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Friday, October 21, 2011

Reflections on Maxwell Anderson's exit

Posted By on Fri, Oct 21, 2011 at 11:45 AM

Maxwell Anderson in 2008
  • Maxwell Anderson in 2008
The news that the Indianapolis Museum of Art's CEO, Maxwell Anderson, has decided to leave the city for a post in Dallas promises to be as close to a seismic event as it gets in these parts.

It's a measure of Anderson's impact that so many of us have simply gotten used to thinking of the IMA as the go-to destination for an up-to-date, cosmopolitan perspective on what's happening in the worlds of visual arts and design. That this has been accomplished in a mere five-and-a-half years reflects the extent of Anderson's seemingly unquenchable ambition, as well as the hunger a significant portion of the local community has developed for the kinds of experiences that were previously only been available in other cities.

Ambition is the key word here. Anderson brought it — and did so without apology or embarrassment. This set him apart in Indianapolis, where being a so-called "team player" has been traditionally valued above all other virtues. Anderson's elbows could be sharp, and this caused some among his peers and colleagues to wonder about whether he truly "fit in."

In fact, Anderson demonstrated the way a cultural institution can not just put itself on the map, but bend the contours of its geography. This was not always a comfortable, or a uniformly successful process. There was some overreaching, some initiatives that looked good on paper but failed to sustain themselves. That being said, Anderson got what few local cultural administrators have ever fully grasped — that the key to institutional success cannot be based on never-ending appeals for support but, rather, on knowing how to make real, legitimate news.

The IMA has been making news in its field and has attracted the attention of people around the world. This is Anderson's legacy, and it represents a challenge to his successor, whoever that may be.

But the major challenge now lies with the IMA's board. Let's hope their ambition for the institution they represent is equal to Anderson's.

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Go & Do: Your arts weekend, Oct. 14-16

Posted By on Fri, Oct 14, 2011 at 7:30 AM

Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Oct. 14-16
Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Oct. 14-16 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Oct. 14-16 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Oct. 14-16 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Oct. 14-16 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Oct. 14-16 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Oct. 14-16 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Oct. 14-16 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Oct. 14-16

Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Oct. 14-16

Top picks for this weekend's lineup of fun.

By Jim Poyser

Click to View 11 slides

Let’s start off this week with a group that I’m not at all shy about hawking. I LOVE Know No Stranger, because they are rag-tag (like NUVO), fun-loving (like NUVO), goofballs (oh, not at all like NUVO), who put on great, low-budget and brilliant shows. So, here comes Optical Popsicle 3 at Earth House, a dazzling blitz of optical illusions, live music, dancing, shadows, puppetry and video. Optical Popsicle proves that inspired entertainment can be produced on a shoestring budget. The creative geniuses of Indy-based Know No Stranger are a spirited bunch who, above all, seek to “make people proud of where they are.” Expect abundant laughter and be prepared to interact with the performers. 8:30 p.m. Friday; 3:30 (their “classics” show) and 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $10, but you can do various weird things to get the price down.

I have a soft spot in my heart for Beauty and the Beast at CLOWES, since our sons were young in the film’s heyday, and boy did I watch it a few dozen times. Somehow I never grew tired of the male antagonist, Garston, singing “I use antlers in all of my DECorating!” Call me weird. Disney's musical production of Beauty and the Beast hits the Clowes Hall stage this week. The nationwide tour stars Indiana native and 2010 Ball State graduate Emily Behny as Belle, who shines in her first major Broadways role. As for the show itself, you can expect a performance that's true to the classic, complete with a cast of stellar voices and an equally talented pit. The extravagant set — designed by the original animated movie team — makes for a visual spectacle. To say it's a big production is an understatement; would Disney have it any other way? Various show times, through Sunday, Oct. 14, $41-$84.

Holiday shopping? Want to buy local? Sure you do! Then go to Studio Showcase Art Show at Crows Nest. High-quality art can be had for a minimal amount of cashola. Proof of this fact can be found this week in the Crows Nest neighborhood, where Studio Showcase will host a three-day exhibit of affordable art. The members of Studio Showcase — a co-op of Indiana artisans whose work includes textiles, jewelry, ceramics, photography, painting, glass and wood, gather once a year to show off and sell their newest creations in an open-house setting. This year’s show and sale takes place Oct. 14&15: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Visa and MasterCard accepted for art purchases. Free admission.

Also in visual art, check out Encaustic Paintings at Editions Limited Gallery: Editions Limited Gallery presents new encaustic paintings by Lynn Basa, a Chicago-based artist who has earned acclaim for her work in various visual media. Encaustic painting involves the use of hot beeswax and color pigments, making for unique and highly textural works of art. Basa’s “Great Circle Route,” a terrazzo mosaic piece, is featured prominently at Indianapolis International Airport. An opening night reception will be held on Friday from 5-9 p.m. and is one of 17 stops on the Broad Ripple Fall Gallery Tour. The exhibit continues through Nov. 5. Gallery hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m.-3p.m. Saturday. Free.

Like to laugh? I don’t. Kickstart your weekend with some hearty laughs thanks to the acerbic, bent and undeniably hilarious wit of Dave Attell. The Long Island native is perhaps best known as the host of Insomniac with Dave Attell, the Comedy Central show in which Attell would wander around cities late at night, cracking jokes as he visited clubs and interacted with locals. A veteran of the stand-up scene, Attell has earned a reputation for being a comic’s comic. He also boasts a loyal following, so expect a lively scene at his two-night, four-show engagement at Morty’s. 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets: $35.

We love the Cabaret, and here’s your chance to see Jason Robert Brown/Soshana Bean. Heralded singer/songwriter Jason Robert Brown teams up with vocalist Shoshana Bean for a two-night stand of musical theater favorites at The Cabaret at the Columbia Club. An accomplished pianist who’s often compared to Stephen Sondheim, Brown has applied his songwriting magic to numerous award-winning musicals, including The Last Five Years, Songs for a New World and Parade — the latter garnering a Tony for best musical score. Bean, an original cast member of Broadway’s Hairspray, rose to stage stardom after replacing Idina Menzel in the Elphaba role in Wicked. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets range from $35 to $55, with a $12 food/beverage minimum.

Here’s a great film that has done more to increase awareness and caution around fracking than any other single thing: Gasland. The technology of fracking, a process that involves releasing a highly pressurized fluid deep into the earth, has spurred a nationwide natural gas drilling boom. But is fracking safe? Filmmaker Josh Fox explores this question, and arrives at some unsettling answers, in the documentary Gasland. Criss-crossing the country, Fox follows a trail of lies and contamination. For example, Pennsylvanians near a drilling site discover that they’re suddenly able to light their drinking water on fire. To preview Gasland, go to And to actually see the film, go to the Epworth United Methodist Church this Friday night at 7 p.m. Free.

On Saturday, you can get scared at the Indiana History Center with Disquieting, Disturbing and Dreadful Tales. Snuggle up under the stars and enjoy a bone-chilling night of frightful yarn-spinning. Storytelling Arts of Indiana hosts an evening of literary horror stories. Your attention will be seized by master storytellers Deborah Asante, Lou Ann Homan, Jim May and Sally Perkins, as well as the winners of Storyteller Arts’ Ghost Story Contest, Ken Oguss and Christian Painter. Dress warmly and bring a blanket, as the event will be held outside, alongside the canal at the Indiana History Center. The event is being billed as for mature audiences only, so leave the kids at home. 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $15 in advance; $20 at the door.

Here’s another favorite of mine: Cottage Home neighborhood’s annual Block Party. This is their 28th annual block party, and I swear I have been to most of ‘em. The Halloween-themed party features local artists, vendors and live music, along with the scrumptious fare of Duos and the freshly poured beers of Lockerbie Pub. There’s fun for the kids as well, with horse-drawn hayrides, face painting and an interactive presentation by critter experts Animalia. Attendees are encouraged to arrive in costume — the spookier the better. The funfest takes place just south of St. Clair St. on the city’s near eastside. 5-11 p.m. Free, though a $5 donation would be appreciated.

This looks fun: Natyamanjari at the Zionsville Performing Arts Center. Experience the joy and beauty of Indian dance without venturing far from home. Kalakshiti Performing Arts, a local nonprofit dedicated to promoting the classical art and culture of India, hosts this must-attend afternoon affair for dance lovers. The event brings performers from across the nation to Zionsville to showcase the classical dance forms of India. Three dance companies are scheduled to perform, including Trinayan Dance Theater (from New York), Soorya (from Missouri) and Abhinaya Dance Company (from California). Snacks and beverages will be available for purchase. Seating begins at 4:00 p.m., and the performance starts at 4:30 p.m. Tickets: $15; free admission for kids under the age of 5.

