairy has an identity crisis and seeks professional help, feeling the inadequacies of living in the shadow of the glorified Tooth Fairy. Through humor, the film explores controversial issues regarding today’s environmental issues.
Shot at Sundown
Director: Karin Partin
Run Time: 14 minutes
Young Midwestern couple sits down to dinner with Mom and Dad in a Brooklyn neighborhood in which the demographics are currently shifting.
Director: Balgum Song
Run Time: 3 minutes
A desert is the best place to find sand and dry air, but it’s the worst place to find food.
Director: MaryLee Herrmann
Run Time: 6 minutes
This short film focuses on Margaret, a strong, dependable woman who appears to have it together, but feels trapped, so she decides to find the courage to pursue her own dreams.
Good Versus Evil
Director Kim Sheridan
Run Time: 8 minutes
A detective brings out the good in everyone, making history. Produced by EnLighthouse Entertainment with a cast of two, the director and her husband. Initially created as part of the 48-Hour Film Project.
Director: Eric Peterson
Run Time: 5 minutes
A man’s life begins to fall apart and he goes off the deep end. Rather than turning to his favorite motivational speaker for advice he becomes the man’s target.
Walla Walla Wiffle
Director: Robert Sickels
Run Time: 7 minutes
An annual one-day wiffleball tournament in which 48 men, ages 30-40, from all over the country flock to eastern Washington. The tournament allows these men a small reprieve from their inescapable responsibilities that come with jobs and family.
Second screening: 4 p.m.
Friend of the Devil
Director: Eric H. Heisner
Run Time: 24 minutes
A Texas Ranger goes rogue, turning in his badge to chase after three border bandits. His chase is interrupted by the discovery of a man almost killed by a lynching — who then aids him in his search.
Director: Brett Varvel
Run Time: 40 minutes
A person’s soul is represented by a board of directors. The members: Mind, Memory, Emotion, Heart, Will and Conscience. They discuss and vote on a dilemma that has eternal consequences.
Three Miles Under
Director: Ankur Singh
Run Time: 26 minutes
Two kids try to dig a hole to China, when really they are just running from their fear of the world, never intending to reach their destination.
Juice Box for Jesus
Director: Hamilton Scott
Run Time: 11 minutes
A man shows up at the Birch family’s nightly bible study claiming to be Jesus.
Third screening: 7 p.m.
Director: Kim Sheridan
Run Time: 8 minutes
A controversial and virtually unheard of issue is brought to light in this film meant to inspire viewers to learn more, question, take responsibility and get involved.
An Evening With My Comatose Mother
Director: Jonathan Martin
Run Time: 33 minutes
Dorothy is asked to housesit on Halloween for a wealthy family — and the comatose mother living upstairs is the only thing standing in her way of having a very memorable Halloween.
Cantata in C Major
Director: Ronnie Cramer
Run Time: 8 minutes
This piece features Ronnie Cramer, whose paintings have been featured across the country, and whose music has achieved airplay on over 100 radio stations, nationwide. His films have been screened at festival around world. In this piece, 605 film clips are combined to create an original piece of electronic music.
Director: David Neidert
Run Time: 17 minutes
Inspired by a true story of divorce, bad relationships, drug use and pain, the film follows Carol as she tries to pick up the pieces, looking for love, forgiveness and restoration.
My personal top pick of the week — as it is every year at this time — is the Earth Day Festival, these days being held at White River State Park. It’s a festival-with-a-conscience, complete with food, music and lots of informational booths for your perusal. Pick up a t-shirt, a tree, a new way of life and/or come by the NUVO booth to pick up a 2011 Green City Guide, and just shoot the shit with us about the coming Apocalypse.
Speaking of the environment, now’s the time to register for the Indiana Recycling Coalition's 2011 conference. It’s the premiere waste reduction and recycling event of the year, featuring exhibitors from around the country involved in every aspect of waste reduction, reuse, recycling and composting. The actual conference doesn’t begin until May 10, registration is now open and accepting reservations. The 2011 IRC Conference will take place at the Hilton North, 8181 N. Shadeland Ave.
Opening this week at the Indiana Repertory Theatre is 'The 39 Steps' a Tony Award-winning farce based loosely off the 1935 film by Alfred Hitchcock. I just saw this play in Spokane, Washington, at a community theater, and the show was hilarious, a little Hitchcock, a little Monty Python, and a lot of fun. I look forward to Josefa Beyer’s review next week.
