Friday, April 29, 2011

Go & Do: Your arts weekend, April 29- May 1

Posted By on Fri, Apr 29, 2011 at 8:10 AM

Mutt Strut 2011 Sunday at the Motor Speedway
  • Mutt Strut 2011
    Sunday at the Motor Speedway

I want to start off this week's blog by calling out the new play at Butler, Small Lives/Big Dreams. First off, it sounds like a challenging work — which is why I love Butler’s theater department so much. The renowned Anne Bogart put together a play whose conceit is it extracts five characters from five different Anton Chekov plays. Very Stoppard-y, don’t you think? It’s very Bogart-y, actually. Anyway, that’s fun enough, but I’m also excited about this production because it’s William Fisher’s directorial debut at Butler. Fisher joined the department as chair (i.e. head dude) this year, so now we get to see why Butler picked him. No pressure, William!

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.

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