On Sunday, you can catch Who Are These Doubters Anyway? at Center for Inquiry, 350 Canal Walk, Suite A. Ever wonder what those poll results on religion really mean? Whether, for example, those who claim to have “no religious preference” are truly atheists? Tom Flynn, the executive director of the Council for Secular Humanism, offers up well-researched answers to these questions in an illustrated presentation that explores how sociologists and pollsters have measured religious belief and unbelief. Indy’s Center for Inquiry hosts the event. Flynn, who also works as the editor of Free Inquiry magazine, has authored such books as The Trouble with Christmas and The New Encyclopedia of Unbelief. 7 p.m. Free.

Finally, you can catch the National Acrobats of China at The Palladium: Witness spectacular acts of derring-do as the National Acrobats of China make a stop in Carmel during the company’s inaugural U.S. tour. The troupe’s performers mesmerize and awe with a blend of illusions, Chinese martial arts and high-flying acrobatics. Founded in 1950 by the government of the People’s Republic of China, the Beijing-based company combines tradition with innovation, with performers captivating audiences through displays of superhuman-like strength, coordination and flexibility. Add lively music and colorful costumes to the mix, and you have an event that promises to be an aural and visual delight. 7 p.m. Ticket prices vary from $15 to $100.

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Friday, October 7, 2011

Go & Do: Your arts weekend, Oct. 7-9

Posted By on Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Oct. 7-9
Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Oct. 7-9 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Oct. 7-9 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Oct. 7-9 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Oct. 7-9 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Oct. 7-9 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Oct. 7-9 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Oct. 7-9 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Oct. 7-9

Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Oct. 7-9

Here's a pictorial tour through the wonders of this weekend.

By Jim Poyser

Click to View 13 slides

Check the weather. It is going to be gorgeous, people, absolutely gorgeous. That means… you know what it means: bicycles. This is the First Friday with the MOST bicycles ever! I predict! But hey, all this stuff is going to be great to see on a bike, ‘cause, you know, it’s easier to find a parking space. Plus, with all this FREE stuff going on AND no gas money going out, you can party like a rock star!

So, first off, not exactly First Friday, but the Day of the Dead at Indianapolis Art Center is always one of THE best visual arts events of the year. The IAC has been celebrating the traditional Mexican holiday of Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) since 2000, and this year’s extravaganza promises to be the best one yet. The full slate of programming, which begins this weekend and continues into November, includes exhibitions of altars and shrines, presentations of Latino artists’ work, and activities and workshops as well as a preview party (Oct. 20) and a celebration (Oct. 29). If you want to get an early start on the festivities, head over to the IAC’s Churchman Fehsenfeld and Frank M. Basile Galleries, where an altar exhibition opens to the public on Oct. 7.

Some months ago, I saw this show — or a version of it — at my neighbors’ house: Emily Budd: Microcosmic at Nancy Lee Designs Gallery. Budd’s chimerical sculptures will blow your mind and not just because Budd is winner of the 2009 Robert D. Beckmann, Jr. Emerging Artist Fellow. Viewers are encouraged to immerse themselves in the works, picking the bronze statues up, moving them in the light of the gallery and deciding what the pieces represent. The forms can represent anything from a single, tiny cell to an entire universe—all in the palms of your hands, somewhere in the middle. Opening reception, Oct. 7. 6 — 9 p.m. Free.

Make sure you put this on your First Friday list: Funk Soul Brother at the Harrison Center, presenting the art of William Denton Ray, with a collection reflecting the artist’s whimsical and unconventional approach to his work. In Funk Soul Brother, Ray’s first solo show, central characters come to life within multi-layered vignettes and cut-out shapes. Be sure to visit the Harrison Center’s Gallery No. 2 as well, where you’ll experience Death Becomes Her, a fiber and mixed-media show by artists Elyce Elder and Gabrielle Duggan. 5-10 p.m. Free.

The Glass Art Exhibition at Gallery 924 is going to be amazing; check out the cool looking toaster in the slideshow! Gallery 924 presents the annual juried show of the Indiana Glass Art Alliance — a must-attend event for First Friday art revelers. The exhibition highlights the absolute best work of Indiana’s glass artists, with entries from across the stating representing wide-ranging styles, from traditional vessels to contemporary sculptures. To learn more about the IGAA, check out their website at Juried exhibition from 6-9 p.m. on Oct. 7. Glass art remains on display through Oct. 28. Free

So that’s it for the picks, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t a shitload more of the usual suspects open for First Friday business, but here’s a NEW usual suspect, Fletcher Place Arts & Books with their Grand Opening at their exhibit, Reflections on Guatemala, work by Emily Janowiak and Jeff Litsey. Reflections features pieces inspired by the artists’ recent two-week trip to Guatemala. The exhibit runs from Oct. 7-29. FPA&B boasts a bounty of creative experiences, with a gallery displaying the work of local artists, a lounge area for reading and writing, and a library of books focused on theology, art and literature. On Oct. 7, the gallery will be open from 4:30-10 p.m., with an artist reception from 6-9 p.m. Free.

In terms of theater and dance, you’ve got it all this weekend:

Dance Kaleidoscope at IRT: Indiana’s dazzling dance company performs The Four Elements (Redux), a celebration of water, earth, air and fire. Now in its 40th season, Dance Kaleidoscope introduced this show to great acclaim in 2005. DK’s artistic director, David Hochoy, has a reputation for producing powerful and imaginative pieces; this show furthers his reputation for brilliance, with creative and wow-worthy dance interpretations of each of the elements. New York-based Spencer Myer, a pianist and APA Fellow, adds musical accompaniment to the Water section of the performance with selections from Chopin. 7 p.m. Oct. 6; 8 p.m. Oct. 7-8; 2:30 p.m. Oct. 9. Ticket prices vary.

My Gypsy Soul at The Tarkington: You can journey from India to Spain thanks to Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre. Enjoy the remarkable artistry and colorful costumes of GHDT, as the Carmel-based dance company performs for its home crowd at The Center for the Performing Arts. Travel with the gypsy dancers, taking in their fluid and inspired movements, while being treated to music from around the world. The performance features music from such far-flung places as Romania, Serbia, Greece, Portugal and Ireland. 8 p.m. Oct. 7-8. Tickets: $36 for adults; $31 for students and seniors.

The Good Body at Theatre Non Nobis: Experience a journey toward self-acceptance with Theatre Non Nobis’ production of Eve Ensler’s latest play. In The Good Body, Ensler, best known for penning and performing The Vagina Monologues, focuses her razor-sharp insights and wit on America’s obsession with body image. Ensler says about TGB, “Do the most radical thing you can possibly do — love your body and get on with it.” Local theater veteran Jenni White directs the show on the stage at Theatre Non Nobis, which is located at The Church Within. 8 p.m. Oct. 7-8, 14-15, 21-22. Tickets: $15 general; $13 for seniors and students.

Here’s some fun stuff for Friday as well: Mass Ave will be style central on Saturday, with the fresh and edgy designs of Canadian-American artist Sheila Ferguson featured at a fashion and costume show. Ferguson started up JealousyJane Couture following her studies in studio art at Indiana University. At this weekend’s event, she shows off inspired designs from her fall/winter collection, along with a sampling of one-of-a-kind costumes — just in time for Halloween! Enjoy live music as well as wine and appetizers. Ferguson’s designs have been featured in Bloomington’s annual Trashion Refashion Show, an event celebrating garments composed of recycled materials. Saturday’s fashion soiree will be held in Century 21 Scheetz’s office on Massachusetts Ave. 5-8 p.m. Free.

Join local publisher John Clark as he reflects on his experiences with Kurt Vonnegut, whom he met in 1991 and whom, through a series of plot twists, contributed a felt-tip drawing to Clark’s literary magazine pLopLop. Clark will present a slideshow illustrating Vonnegut’s belief that locally focused, independent publishing should concentrate not on making money but on “making one’s soul grow.” Post-slideshow, Clark plans to discuss DIY publishing and the current arts scene in Indianapolis, connecting it all to Vonnegut’s convictions and teachings. If the proceedings make you feel inspired and ready to share your own creative musings, you’re in luck — the event concludes with an open mic poetry session. 6 p.m. Free.

On Saturday, you can attend German Fest at The Athenaeum: Do yourself a favor and skip breakfast on Saturday, as you’ll want to arrive at this year’s German Fest with a schnitzel-size hole in your stomach ready to be filled up. The Athenaeum Theatre, formerly known as Das Deutsche Haus, hosts the third annual celebration of all things German. Grab a freshly poured Hefeweizen and take in wiener-dog races, a Bavarian stone-lift competition and the harmonies of the Alpine Express yodelers. If you’re feeling ambitious, participate in the Lederhosenlauf 5K Run/Walk. Kid activities include such games as Zwergenwurf (a gnome ring toss) and Bretzelketten-Essen (a pretzel-eating contest). Noon-6 p.m. Free admission.