On Saturday and Sunday you can catch the Absinthe Minded Professors at IndyFringe. I love the name of the group right off the bat, but their stage shtick is to mix the Victorian age with science fiction in a steampunk amalgam, blending 19th century literature and history with bizarre future experiences. Expect gory prequels to The Nutcracker and naughty automated Jane Austen.
In visual art, opening this week is an exhibit of J. Ivcevich at Garvey | Simon Art Access. Ivcevich was born in Ohio but raised in Indianapolis and his Hoosier upbringing is a prominent feature in his work. The artist describes his work as a ‘cultural bricolage’ and incorporates objects like kitschy toys, bicycles and urinals into his pieces. Sounds like fun, eh? The exhibit is up through May 31, but don’t put it off! Garvey | Simon Art Access is located in Carmel. For more information, call 844-7278 or visit www.gsartaccess.com.
The venerable Golden Gloves Boxing Tournament starts on Monday and runs through Saturday, your chance to see some hellacious fighters battle it out for a spot to compete on their home turf in the national Gloves tournament — held in Indianapolis later this year. Eleven Open Division bouts highlight the second night of action (Tuesday), including a fight between Ray Lucies and Sam Enneking. The tournament will be held at the Indianapolis Convention Center, 100 S. Capitol Ave.
Also on Tuesday night, Davy Rothbart of FOUND magazine returns to Indianapolis, this time accompanying a documentary about himself, filmed by director David Meiklejohn, who will also be in attendance. They two will screen MeiklejohnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s My Heart is an Idiot, then engage in a brief talkback. All this happens at Big Car for only $8.
You listen to NPR's 'From the Top'? I do. I enjoy the host, host Christopher O'Riley, the clever and talented young performers the program showcases. Now you get to see O’Riley live at the Palladium in Carmel, and you’ll see some amazing local performers as well. The program will be broadcast from the Palladium with a live audience, and count on Michael Feinstein showing up for a guest appearance. The show records live, April 26 at 7 p.m. and you’ll be there.
Miles, an Assistant Professor of Art at DePauw University, is an intriguing artist with a whimsical take on all things extraterrestrial who I remember as part of iMOCA’s show Phenomenon back in October, 2009, in which she seamlessly merged her interest in UFOs and aliens with a humorous pop sensibility.
Since first being awarded in 1999, the Lilly Endowment-funded Arts Council renewal fellowships have paid out more than $2.6 million to 329 local artists and arts administrators. The grant, worth $10,000 apiece, is given to fellows as an opportunity to refresh and renew their artistic work. A panel convened by the Arts Council — a panel consisting of arts professionals from outside Indianapolis — judges the applications and chooses the recipients.
Miles is pleased to find herself on the list of winners and the possibilities it will provide. “I think the timing of it was really appropriate. I have my first sabbatical coming up next year. This will help me take advantage of the time in a really special way.”
The fellowship will enable Miles to apprentice in an auto body shop, learn the art of shoemaking with a cobbler, and explore industrial techniques of replication like mold making. “I’m also taking a welding certification class,” she says.
I look forward to finding out how mastery of these assorted earthy tradecrafts affect Miles’ far-flung artistic explorations.
Here’s the entire list of winners:
Susan Watt Grade
LaShawnda Crowe Storm
Pete Brown; Eiteljorg Museum
Kevin Harmon; Indianapolis Art Center
Elise Kushigan; Clowes Memorial Hall
Joel Markus; Indiana Repertory Theatre
Richard McCoy; Indianapolis Museum of Art
Joanna Taft; Harrison Center for the Arts
Ophelia Wellington; Freetown Village
Meg Williams; Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
(Slideshow) Artisan Marketplace
Like a statewide farmers market on steroids, the Indiana Artisan Marketplace was the place to be last weekend, featuring the likes of Brown County bark syrup, Vermillion County coffee toffee and Lawrence County artisanal persimmon puddings.
War of the Wheels - Naptown Roller Girls Bout
Photos from Saturday's 'War of the Wheels' Roller Derby featuring the Naptown Roller Girls vs the Demolition City Rollers. Congratulations to the NRG Tornado Sirens for an undefeated home season.
Both operas were developed within the academy: composer Bernard Rands and librettist J.D. McClatchy were commissioned by the IU Opera to create Vincent, and Death and the Powers was conceived in MIT's Media Lab, which worked in concert with composer Tod Machover and librettist Robert Pinsky. But Death and the Powers is a professional production that incorporates quite a bit of costly technology, including huge LED screens and robotics; it premiered in Monaco, after all, and was reportedly a decade in the making. And while IU's opera department is one of the best in the country, Vincent was still performed by a talented but untested student cast, with two professional performers alternating in the lead role.