On Sunday: Violinist Augustin Hadelich joins forces with pianist Chih-Yi Chen and the Indiana University String Academy Chamber Orchestra in the season-opening performance of the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis. Hadelich took home the gold medal in the 2006 competition. The evening’s program features Haydn’s Concerto in C Major for Violin and Orchestra, Ravel’s Tzigane and Beethoven’s Sonata No. 6 in A Major for Violin and Piano. The supreme acoustics at the IHC’s Frank and Katrina Basile Theater serve as the perfect venue for a night of orchestral wonderment. 3 p.m. Tickets: $25 general admission; $20 for seniors; $10 for students.

Also on Sunday, Halloween fun really kicks in with Cabaret Poe at Irvington Lodge: October’s arrival brings a welcome influx of dark and gothic entertainment offerings, including this Broadway-style musical based on the works of macabre literary master Edgar Allen Poe. Cabaret Poe comes thanks to local nonprofit Q Artistry, its third annual iteration of this Indianapolis original production. Poe stories reimagined for the musical include such classics as “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “Annabelle Lee” and, of course, “The Raven.” The show is not over-the-top spooky; event organizers encourage those ages 11 and up to attend. 3 p.m. Oct. 9, 16 and 23. Tickets: $15-$20.

Finally, on Tuesday, explore Chaos Theory at Butler University: Steven Strogatz somehow manages to pull of the impossible: he makes complex math not only understandable but engaging and relevant. Stogatz, who teaches applied mathematics at Cornell University, travels to Indy to discuss chaos theory as part of Butler’s J. James Woods Lecture Series. The professor earned acclaim and a wider audience with his 15-part blog on mathematics for The New York Times. In 2009 he published The Calculus of Friendship, reflecting on his 30-year correspondence with his high school calculus teacher. Stogatz previously taught at MIT, where he earned the school’s prestigious E.M. Baker Award, an honor bestowed on him by the student body. 7:30 p.m. Free.

Work by Emily Budd is part of the First Friday fun.
  • Work by Emily Budd is part of the First Friday fun.

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Friday, September 30, 2011

Go & Do: Your arts weekend, Sept. 30-Oct. 2

Posted By on Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 7:30 AM

Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 30-Oct. 2
Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 30-Oct. 2 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 30-Oct. 2 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 30-Oct. 2 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 30-Oct. 2 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 30-Oct. 2 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 30-Oct. 2 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 30-Oct. 2 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 30-Oct. 2

Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 30-Oct. 2

Art vs. Art and Circle City Classic highlight a weekend of diverse events.

By Jim Poyser

Click to View 11 slides

My trip to Bloomington last weekend for Lotus was a delight of course, but I missed some great fun here. AND, my bike was stolen in B-town, which has NEVER happened in Indy. So, I say, Indy you rock! ‘Cause there is shitloads of stuff to do, the people are nice and bikes don’t get stolen (at least mine doesn’t get stolen).

So let’s start with Friday:

Art vs. Art at The Vogue combines the high and low of visual arts in a winner-take-all competition. For those not-in-the-know, Art vs. Art is actually a three-step event. The first step took place Sept. 10, with artists/competitors having four hours to create a painting using materials provided by event organizers. The second step, occurring Sept.16-29, involves people voting online for their favorite paintings. Step three, on Sept. 30 at The Vogue, represents the culmination of the competition, with a night of live music, the awarding of a $4,000 cash prize to the winner and, yes, the killing of some art. The Leisure Kings provide the music, and my bud Mike Wiltrout emcees the event (and heads up Leisure Kings). 8 p.m. Tickets: $12 in advance; $15 the day of the show.

Indianapolis Wine Festival will transform Military Park into a mini Napa Valley, minus the rolling vineyards, with a celebration of wine, food and music. Sample from a selection of 270 wines from around the world. Indulge in fresh dishes from such local eateries as Osteria Pronto, 14 West and Iozzo’s. Enjoy live music from the Maryland-based band Lloyd Dobler Effect (I guess you can give them your keys for safekeeping). Ticket prices include a souvenir wine glass, 10 wine tastings, cooking demos, and food and wine seminars. Must be 21 or older to attend. 4-10 p.m. Friday; 2-8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets: $27 in advance; $35 at the door.

The 28th annual Circle City Classic celebrates all things African-American in Indianapolis. The 2-day festival brings sports, music and comedy to downtown, drawing over 100,000 attendants annually. Start off your Friday night with Chris Tucker's Comedy Jam at Old National Centre. If music's your thing, catch Classic Cabaret at the ICC or Gospel Music Explosion at the Madame Walker Theatre. On Saturday, bring the kids downtown to the parade; it'll leave from Vermont St. at 10 a.m. Later, hip-hop favorites Bow Wow and Monica will kick off the annual football game at Lucas Oil, where Albany State will take on Kentucky State at 2:30 p.m. Some stuff is free; some costs.

The Bloomington Playwrights Project explores the theme of war and peace through eight 10-minute plays. The BPP commissioned such luminaries as Jessie Eisenberg (Academy Award nominee), Jeff Daniels (two-time Tony winner) and Paris Barclay (two-time Emmy winner), among five other talented scribes, to write the plays. The end result: a night of alternately thought-provoking and laugh-out-loud hilarious entertainment for you, the theatergoer. The event is part of Indiana University’s Fall 2011 Themester: Making War, Making Peace. 8 p.m. Sept. 30 and Oct. 1; Oct. 6-8; Oct. 13-15. Tickets: $18 general admission; $15 for students and seniors.

Stuffed and Unstrung: Leave the kids at home and head over to Clowes for a night of foul-mouthed puppetry. Stuffed and Unstrung is an outlandish, adults-only variety show featuring the puppets — and puppeteers — of The Jim Henson Company. You won’t see Kermit or Miss Piggy at this event; instead, you’ll get a rough-and-tumble gang of uninhibited puppets singing bawdy songs and riffing through blush-worthy sketches. Come prepared to interact with the performers; the puppeteers plan to solicit audience suggestions and improvise on the fly. Must be 18 or older to attend. 8 p.m. Tickets: $35.

ISO: Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 at Hilbert Circle Theatre: The ISO breathes fresh life into Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, a work that critics questioned more than 100 years ago for its unorthodox techniques but that today is roundly lauded for its innovative stylings. Mahler’s symphony — perhaps better known by its alternate title, “Titan” — carries listeners on a journey from inferno to paradise. The evening also features a performance by internationally acclaimed violinist Leila Josefowicz. A 2008 MacArthur Fellow with a reputation for championing new compositions, Josefowicz offers her take on Thomas Ades’ Concentric Paths, a violin concerto that premiered in 2005. 8 p.m. Friday; 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Ticket prices vary.

Here are some choice Saturday events.

Pilobolus will perform at The Center for the Performing Arts. Founded 40 years ago at Dartmouth College and named after a fungus, Pilobolus has redefined the boundaries and potential of dance, staging gymnastic-like movements that involve close physical interactions between performers. The troupe delivered their most high-profile performance at the 2007 Academy Awards ceremony. Not that I was watching, ‘cause I hate that celebrity crap. But Pilobolus is cool, mind-blowing even. I’ll be there. 8 p.m. Saturday. Ticket prices vary.

Experimental filmmaker Brent Green employs live-action stop-motion techniques to tell the true story of Leonard Wood, a Kentucky man who reconstructs his home into a “healing machine” in a desperate attempt to save his cancer-stricken wife. Green shot the film in his backyard, where he rebuilt the ramshackle home to scale. The film’s folk-punk score will be performed live during the screening by Brendan Canty (from Fugazi), Drew Henkels, John Swartz and Donna K. (who plays Mary in the film). Enjoy the film under the stars in the IMA Amphitheater. 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $15 for the general public; $10 for IMA members and students.

Second Helpings Harvest: Come down to the Second Helpings Community Kitchen for an evening of food and fun at the 8th annual Harvest. This year, graduates of the organization's culinary training program will serve up grub alongside some of Indy's most notorious chefs. The evening will feature chefs from BARcelona Tapas, El Sol, R Bistro, 120 West and Duos, to name a few. Local craft beers Sun King, Flat 12 and Oaken Barrel will be available. Second Helpings has long worked to fight hunger through the power of food in Indianapolis, so come support this venerable cause. $60 adv/$70 door. 6 - 10 p.m.

Things don’t slow down on Sunday.

Butler’s 65-piece wind ensemble collaborates with 100-plus singers from across the nation in the Midwest premiere of Ask the Sky and the Earth: A Canata for the Sent-Down Youth. The performance couples the music of Dongling Heo with a libretto by Wei Su to tell the story of the millions of Chinese children who were forced from their families and sent to the countryside during Mao’s Cultural Revolution. Wei Su, a Tiananmen Square protestor, will give a pre-concert talk at 2 p.m. The concert begins at 3 p.m. and is free, but you still need a ticket. Pick up yours at the Clowes Hall box office.

Shanghai native Weiwen Ma, winner of the 2009 Cleveland Institute of Music Concerto Piano Competition, performs a solo recital with pieces from such legendary composers as Mozart, Chopin and Liszt. She recently earned first place at the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition in Manhattan, a triumph that resulted in what every young musician dreams of: a performance at Carnegie Hall. This event marks the first in a series of piano recitals hosted by the Tabernacle Presbyterian Church. 2 p.m. Free.

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Go & Do: Your arts weekend, Sept. 23-25

Posted By on Fri, Sep 23, 2011 at 7:45 AM

Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 23-25
Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 23-25 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 23-25 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 23-25 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 23-25 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 23-25 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 23-25 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 23-25 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 23-25

Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 23-25

Here's your delightful line up of this event-full weekend.

By Jim Poyser

Click to View 9 slides

Let’s start off with events that are either just Friday, or start their run on Friday:

B Movie Celebration at Artcraft Theatre: Spend a weekend enjoying low-budget screen wonders with like-minded B movie lovers in downtown Franklin. The historic Artcraft Theatre brings old-school charm to the occasion, as film buffs and filmmakers gather to take in such offbeat, underappreciated flicks as 7 Brothers Meet Dracula, Dino Wolf and Beach Blanket Bingo. The celebration’s guests include, among others, the Chiodo Brothers, makers of the cult fave Killer Klowns from Outer Space. The film festival starts Friday and finishes up late Sunday. Screen times vary. $85 for admission to all events; $35 for Friday pass; $45 for Saturday pass; $40 for Sunday pass.

Spring Awakening at Phoenix Theatre: A combustible mix of sex, youth and rock & roll, this musical adaptation of a late-19th century German play took Broadway by storm in 2006, earning eight Tony Awards. The story tracks the tumultuous lives of a group of teenagers as they confront adolescent angst and charge passionately toward adulthood. The original play was banned in Germany for its controversial content. Duncan Sheik wrote the music for the adaptation, adding vibrance and a here-and-now feel to the production. The show runs at the Phoenix from Sept. 22 - Oct. 23. Performance times and ticket prices vary.

Madama Butterfly at Clowes Memorial Hall: This Puccini classic, performed by Indianapolis Opera, is sure to please opera enthusiasts and newbies alike. Cio-Cio San, better known as Butterfly, betrays her religion by marrying a winsome U.S. naval officer, Lieutenant Pinkerton, whose intentions may be less than pure. Pinkerton sets sail for distant ports, and Butterfly is left in Nagasaki to await his return. Will he ever return to her? Acclaimed for her portrayal of Puccini operatic heroines, Jee Hyun Lim takes to the stage in the title role. The story is told in three acts with two 20-minute intermissions. Italian with English super-titles. 8 p.m. Friday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Ticket prices vary.

Carmina Burana at Hilbert Circle Theatre: The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra joins forces with the Indianapolis Children’s Choir in a performance of Carl Orff’s emotionally stirring, much loved masterwork. Inspired by 24 medieval poems, Carmina embraces Orff’s “total theater” concept in which music, words and movement unite, giving rise to a powerful sensorial experience. The evening of music also includes a performance of Orawa, a 1988 piece by one of Conductor Krzysztof Urbanski’s favorite composers, Wojciech Kilar, whose work has been featured on screen in Bram Stroker’s Dracula and The Pianist. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Ticket prices vary.

Going Solo Festival at IRT: This festival proves that good theater requires neither a big budget nor a large cast, with a trio of intimate and engaging one-actor plays appearing on the IRT stage. In Lost: A Memoir (Sept. 20 - Oct. 15), a woman named Cathy, played by Constance Macy, sets out to search for her brother, who’s been incommunicado for months. Mark Goetzinger assumes the role of Yogi Berra, the Yankees backstop famous for his malapropisms, in Nobody Don’t Like Yogi (Sept. 23 - Oct. 23). Rounding out the theatrical trifecta is James Still’s take on gregarious chef and Francophile James Beard in I Love to Eat. Performance times and ticket prices vary.

Here are some Saturday suggestions!

FLOW: Can You See the River? @ IMA: In this Family Day experience, art, science, and nature come together for this fun and educational afternoon of activities. Join FLOW artist Mary Miss at 100 Acres to learn about the importance of waterways and our natural environment. Create handmade paper from materials found in the park, and enjoy the interpretive dance of the Susurrus Dance Company as they capture the movement of water. Hop on board the BioBus to learn about local water-dwelling organisms. The Indianapolis Zoo will be on hand with their Conservation Station, teaching kids how to appreciate and protect our furry friends. Free. 12 — 5 p.m. Part of a ten-day festival.

East Africa: Fundraiser for Famine Relief @ The Village Experience: As you read this, the worst famine in over 60 years is happening in East Africa. On Saturday, a collaboration of Indianapolis organizations will join forces to raise money for the cause. Fair-trade vendors will post up on the grounds outside the Village Experience, and DJ Iron Lion will provide global beats. Some great food truck choices will be present, so grab some grub from NY Slice, Scout's or Duo's Indy. Proceeds will be hand-delivered to the Global Enrichment Fund in Nairobi by a group of Indianapolis volunteers, who will aid refugees in Northern Kenya and Somalia during their journey. 4 — 8 p.m.; free entry.

Dracula: A One-Woman Show @ Indiana History Center: Fully indulge in the gothic thrill of Bram Stoker’s literary masterpiece with a riveting 90-minute performance by master storyteller Megan Wells. Currently the resident storyteller for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s “Once Upon a Symphony” program, Wells pieces together a riveting tale using the journals of Jonathan and Mina Harker, two of the main protagonists in Stoker’s novel. The recounting takes place in the 290-seat Frank & Katrina Basile Theater, a suitably intimate environment for a night of spine-tingling storytelling. 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets: $20 advance; $25 door.

And on Monday:

Open Bra Pageant: Ta-Ta’s & Tiaras @ Crackers Comedy Club: Been hankerin’ to shake what your momma gave ya? Well, anybody can be a star at Open Bra Night - it’s just like an open mic night, but naughtier! Ladies of all shapes and sizes are invited to come try their hand at the classic art form of burlesque. Sing a song, do a dance, or just do your thing. Angel Burlesque has finally brought the excitement of burlesque to Indy, with shows that are both professional and theatrically-based. Crackers Comedy Club will host this open event, and all proceeds from the evening will benefit the Indiana AIDS Fund. $8, 8:30 p.m.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Go & Do: Your arts weekend, Sept. 16-19

Posted By on Fri, Sep 16, 2011 at 8:00 AM

Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 16-18
Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 16-18 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 16-18 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 16-18 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 16-18 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 16-18 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 16-18 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 16-18 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 16-18

Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 16-18

Oranje, Masterpiece in a Day, Fiesta, Irish Fest... this is the weekend to end all weekends. Feast your eyes...

By Jim Poyser

Click to View 11 slides

Let’s start off with the Mother of All Super Bowls of Festivals, Oranje. Seriously, this is one AMAZING event: The tenth year for this annual event is sure to be the biggest yet. If you haven’t been to one of these, what are you waiting for? Some of the city’s most exciting artists and bands occupy an abandoned warehouse, providing some of the edgiest, most avant-garde fun you can have in this town. It has everything, artists, sculptors, performance artists, cartoonists, poets and hair designers, plus plenty of alcohol to consume. From 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday at 2323 N. Illinois Street, must be 21 or over, tickets are $20.

So let’s catch our breath a second, back up and start with Friday. Oy!

USA Cycling Collegiate Track National Championships start on Friday (well, they started Thursday, actually) at the spiffy new version of the Velodrome. Come and get your fast-paced fix as defending national champs Marian University host the USA Cycling Collegiate Track National Championships. Over 100 cyclists from 30 colleges and universities will compete in a multitude of speed events at the oval. With teams of up to sixteen men and women, cycling is hailed as a true co-ed collegiate sport. Indy’s own Marian University has dominated the collegiate cycling scene for nearly 30 years, boasting an impressive 14 national championship wins. Marian will host the event at the newly updated Major Taylor Velodrome at Indy’s Lake Sullivan Complex. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Thursday - Saturday. Free.