All that being said, I'll put it on the line: I was disappointed by Vincent, whereas I thought Death and the Powers was an extraordinary production. Let's start with the disappointment, because interested parties still have a chance to catch Vincent tonight and Saturday night. (Death and the Powers closed its two-week Chicago run with last Sunday's performance.)
Sure, it's not easy to graft anyone's life onto a three-act structure, but I would have preferred that more traditional approach to the clunky, episodic, two-act Vincent, which attempts to pack the whole of Van Gogh's working life into a couple hours of stage time, whizzing by key moments (his relationship with Gauguin, the amputation of an ear) without taking enough time to establish relationships or create three-dimensional characters. And when I say clunky, I mean it: Certain themes and ideas were hammered home again and again in an annoying, repetitive way, namely Van Gogh's faith and his notion that his art brought him nearer to God (with Vincent invoking God in the same vaunted, ecstatic tones each time he spoke His name), and his abandonment by loved ones, who schematically sing "No one needs you, Vincent" (or, to up the ante, "God doesn't need you, Vincent") at the close of each betrayal.
Aside from a couple scenes regarding Van Gogh's approach to painting, including a rather moving opening number that links his insanity with his brilliance, Van Gogh seems a such a put-upon, maladroit, downtrodden character that it's impossible to imagine him accomplishing anything great. And we all know the story about his mental illness; of much more interest is the work that he accomplished despite his setbacks, and the opera rarely essays an explanation of such work, reducing his counterparts to stereotypes (a swishy, gossipy Toulouse-Lautrec; a heartless, carousing Gauguin), and generally approaching its subject with much less sophistication that one might have hoped.
Couldn't the opera have slowed down a bit to focus in on any one relationship? Did we really need to make a headlong rush to Van Gogh's deathbed, where his closing parlay with his brother Theo has little emotional resonance, because we never really believed any of his relationships to be authentically represented?
Vincent was most interesting when it really let loose and tried to represent his madness. A particularly florid scene at Van Gogh's sanitarium, where the work he produced was at its most lurid and kaleidoscopic, stands out; it make particularly good use of projected images, with the foreground and background full of animated flora and fauna.
Still, kudos are due to IU for continuing to stage new work: This is, for instance, the second time McClatchy has written a libretto for an opera given its world premiere at IU, following on the more successful and dramatically powerful adaptation of Our Town, scored by Ned Rorem and premiered in 2006.
Quite simply, I was lured to Death and the Powers by the promise of robots, by a blurb on the Chicago Opera Theater's site that promised "a chorus of robots, a Musical Chandelier, and a set that expressively 'comes alive.'" And while the opera ends up being largely played by human actors, that robot chorus sets the stage for the action.
The conceit behind Death and the Powers, which is subtitled as "A Robot Pageant," is playful and ingenious. The opera begins as several robots, which vaguely resemble these robot butlers, roll onto the stage, assembled to give a performance about a concept they don't understand: namely, death. "What is this / 'Death' — Is it a form of waste," Robot 2 asks. (I'm lucky to be able to quote from Pinsky's libretto, which was distributed in chapbook form at the performance, and was first published in the July/August 2010 issue of Poetry.) "How can information end? Is it a form of entropy?" another robot asks.
Uncomprehending but eager to earn "One Thousand Human Rights Status Credits" by giving a performance, the robots launch into their story, which concerns the attempt by a super-rich patriarch, Simon Power, to prolong his life by transmuting himself into information form, by translating himself into The System, where flesh and blood become ones and zeros. He hopes to maintain some degree of autonomy after the dissolution of his physical form with the help of his Frankenstein's Monster, a human-bionic hybrid with robotic arms.
But Power leaves a family behind: a wife, who, in one of the opera's most striking setpieces, has something resembling amorous relations with a spider-like musical chandelier, which we understand as being one of Power's "limbs" now that he has become a disembodied, digital creature; and a virginal daughter, whom Power tries to lure into The System by making an argument against the outmoded technology of the human body, which is wired to want "Bigger McMuck, Thicker Sweet Shake" despite the fact that such sweetness and abundance is slowly killing us, now that it no longer serves our basic needs for survival. He also leaves behind a trail of destruction: Still capable of signing checks from within the system, he somehow unsettles the world's economy and political system, leading to a scene in which representatives from the U.N., United Way and "The Administration" beg him to continue to be a good capitalist.