Krzysztof Urbanski has been directing here and there, but this is the BEEG DEBUT, at Hilbert Circle Theatre. This world-traveling and world-class director has found a home in Indy with the ISO, and the city is abuzz with it all. In this debut with ISO, he will bring artistry and power to Dmitri Shostakovich’s most remembered work, Fifth Symphony. Friday & Saturday. 8 p.m. Ticket prices vary.

We’ve been following the exploits of Katherine Ball on Indy Island, but now she is is leaving the her floating igloo and acting as the visiting dignitary for her effort to establish a Public Social University in Indianapolis. What the hell is that? Show the hell up at Big Car Service Center on Friday evening, starting at 6 p.m., and you’ll find out. This event is all about water, our White River and its tributaries (and tribulations), and will include Phil van Hest, poetry, photography, Herron designers and beer created from of the water of Ball’s lake. Not to be missed!

Moving onto the cluster-love of Saturday: Emerson Quartet at the Center for Performing Arts. These skillful gents will knock your proverbial socks off with their precise mastery of the strings, but the Center ushers may not let you stay barefoot at the show. We’ll have to see. The Emerson Quartet maintains their reputation as classical stars with award-winning style and high-energy performance. The group has created their signature sound through a seamless blend of classic and contemporary stylings. Boasting nine Grammy awards and over 30 recordings, the Quartet has quickly become one of the most successful groups in music today. 8 p.m., ticket prices vary.

Umi Garrett is at Indiana History Center and she’s accomplished more by the age of 10 then I will in my whole entire life. Watch as she opens the 2011-2012 season for The Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. After debuting on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2009, her career was on a fast track that took her all the way to China. Umi has amazed sold out audiences with this very show she is bringing to Indianapolis, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major. 8 p.m. Tickets: $25 Adult, $10 Student.

Fountain Square hosts a multiple-event day, with Masterpiece in a Day, an annual festival that challenges musicians, writers and visual artists to create a work of art during the course of a day. Guests are invited to watch the art’s creation, hear live music and enjoy lunch. Throughout the day, visit the Art Squared Fountain Square Art Fair, where guests can browse tons of jewelry, paintings, pottery, blankets and just about anything else. The day climaxes with a family-friendly art parade, in which fairgoers and artists can build their own floats, get in on the fun by decorating their bodies, or watch the art as it moves through the district. Starts at 9 a.m.; parade at 5 p.m. Free.

One of my favorite events of the year is Fiesta Indianapolis at the American Legion Mall. The salsa music, tangos and tons of Latino food will leave you ready for a siesta at the end of the night. The outdoor party, which boasts an average attendance of more than 30,000, will feature music and dancers from around the city and state. American Legion Mall. Noon-11 p.m. Free.

There’s Irish Fest, too, another one of my faves, so you can check out Scott Shoger’s massive stream-of-consciousness coverage of it and other great events this weekend.

On Sunday, dust off your bike and join the Tour de Coops, a self-guided, 12-stop tour of backyard chicken shacks in the neighborhoods of Broad Ripple, Meridian-Kessler, Rocky Ripple and Butler-Tarkington. Start the tour at Broad Ripple Park’s south parking lot, where you can register and pick up a map showing the 12 stops. Event organizer Andrew Brake encourages people to either walk or ride a bike; he jokes that cars are welcome but may get egged. 2-5 p.m. $5 suggested donation. Proceeds benefit Keep Indianapolis Beautiful and IndyCog.

For you pipe organ enthusiasts (come on, we know you’re out there!) there’s Pipe Up! at the Indiana Landmarks Center. In 1892, Indianapolis organ builders Thomas Sanborn & Son built a pipe organ to serve the parishioners of the Romanesque Revival-style church on 12th and Central. Non-functional for decades, the organ has now been restored by Goulding & Wood and has found a new home at the Indiana Landmarks Center. Pipe Up will celebrate the organ’s formal unveiling, and the pipes will sound for the first time in over a hundred years. First to play will be IU organist Charles Webb. The event will feature a variety of instrumentalists, and members of Indianapolis Symphonic Choir will perform as well. 3 p.m. Free.

Finally, catch Penn Jillette at Hamilton 16 IMAX: Jillette, the loud and loquacious half of the popular magic duo Penn & Teller, performs and discusses his new book, God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Popular Tales. In the book, Jillette offers up an atheist’s reinterpretation of the Ten Commandments. Jillette’s solo efforts include appearances on Dancing with the Stars and Chelsea Lately, as well as hosting the game show Identity. His Libertarian-leaning op-ed pieces have appeared within the pages of The New York Times. On this night, he’ll sign his book as well as perform. 7 p.m. Ticket prices vary.

Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 16-18
Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 16-18 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 16-18 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 16-18 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 16-18 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 16-18 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 16-18 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 16-18 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 16-18

Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 16-18

Oranje, Masterpiece in a Day, Fiesta, Irish Fest... this is the weekend to end all weekends. Feast your eyes...

By Jim Poyser

Click to View 11 slides

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Friday, September 9, 2011

Go & Do: Your arts weekend, Sept. 9-11

Posted By on Fri, Sep 9, 2011 at 10:00 AM

From McCutcheons IMA installation: Out of the World.
  • From McCutcheon's IMA installation: 'Out of the World.'

This is the week when all the big arts organizations are rolling out their arts season galas and shindigs. If you were hoping for a little downtime, you’re gonna have to wait … til November. Because not only are the bigwigs bringing out the big shows, there are some smaller, but no less significant openings and events this week.

Let’s look at the big dudes first!

Brian McCutcheon: Out of This World at the IMA is composed wholly of new works commissioned my McCutcheon and tells a story that unfolds from the moment you enter the museum. The exhibition mimics a children’s book narrative as it explores the Mercury and Apollo space programs in relation to contemporary culture. The base of a flight path sculpture sits in the IMA’s Pulliam Family Great Hall. The sculpture’s curvilinear metal track outlines the imagined trajectory of a toy rocket. The launch pad is positioned on the IMA’s second floor, with the sculpture soaring three stories before landing in the McCormack Forefront Galleries. Sept. 9 - March 4. Check the IMA’s website for museum hours. Free.

Indianapolis City Ballet’s Young Stars of Ballet on Friday and Evening with the Stars 2011 on Saturday are duo highlights for ballet aficionados as top dancers from the best ballet companies in the country are gathering for these two outstanding productions. Add to this the fact that some of the hottest choreographers in the country are participant, and a significant treat is that Danill Simkin, who thrilled last year’s audience with his signature solo “Les Bourgeois,” returns to headline both Friday and Saturday events. Friday’s show is at 7:30; Saturday’s performance is at 8 p.m. Ticket prices vary.

He’s back and he still wants to drink your blood in a fresh but faithful adaptation of Bram Stoker’s 1897 horror classic in the IRT’s new show, Dracula. Dracula sets up shop in London, and only Professor Van Helsing recognizes his vicious intentions. Peter Armster directs and Wade McCollum takes on the role of Count D. in all his dark and seductive glory in this Indiana Repertory Theatre offering. Take in the tale that inspired Buffy the Vampire Slayer, True Blood, Twilight and countless other TV shows, books and films. Through Oct. 1. Times and ticket prices vary.

Greek Fest celebrates its 38th year in the Indianapolis area and third year at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Carmel. The Holy Trinity Hellenic Dance Troupe returns, beclad in colorful costumes, for 12 performances. Live music comes from the band Kosta and The Wave. Tours of the architecturally stunning Byzantine Temple are offered. And of course, there’s the food! Indulge in freshly prepared spanakopita, dolmades, calamari, gyros and saganaki, along with tray upon tray of such Greek sweets as loukoumades and baklava. 4-10 p.m. Friday; noon - 10 p.m. Saturday. $7 admission; kids 12 and under free.

Civic Theatre’s The Drowsy Chaperone, a tribute to the Jazz Age musical and its restorative effects, opens with the narrator, a musical fan known simply as the Man in Chair, seeking to relieve his sadness by listening to a recording of his favorite 1920s musical. The show then bursts to life, transforming the man’s bleak apartment into a sparkling display of colors, costumes and lights. This lighthearted and engaging romp debuted on Broadway in 2006 and won five Tony Awards, including Best Book and Score. The show represents the first production by Indianapolis Civic Theatre at the newly opened Tarkington Theatre at The Center for the Performing Arts. Sept. 9-24. Days and times vary. Tickets: $32 - $39.