Pinsky is playful enough to allow for humor within a story which is, in a certain sense, about grief, about how a family copes with the loss of a father. After all, this opera is performed by robots, whose understanding of complex human emotions is doubtless impaired, and who might arrive on some malapropisms in the effort to understand our complex, alien world. Even the language of the piece, which contrasts "Meat" (i.e. human bodies) with "The System" (the sum total of all data), has a sort of stiltedness — the closing scenes of the opera could have been written by robots, perhaps robots making the argument against the irrationality of our silly human ways.
The musical language of Death and the Powers is in an electro-acoustic mode, with hectic, fast-paced, polyphonic synthesizer lines reminiscent of Switched-On Bach or Conlon Nancarrow's player-piano scores juxtaposed with more organic, orchestral sounds. In the best sense of film music, the score heightened the emotional intensity of each scene: a love scene between the disembodied Simon — voiced by a go-to baritone in the world of contemporary opera, James Maddelena, in both life and death, with creepy vocal manipulation after his entrance into The System — and his wife has both an overheated, bionic feel, with space for keening, distressed, lyrical passages by both singers; another scene where Simon's daughter Miranda is besieged by the World's Miseries, a mass of rag-bedecked, zombie-like extras who implicate her in their very human concerns and draw her away from the cold, rational lure of The System, strikes overwhelming, terrible, abrasive chords, driving home the importance of this difficult but compelling interaction with the real world.
And then there are the robots, both those styled as butlers, who roam the stage at the behest of Power's bionic son, as well as the three 15-some-foot high LED screens lining the background of the stage, which at times represented abstract colors and symbols (shining bright red upon the arrival of the Miseries; lighting up red like a heat map when Simon's wife, Evvy, walked by them, all her love and energy invested in The System), and at other times depicted Simon's face, speaking from the within The System.
Back in the day, opera was a true multimedia experience, from trompe l'oeil backgrounds to pre-digital sound effects. The use of robotics and other special effects in Death and the Powers gets towards that somewhat archaic sense of opera as a complete sensory experience — it was paced like a film and with just as much action, packed with ideas and humor, emotionally affecting and resonant, surprising and cutting-edge. (Vincent, which made much ado about its visual effects, failed to integrate its visuals into the meat of the story; an extended photo morphing sequence which integrated several of Van Gogh's works seemed mostly superfluous, for instance, even a little cheesy.)
Those who saw The Social Network will be familiar with the over-arching message of Death and the Powers, namely that interfacing with digital representations of human beings isn't the same as seeing, touching and feeling their flesh-and-bone counterparts. Maybe that's a conservative message, but it was at least a moral to take home; I didn't find myself puzzling over much of Vincent, except to wonder where things went wrong.
I spent a significant part of the 80s playing five-gallon bucket in a band called the Dilettantes, so I wasn’t paying attention to pop music. But if you were paying attention, or if you’re one of those cool kids who was born in the 90s and now listens to the decade prior to your existence, then you’ll be thrilled that Rock of Ages is here this week, with multiple shows Friday through Sunday.
On Friday night, you can marvel at the the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra when they perform Bach's Mass in B Minor, regarded as one of Western culture's greatest achievements — along with The Brothers Karamazov and the films of Paulie Shore. Seriously, Symphonic director Eric Stark has been waiting to perform the piece since 1988 until he felt that he was completely ready, however, so we expect only great things.
Saturday is predictably replete with events, including the first ever Indiana Artisan Marketplace extravaganza at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. This one had me drooling from the get-go: you can expect chocolatiers of perfection, specialty cheese makers, popcorn makers and, generally, craftspeople considered the best of the best. Showcasing approximately 150 artisans from Indiana, along with a handful of Kentuckians, the Indiana Artisan Marketplace runs Saturday and Sunday, April 16 and 17. Oh, and check out Anne Laker’s delicious story about the food.
Love Kurt Vonnegut? Sure you do! So you can spend a night of NPR, Vonnegut and raising money for the arts and Shortridge school district with the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library's Night of Vonnegut fundraiser. Home-grown Steve Inskeep of NPR's Morning Edition will be the keynote speaker — and expect to see Kurt's own bloodline walking around as well. Dramatic readings will be performed of his work, and scholarships for the kiddos at Shortridge will be announced. Check it out Saturday night at the Marott.
Roller girls bouts continue to be one of the biggest, most dependable draws in town, and on Saturday night, you can experience the final contests in the Naptown Roller Girls fifth season. Back—to-back competitions feature NRG’s The Warning Belles v. The Demolition City's Destruction Dames from Evansville and NRG’s Tornado Sirens v. The Demolition City Dynamite Dolls. Even better? NRG is partnering with the Hoosier Environmental Council and Papa Roux. The more you bring to recycle, the more stamps you can collect on your Papa Roux card.
Also on Saturday night, you get to show your love for Kate Lamont, in an event sure to make you feel glad you live in this wondrous little town called Indianapolis. Many great folks are coming together to make this benefit a truly memorable experience, all in the good cause of helping Lamont, who was hit by a car at SXSW, pay her medical bills. A packed lineup will show their love, including Bashiri Asad, TJ Reynolds, Sarah Grain, Mars or the Moon, Montauk Monster, the 2:30 Trio, Maple Trio, El Foundero Dub Club, Josh Kaufman and Julie Mauro. A long list of local businesses have donated goods and services for a silent auction being coordinated by our own Sarah Myer.
Finally, on Saturday night, if you want it quiet and sweet, you can see my good friends Sharlee Davis and Will Devitt, who are coming to Indy to promote and perform their new album, body of water. Davis and Devitt are recommended for Norah Jones and Diana Krall fans with their folksy sound that has developed through several albums, combining original songs as well as covers such as “House of the Rising Sun.” They’ve traveled all over the Midwest to share a unique combination of folk rock, blues, country and acoustic pop/jazz that fits well with their strong combination vocals. Performance lasts from 7 to 9 p.m.
Things don’t slow down on Sunday, and if you wanted to get into the John Mellencamp show at the new Old Centrum, AKA the Indiana Landmarks Center, and can’t get it in ‘cause it’s friggin’ sold out, you can console yourself by visiting the building on Sunday for some free stuff — an open house — and some stuff that costs, a classical bash featuring Sylvia McNair and The Landmark Trio. This building is one of Indy’s great treasures, so we’re thrilled it’s up and running again!
Another greatly-anticipated event on Sunday is the beloved Kronos Quartet. Truly, is there a more adventurous group? I quote Music Editor Scott Shoger: “The members of Kronos Quartet have always stuck with the core instrumentation of the string quartet — two violins, viola, cello — but they’ve drawn from just about everywhere for their repertoire, from 20th-century classical (Bartok, Shostakovich) to the not-yet-canon’ed (the John Adamses, Harry Partch), from jazz to pop, from soup to nuts, expanding their sound through collaborations with musicians the world over, most recently with Finnish accordion-sampler duo Kimmo Pohjonen and Samuli Kosminen on the new album UNIKO. The group will present a typically eclectic set Sunday at the Palladium, including work by drone king Terry Riley (“Good Medicine” from Salome Dances for Peace), radical Jewish dude John Zorn (selections from The Dead Man), Icelandic dreamers Sigur Ros (“Flugufrelsariin (The Fly Freer)”) and Rock en Espanol outfit Café Tacuba (“12/12”).”
Sunday is a great day to consider religion for the magical-thinking phenomenon that it is — not that there’s anything wrong with that. So, join Indiana’s Center for Inquiry for their second in a series of discussions concerning Chris Rodda’s book Liars for Jesus: The Religious Right’s Alternate Version of History. Discussion will focus on what the Founding Fathers really thought about religion, secular government and the separation of church and state. Sean O’Brien will preside as the discussion leader for this free talk.
Finally, what would a bunch of recommendations for stuff-to-do be without including an event that honors marijuana activists. On Tuesday, the Indiana Cannabis Awards, hosted by Relegalize Indiana, will recognize individuals and companies that have made great strides in bringing marijuana reform to the public eye. Recipients range from Senator Karen Tallian (D-Portage), whose bill supporting marijuana reform research passed with a 28-21 vote this March, to The Magic Bus, your one-stop destination for psychedelic paraphernalia. With rockabilly band MC & The Gas City Three providing music and various vendors selling hemp clothing and products. Plus, it’s 4/20 Eve!
See you out there!
The Circle City Derby Girls were back home again in Indiana for their first home match of the season, and it was a double-header. The undefeated roller rock stars were up against the Southern Illinois Rollergirls and the Lansing Derby Vixens Saturday at The Forum in Fishers.
Check out their home page for race results.
(Slideshow) Circle City Derby Pain
The Circle City Derby Girls opened their season with a double-header against the Southern Illinois Rollergirls and the Lansing Derby Vixens Saturday.