On Saturday, the Penrod Arts Fair at the IMA gives you a look at all-things-arts&crafts while providing teasers for the upcoming performance arts season. Spend a late-summer day soaking up a life-affirming blend of eclectic art, live music, fresh food and (typically) glorious weather at this must-attend arts extravaganza. Celebrating its 45th year, Penrod attracts people from throughout the Midwest to the verdant grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Approximately 150 artists, an extensive children’s area, five music stages and one culinary stage, along with a couple dozen local food and drink vendors, make Penrod one of the nation’s largest — and best — single-day art fairs. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Admission: $12 advance; $17 day of event; kids 10 and under free.

On Sunday, the 2011 Quest for the West Art Show and Sale opens at the Eiteljorg. Fifty of the nation’s most prominent Western artists bring their best work to Indianapolis for a combination art sale and exhibition. The fixed-price sale will be held on Sept. 10, with the exhibition opening to the public on Sept. 11. Note that art not sold on the day of the sale may be purchased from the Eiteljorg Museum until the exhibition ends on Oct. 9. Be sure to check out the paintings of George Hallmark, winner of last year’s Quest for the West Artist of Distinction award. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday; noon - 5 p.m. Sunday. $8 for the exhibition; $250 for the Sept. 10 sale and reception.

On Monday, the Gala Opening Concert at the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center. Maestro Raymond Leppard seizes the baton and returns to the Fine Arts Center’s Ruth Lilly Performance Hall for an evening of Bach, Haydn and Mendelssohn. Accompanying Leppard will be violinist Ariana Kim, soprano Kathleen Hacker and pianist Richard Ratliff, along with the University of Indianapolis Festival Orchestra. A pre-concert conversation with Leppard, focusing on his recently published memoirs, begins at 7 p.m. A highly renowned and accomplished performer, Leppard served as the music director of the ISO from 1987 to 2001 and currently is an artist-in-residence at the University of Indianapolis. The performance kicks off the university’s Faculty Artist Concert Series. 7:30-9:30 p.m. Free

Some of the more under-the-radar events include:

Kyle Ragsdale: Aliyah opens at the JCC Art Gallery on Friday. Experience the dreamlike, vibrant oil paintings of acclaimed local artist Kyle Ragsdale. The exhibition’s title, Aliyah, is Hebrew for “ascend,” and the artist encourages viewers of his work to consider ascension spiritually and figuratively in his paintings. Ragsdale maintains a studio at the Harrison Center for the Arts, where he also serves as the curator of the main gallery. The Texas native lists Bjork, Gustav Klimt and 1950s furniture among his influences. The exhibition begins Sept. 7 and continues until Oct. 24. Gallery hours vary. Free.

On Friday, Dirty Business at Epworth United Methodist Church kicks off Epworth’s series of films about the environment. Dirty Business explores whether coal, the largest single source of greenhouse gases, can ever truly be clean. Investigating the issue from coal-rich West Virginia around the world to China, the film uncovers the environmental and social costs of coal power. Produced by the Center for Investigative Reporting and narrated by Rolling Stone report Jeff Goodell, Dirty Business questions the effectiveness of “clean coal” technologies. The 90-minute film’s eye-opening conclusions may have you unplugging your appliances and reading by candlelight. The documentary offers hope, however, in its presentation of viable, renewable alternatives to King Coal. 7 p.m. Free.

We’ve been following the exploits of Katherine Ball, the current resident at Indy Island behind the IMA and her water testing event on Sunday is not to be missed. Been wondering if your tap water suitable for consumption? This is your chance to find out, with help from the current Indianapolis Island resident and the recent subject of a NUVO cover story, Katherine Ball. Join her in collecting and examining water samples from the IMA’s 100 Acres lake. Ball encourages you to bring your own water samples, collected from your home, a nearby stream or some other source, to determine their contaminant levels. Ball’s focus during her six-week residency is on finding biological solutions to environmental problems. 2-4 p.m. Free.

See you out there!

Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 9-11
Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 9-11 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 9-11 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 9-11 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 9-11 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 9-11 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 9-11 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 9-11 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 9-11

Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 9-11

The heavy hitters are bringing out the best, from the IMA to the IRT to the IBT to the Eiteljorg. Oh, and there’s a little something called Penrod, too.

By Jim Poyser

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Friday, September 2, 2011

Go & Do: Your arts weekend, Sept. 2-4

Posted By on Fri, Sep 2, 2011 at 7:45 AM

Work by Aaron Scamihorn at Big Car is part of the First Friday lineup.
  • Work by Aaron Scamihorn at Big Car is part of the First Friday lineup.

First Friday is featuring some rockin’ cool — and don’t forget, FREE — events. One of them, Jonathan McAfee’s Some Girls, ended up on our cover in a great story by Dan Grossman. It wasn’t until well after the fact that I realized McAfee’s DJ for the night is Marty MixFly, with whom I work at NUVO (real name: Ryan). So it’s going to be a par-tay at Earth House on Friday night. Don’t miss it.

Another must is the show at Harrison, part art, part food, all fun: FoodCon II. FoodCon I was such a hit, it’s not just returning for an encore performance, it’s going to more dimensional and wondrous. Built around the concept of food “biomes,” attendees will navigate the building and courtyard to experience the desert, prairie, wetlands, forest and tundra. Artists and individuals from the local food movement will create interpretations of each biome. Plus, vendors representing the best of Indy’s local food farmers markets, dairies and neighborhood supper clubs will create a “food forest” in the courtyard. Check out Michelle Walkey-Thornburg’s mischievous lollipops — oh and in City Gallery, see my friend Josh Rush’s paintings. You may not want to eat them, but you’ll sure want to stare. Duo’s and Sun King Brewery will be on site offering food and drink you can consume.

This opened Wednesday, but the Indianapolis Downtown Arts and Dealers Association presents its annual juried membership exhibition. This year’s host is wUG LAKU’S STUDIO & gARAGE, a popular First Friday Gallery Tour destination in the Circle Center Industrial Complex. The exhibition, which opens Aug. 31 and runs through the end of September, features a balanced mix of accomplished and emerging artists. The show will be juried by Barry Blinderman, director of the University Galleries at Illinois State University.

Phil Campbell’s Indy Indie Artist Colony gallery gets cooler all the time, and his next show, The Tattoo Show, will be amazing, and warm you up for the Mother of all Tattoo Shows, Tattoo City Underground (Sept. 16-18). Phil’s call-for-entries show will feature hangable, tattoo-themed fine art produced by artists from all over the state, including residents at Indy Indie. The Tattoo Show is a juried exhibit, and event organizers are promising that they have “many surprises in store.” Be sure to bring your wallet, as all the art will be up for sale.

Even more for First Friday awaits ye!

Freaks & Geeks at Big Car Gallery features artist Aaron Scamihorn and writer Jason Roemer teaming up. Scamihorn, who works under the pseudonym RONLEWHORN, has a passion for creating digital portraits using mixed methods of screen printing and painting. “I’m intrigued by the juxtaposition of these distinctly different textures and how the pairing of them highlights their uniquely individual qualities,” Scamihorn says. On display will be 15 of his oversized portraits, several of which depict characters featured in stream-of-conscious narratives written by Roemer. The stories will be read aloud, creating a compelling amalgamation of words and art.

Amy Falstrom’s Nature Perceived opens at the Gallery 924 at the Arts Council. Falstrom creates ephemeral, organic and often muted abstractions. She says of her work, “I see a random and beautiful quirkiness in how nature places things in the world, and I enjoy making images in that same spirit.” This new series reflects the felt experience of a place and time, such as the quality of light, the weather and the full sensory experience of temperature, aromas, sound and movement, all of which find their way into the final visual form.

If you’re hungry during any of this (perhaps you haven’t eaten up the Harrison Center) you can take a break and experience the First Friday Food Truck Festival at the Old National Centre parking lot. The festival showcases the best of Indy’s curbside vendors, including Mabel on the Move and Fat Sammies Ciao Wagon (fingers crossed that the nutella and mascarpone Sammie is on the menu), to name just two of your dining options. Along with some tasty food, enjoy the music of Hot Fox, recently lauded as Bloomington’s Best Local Band by the Indiana Daily Student — and featured on the cover of NUVO. A variety of brews from MillerCoors will be offered to sate your thirst. Starts at 5 p.m. $5.

Speaking of food, you may have heard of this one: 15th Annual Rib America Festival at Military Park. That’s right, folks: Rock and ribs! It’s a festival that makes your mouth water and your booty shake. Located in leafy Military Park, near the IUPUI campus, this yearly gathering brings together purveyors of BBQ from around the nation, as well as our own Squealers, for a summit of flavor and fun. The live soundtrack is provided by the likes of Jonny Lang, Reo Speedwagon, The Doobie Brothers, KC & The Sunshine Band, Everclear and many more. Free before 5 p.m. and $7 after 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 2; free before 2 p.m. and $7 after 2 p.m. on Saturday to Monday, Sept. 3-5.

You can lose weight by laughing, I hear tell, so after all this food and fun, make sure you catch Del Shores' Sordid Confessions show at Talbott Street. Del Shores brings his bawdy brand of stand-up comedy to Indianapolis for a one-night event at Talbott Street (that’s Friday). Count on an evening of honest, raunchy, laugh-out-loud material from the irrepressible creator of Sordid Lives, a 1996 comedic play that delved into LGBT issues. Shores later adapted Sordid Lives into a TV series and full-length film, both of which starred Olivia Newton-John in the role of lesbian country singer Bitsy Mae Harling. A native of Texas, Shore’s writing credits include Dharma & Greg, Queer as Folk and Touched by an Angel. 21+. 8 p.m. $1

Turning to Saturday, now, head on down to Bloomington for the Into Bhutan: Photographs & Artifacts from a Buddhist Kingdom. You needn’t travel around the world to experience Tibetan and Mongolian culture. The Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center is a mere hour’s drive south, and in September they will be hosting a two-week celebration of Bhutanese culture. Examples of planned events include a demonstration on making prayer flags and a presentation of Tibetan thangkas (silk paintings with embroidery), as well as music, group yoga and a discussion about traveling to Bhutan. The fortnight-long event begins with a reception from 5-8 p.m. on Sept. 3. Check out the TMBCC’s website for specifics on days and times for all events. Sept. 3-17. Free.

Finally, Going Local Week starts Monday and you can celebrate by partaking in foods grown and produced right here in the Hoosier State. Created by local food blogger Victoria Wesseler and sponsored by the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, this week is a hint-hint, nudge-nudge reminder to all of us to enjoy Indiana food, protect the environment and help support the local economy. There is no one central event for the celebration. Event supporters recommend participating on a local level by visiting a farm or a farmer’s market, or by planning a local food potluck with co-workers or choosing restaurants that purchase local produce. Sept. 4-10.

See you out there!

Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 2-4
Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 2-4 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 2-4 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 2-4 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 2-4 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 2-4 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 2-4 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 2-4 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 2-4

Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Sept. 2-4

Is there life after Fringe? Hellz yeah, especially when it’s First Friday! It’s supposed to be a cool 97 degrees on Friday, so get out there on your bikes.

By Jim Poyser

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Foodies and art aficionados unite at FoodCon II

Posted By on Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 3:30 PM

Ryan Colliers photos will be part of FoodCon II at the Harrison Center.
  • Ryan Collier's photos will be part of FoodCon II at the Harrison Center.

Mix together a bouillabaisse of artists and biomes and what do you get? FoodCon! The second iteration of this most unconventional of conventions will use biomes to explore the art and culture of food, with the Harrison Center housing artists’ interpretations of the desert, forest, prairie, tundra and wetlands.

Leah Gauthier, a relational artist and Butler assistant professor, has been assigned the challenge of creating representational artwork for the tundra biome. “I think of the tundra as a place where preparedness would be important as a means of survival,” she says.

To emphasize the be-prepared idea, Gauthier’s exhibit includes foods preserved in jars, as well as drying peppers and herbs.

She’s also bringing along an extremely rare heirloom strawberry plant. “Heirlooms are plants that have stood the test of time, having been passed down from generation to generation, and are more naturally resistant to disease and pests,” Gauthier says. She’s devoted much of the past four years to saving the Marshall Strawberry, a plant that the organization Slow Food has included on its list of the 10 most endangered foods.

In Hank & Dolly’s Gallery, FoodCon-goers can taste Michelle Walkey-Thornburg edible works of art. Her exhibit is composed of lollipops with 10 surprising if familiar flavors: bacon, mashed potato, toast, pepperoni, chicken, cheeseburger, french fry, beef stew, pork sausage and salmon.

Walkey-Thornburg hopes her creations, which she calls “FOOD POPS,” will motivate people to think more closely about what’s actually in the foods they eat.

“We are truly unaware of what is really going on with our food,” she says. “Our products may be labeled, but they are still withholding information about what the flavors are actually made of. All we know is that they are natural and artificial. My question is, natural and artificial what?”

The photography of Ryan Collier will be featured in the Harrison Center’s Gallery No. 2. Collier’s images capture the whimsy and beauty of various foodscapes, such as a butcher shop and a small-town convenience store.

“I like to find and study certain objects or places with a certain curiosity to them, whether I am poking fun or just find them fascinating,” Collier says. “It’s like collecting.”

Consider FoodCon II a must-stop on your First Friday tour of downtown art galleries. The festivities run from 5-9 p.m. at the Harrison Center for the Arts (1505 N. Delaware St.). Admission is free. Indy’s best food and drink vendors will be on site to satisfy appetites, which undoubtedly will be whetted after viewing all this gastronomical art.

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Slideshow: Feast of Lanterns

Posted By on Mon, Aug 29, 2011 at 1:30 PM

Slideshow: Feast of Lanterns
Slideshow: Feast of Lanterns Slideshow: Feast of Lanterns Slideshow: Feast of Lanterns Slideshow: Feast of Lanterns Slideshow: Feast of Lanterns Slideshow: Feast of Lanterns Slideshow: Feast of Lanterns Slideshow: Feast of Lanterns

Slideshow: Feast of Lanterns

The free "Feastival" highlighted artisan booths, activities for children, a lineup of bands from around the Midwest, and the ceremonial lighting of lanterns after sunset Saturday on the near-Northeast side at Spades Park.

By Ted Somerville

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Go & Do: Your arts weekend, Aug. 26-28

Posted By on Fri, Aug 26, 2011 at 4:00 PM

"ONEymoon (A Honeymoon For One)" plays several more times at IndyFringe. Read our review and get showtimes.

I've had a great Fringe. How about you? I saw a bunch of shows over the weekend, but hope to catch more this final weekend. Plus the parties really kick into gear on the second weekend. See a show, make a friend; that’s what is fun about Fringe! I chose a photo from “fricative” to go on my slideshow for Fringe (scroll down to check it out), because it’s a real treat. I’ve see great stuff, but “fricative” is the most fringe-y of the bunch, for me. To help you with your decisions, check out our comprehensive Fringe guide, wherein we reviewed every single Fringe show.

But. There are plenty of other A&E events you can work in and around Fringe to attend. One of my very favorite events of the year is Feast of Lanterns, and this year promises to be bigger and better than ever. I know people say that all the time, but it’s totally true in this case, because Feast organizers have greatly expanded their festival. This Saturday free event, held in Spades Park, features something for the whole family, from local art, a lantern auction and local vendors to crafts and games for kids. Once the sun goes down, the historical park is celebrated by the lighting of hundreds of paper lanterns that are hung from the century-old Oak trees that give this location so much character. Plus there’s a lantern parade! Don’t miss this one; see Dan Grossman’s feature on Feast.

For you sports fans:

MotoGP at IMS: The battle for the title continues as riders prepare for Round 12 of 18 of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix in the Red Bull Indianapolis GP. Casey Stoner recently, extended his points lead over competitor and reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo, but you can’t ever count out 2006 World Champion Nicky Hayden — AKA The Kentucky Kid — or seven-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi. Catch all the actions this weekend, starting Friday with practice, Saturday qualifying and the big race itself on Sunday.

XDL Championships at the Indiana War Memorial: The stage is set for the upcoming XDL Championship Series Finals to become one of the best events in sportbike freestyle history with athletes from the United States, Asia and Europe squaring off for a shot at the win, which includes over $10,000 in prize money. With six unique competitions around the War Memorial, it should be an exciting sight. Gates will open at 5 p.m. Ticket prices vary, but kids 12 and under are admitted for free.

Here’s a fun one: the Center for Inquiry is holding an Indy Skeptics on the Fringe. In seminars led by spokespersons for rationally led lives, guests will explore alleged modern quack medicines such as homeopathic and chiropractic practices, the presence (or absence) or ghosts and spirits downtown and the “true” power of tarot cards. Also available are performances portraying Einstein and featuring real quotes and dialogue from the scientist, as well as group visits to the Red Lion Grogg House. $5 per session, pub visits free. Friday-Sunday. Times vary.

At the swanky and sweet Cabaret at the Columbia Club, you can see Tony nominee and Emmy Award winner Liz Callaway will bring her voice to The Cabaret at the Columbia Club. Liz Callaway has performed on shows on Broadway ranging from Cats, The Look of Love and The Three Musketeers; she is also the voice in animated films such as Anastasia and Aladdin and the King of Thieves. She will be performing on Aug. 26 and 27 at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $35 to $55 with a $12 food or beverage minimum.