Moment of silence for music (Slideshow)
Performers gathered at Monument Circle on April 7 to demonstrate the importance of music in the city.
Monument Circle resounded with silence on Thursday, April 7 when students and musicians gathered at 4:30 p.m. to perform a classic work of music.
The performance was conducted in the best flash-mob style but contained one, very important twist - the assembled musicians played 4’33 by American composer John Cage. The piece consists of four minutes and thirty three seconds of silence.
The ironic performance was orchestrated in an effort to draw attention to the importance of music in Indianapolis’ schools, as well as the city as a whole.
Our cover story this week, by David Hoppe, is on a brand new and totally exciting opera about the life of Vincent van Gogh called Vincent. IU School music brought together an all-star lineup of artists to create the work, and the performances start this weekend and go through next. I’ll be there on Saturday, and let you know what I think.
In town this weekend, Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre’s (GHDT) latest show, Saints and Sinners, is an exploration of the light and dark sides of dance. Featuring a ballet inspired by Joan of Arc which creates a haunting web of faith and vision, the performance promises to enthrall. The other piece, entitled ‘The Seven Deadly Sins,’ explores the idea that the aforementioned sins are not singled out because of their own flaws but because they spawn other sins.
Can’t get enough ballet? Who can! The Joffrey Ballet’s reputation has preceded its arrival at Butler’s Clowes Memorial Hall. For more than half a century, the ballet company has showcased their deep commitment to spreading the beauty of ballet to a wide variety of audiences through their inclusive perspectives on dance and diverse repertoire of pieces. The Joffrey Ballet will be in town for one night only.
The Eiteljorg’s ‘Red/Black: Related Through History’ exhibit continues to spawn, bringing talented performers to the city. The latest addition is Blair Clark, a Chippewa and African-American musician who, along with his nine-piece band, will perform a fusion of jazz, blues and popular music inspired by African and Native American cultures. Clark’s 7 p.m. performance at the museum is in honor of Jazz Appreciation Month.
The Circle City Derby Girls are at it again, and they aim to blot out the disappointing NCAA men’s final. In their first home match of the season, the undefeated roller rock stars are hosting a double-header against the Southern Illinois Rollergirls and the Lansing Derby Vixens. Royal Pain, a tongue in cheek nod to the royal wedding that will also take place in April, may lack crown jewels but it promises to make up for it with fishnets and sass. We’re sure the Queen Mother would be proud.
St. Pat's Day may be over, but don't let holidays constrain you. Celtic Woman—6 million CD/DVDs sold worldwide, seven consecutive No. 1's on Billboard's World Album Chart—has a powerhouse of talent that is said to be breathlessly dramatic and beyond captivating. Sounds intriguing. The lovely music of the Eire will be performed for one night only on April 9
Beth Horner's presentation may be entitled Love Lost, Found and Fumbled, but it promises to be much more than just a “kissing book.” Horner will deliver every type of love story, whether it's tragic, classic or laughable, such as her oft-requested spoof Encounter with a Romance Novel. Nationally acclaimed and having performed for over 18 years, Horner delivers a lively storytelling style to enchant her audiences.
Indianapolis native Mike Epps started off doing comedy in local places like Crackers and comedy competition. He also got boost on WTLC, before moving on and making his name as a standup comic and actor (Next Friday, The Honeymooners, The Hangover). Now, the Tech High School tells us he’s thrilled to be headlining Conseco Fieldhouse, though he does come to Indy often to visit his mom, seven brothers and one sister. Let’s give him a big, welcome home embrace on Saturday.
Finally, Stuart McLean may be Canadian, but don't let that stop you. His hit radio show "The Vinyl Cafe" premiered in 1994, offering audiences an eclectic musical journey and to hear about the life of Dave, married with two children and the owner of the world's smallest record store. His audience has only grown as he's taken the show to places like Seattle, Cleveland and Portland. He'll be here on Sunday at Hilbert Circle Theatre.
See you out there!
Your A&E best bets, April 8-10
Your Go&Do weekend awaits, with ballet, comedy and a brand new opera in Bloomington.
The Scene w/Savion Glover (Slideshow)
Carmel's Center for Performing Arts launches 'The Scene,' a networking event for young professionals, w/special guest Savion Glover.
[A+E] Film + TV
[A+E] Classical Music
[A+E] Classical Music
[A+E] Classical Music
[A+E] Classical Music, Theater + Dance