Roadtrip in your horoscope? Check out Exploration Acres, south of Lafayette. With over eight miles of paths and 18 acres of corn maze, Exploration Acres will keep you entertained and lost for hours on end. The maze starts on Aug. 26 and ends on Oct. 30. Northwest Indiana's Largest Corn Maze has been shaped into to spooky Halloween figures like a house, tombstone, cat and many others. Open on Friday-Sunday; admission varies from $6 to $9.

On Saturday, you’ll want to catch Jasper T. Colbaire at the White Rabbit Cabaret. Imagine a six-year-old, redneck boy. Now, add a beard and twenty years, then subtract about 40 IQ points, and you have Jasper T. Colbaire. Texas’s Jasper T. Colbaire is bringing you the best late night talk show/variety show you ever done did see. The Jasper T. Colbaire Show returns with a dynamic line-up of guests including comedic characters Vinnie from Jersey and Jonathan Peepers, sideshow act Freakshow Foley, and musician Dan Schepper. Doors open at 8 p.m. and show beings at 10 p.m. $5 general admission. 21 and up.

My old friend, the multi-talented Sonny Bates, is opening a new play, The Girl In the Poem, at the Athenaeum. He wrote it and stars in, and it’s piece that digs deeper into the typical love triangle story, exploring the three characters and their unique stories. Integrating poetry, music, video, dance and drama, this is a must see. Order tickets at the Athenaeum box office for $10 general admission, $25 for VIP/reception.

I picked this this week so I could put the cute animal into my slideshow and newsletter: Wildfest: A Critters Chance Annual Fundraiser. Learn how to protect Indiana’s animals and visit the annual Critters Chance fundraiser. The local band The Mundie’s will be there to entertain you. There will also be raffles, children’s games, a hot dog stand, adoptable animals … must we continue? Oh yeah, it’s at the beautiful Southeastway Nature Park from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

On Sunday, you’ll be hungry, and you’ll want to Dig-In at White River State Park. This is a locavore’s dream come true, whether it’s local food, local beer, local wine, local… you name it, it’s local! The state’s top locavore-inspired restaurants will be paired with small farmers and artisan producers to turn out a single signature dish. Foodies will have the opportunity to taste dishes from such luminaries as Aaron Butts of Joseph Decuis and David Tallent of Restaurant Tallent in Bloomington, as well as local culinary stars Tony Hanslits, Neal Brown and Greg Hardesty, amongst others. Sunday, noon-5 p.m.; tickets $20.

Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Aug. 26-28
Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Aug. 26-28 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Aug. 26-28 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Aug. 26-28 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Aug. 26-28 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Aug. 26-28 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Aug. 26-28 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Aug. 26-28 Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Aug. 26-28

Slideshow: Your Go & Do weekend, Aug. 26-28

Fringe swings into its final weekend, but there's plenty else to enjoy.

By Jim Poyser

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Go & Do: Your arts weekend, Aug. 19-21

Posted By on Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 9:00 PM

Zan Aufderheide, performing Fringe this year.
  • Zan Aufderheide, performing Fringe this year.

As if IndyFringe wasn’t already one of my favorite events of the year, my favorite street theater group, No Know Stranger, is performing guerrilla theater, and to top it off, Flat 12 is the official beer of this year’s festival. LOVE their IPA! And their Amber Ale… and their… Hey, you get my point: theater, weirdness, good beer, everything you need to enjoy summer in Indianapolis. We have a lot of great stories about this; a general intro, a preview one of the compelling pieces in the festival and a profile of Phil van Hest. Guaranteed: You’ll want to read this.

Okay, so I said “move over pretty much everything cultural,” but that was mostly hyperbolic. OF COURSE there’s shitloads of great stuff happening, as always, so let’s run through the fun:

Jake Johannsen brings his eccentric, cerebral musings to Indianapolis for a three-night run this week. The veteran funnyman has long been a staple on late night television, notching his 40th Letterman appearance earlier this year. His humorous takes on modern life touch on a scattershot of topics, from married life to politics to the latest social media trends, all examined from his unique and often exasperated point of view. Read Marc Allan’s great interview with Jake.

The Indianapolis Art Center’s annual fundraiser, ArtSparkle, will take on the theme of a classic circus for a one-time exhibition, featuring Blue Monkey Sideshow, among others. Guests will be able to view vintage hand-painted circus and sideshow posters from the 1930s to 1960s, enjoy food and drinks catered by Indianapolis restaurants, dance to music by the Fabulous Imports, all included with admission. Proceeds benefit seven outreach programs. 6 p.m. for VIP ticketholders, 7 p.m. general admission.

At the Hoosier Farm and Garden Dinner you can get in on the local food movement at the always green-thinking Epworth United Methodist Church. Celebrate the goodness of fresh, locally grown food at the third annual Hoosier Farm and Garden Dinner this Saturday at 5:30 p.m. The Epworth Green Team will provide small farm, Hoosier-raised Pulled Pork BBQ sandwiches, homemade apple dumplings, and other desserts. They ask that each family attending bring a large salad or vegetable side dish to share, using at least one ingredient from an Indy farm, garden, orchard, field or waterway. Guest speakers will be Rick Dawson and Shannon Cagle former WISH-TV reporters and current owners of their own flock of egg-laying hens.

This one will be extra special, the Shop Local Shop Fair at Earth House Collective: Want to learn more about the local food movement and buying fair trade? Earth House Collective, along with other businesses and organizations, have provided an opportunity to do just that! Head out to Earth House Collective on August 20 to be a part of workshops and panels focusing on being a conscious consumer. There will be food vendors, artists and artisans vending their goods and service, as well. Bring the kids along for a day full of fun activities.

Cumberland Arts Goes to Market celebrates caring for the earth and sustainable living practices so that’s why we picked it. The Cumberland Arts Goes to Market starts at 9 a.m. on the 20th lasting until 4 p.m. Festival includes over 70 art and craft booths, jazz, cloggers, thai food, a farmers market and a Pennsy Trail Group Cycle Ride and 5 K walk/run. Don't miss the Pennsy Trail and Town of Cumberland Sustainable Bike Ride either! Festival admission and parking are free.

As for baseball, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs will storm Victory Field for a four-game series from Aug. 20-23. Managed by Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg, the IronPigs lead the Indians by a few games in the wildcard standings. This ten-game home stretch is bookended by games against the Louisville Bats (Aug. 16-19) and the Columbus Clippers (Aug. 24 and 25). Be sure to cheer on the Indians during this vital stretch for their playoff hopes.

You know who you are if you want to see the crowning of the 2011 State Fair Queen Pageant at the Pepsi Coliseum. This year marks the 53rd Annual Queen Pageant. Beautiful, poised, confident and well-spoken county fair queens from across the state will compete for the Miss Indiana State Fair title. Contestants are judged on three categories, interview, evening gown and professional wear. Judges are looking for the best representative of the State Fair with her personality, poise and presence. The new Miss Indiana State Fair will receive a $1,000 cash prize, a $1,000 wardrobe, tiara, trophy and various other gifts. Only $6 to be a part of this timeless tradition. Noon.

And you know who you are if you want to attend the Demolition Derby at the Hoosier Lottery Grandstand. A great event to celebrate America’s love affair with the automobile — the Lucas Oil Demolition Derby. Stop by the show at 4:30 p.m. to see the grown-up version of bumper cars. Winner of the event not only wins the coveted title of "Indiana State Fair Champion" but also prize money. Following the demolition derby, stick around for fireworks to conclude your State Fair 2011 experience.

Finally, the Fever look to continue their undefeated streak against the Washington Mystics at Conseco following two games on the road in California. To continue their 5-0 record against Washington, look for more high scores from Tamika Catchings and Katie Douglas, who have averaged 14.3 and 13.6 points per game respectively, as of 8/12.

(Slideshow) Your Go & Do weekend, Aug. 19-21
(Slideshow) Your Go & Do weekend, Aug. 19-21 (Slideshow) Your Go & Do weekend, Aug. 19-21 (Slideshow) Your Go & Do weekend, Aug. 19-21 (Slideshow) Your Go & Do weekend, Aug. 19-21 (Slideshow) Your Go & Do weekend, Aug. 19-21 (Slideshow) Your Go & Do weekend, Aug. 19-21 (Slideshow) Your Go & Do weekend, Aug. 19-21 (Slideshow) Your Go & Do weekend, Aug. 19-21

(Slideshow) Your Go & Do weekend, Aug. 19-21

Move over, pretty much everything cultural in Indianapolis, here comes IndyFringe Festival: 10 days, over 300 shows at seven venues, plus guerrilla street theater and parties.

By Jim Poyser

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