Another opening, another show 


To quote Kiss Me Kate (at the IU Auditorium Sept. 23-24), “Another opening, another show …” In these pages you will find another season full of local theater (among other things). The 2003-2004 season has already begun for some venues, but here is a smattering of what to look for; you’ll find that most theaters use their heavy-hitters as openers. The Phoenix Theatre has scored again: It will open its season Sept. 18 with Edward Albee’s play The Goat or Who Is Sylvia?, the 2002 Tony Award winner for Best Play and one of Albee’s three Pulitzer Prize-winning dramas. Playbill summarized it so: “It’s about four human beings and a goat … and it involves relationships.” Martin is a successful architect. In the same week that he’s received an international prize, been awarded a lucrative contract and celebrated his 50th birthday, he also has to confess to his wife and son that he’s involved in a relationship which will probably destroy his marriage, his career and his life. If your mind hasn’t gone there yet … let it. Theater review Web site said, “It may bewilder and offend, but if you take the leap into his mindset, you will eventually come to realize that tolerance is the key to the play’s meaning. In a world where the borders between what is ‘sick’ and what is ‘normal’ are constantly eroding, our capacity for tolerance is constantly being tested.” Many audience members may find the show intensely challenging, but it is guaranteed to make you think, as well as laugh. For tickets and information, call the Phoenix at 635-PLAY. At the Indiana Repertory Theatre (635-5252), there are two plays of interest this season. Opening Sept. 23 is Arcadia, which has been heralded as Tom Stoppard’s finest work, though some critics found it overly confusing. Something a little more down to earth could be The Drawer Boy, opening Jan. 7, 2004, which was picked by Time Magazine as one of the 10 best of 2001. Two Canadian farmers, best friends since childhood, share a secret. Their otherwise normal lives are disrupted when an actor shows up wanting to work and live with them to do “research” for a play about farming. His play and the farmers’ lives become intertwined, and the lines between theater and life, memory and reality are blurred. Footlite Musicals (784-1841) will present the musical revue Sugar Babies Sept. 26. The “nostalgic trip for those who remember burlesque and a happy discovery for those too young to recall this irreverent form of entertainment” was a Tony Award nominee in 1980 for Best Musical. Also opening Sept. 26 is another big event for Theatre on the Square (367-8085): Clive Barker’s History of the Devil. In it, the Devil has acquired an attorney, and is suing God to let him back into heaven. Barker, best known for his Hellraiser movies and horror novels, will also be exhibiting his original artwork at a local gallery during the run of the show. At the Indianapolis Civic Theatre (923-4597), Master Class will open Oct. 31. Winner of three Tony Awards, including Best Play, it is a drama about Maria Callas, inspired by a series of master classes the great soprano conducted at Juilliard toward the end of her career. Callas, an opera singer who died in 1977, was called “the greatest theatrical musical artist of our time.” Also opening Oct. 31: The Elephant Man at Carmel Community Players (815-9387). Also interesting is that Stages Theatre Company (787-5717) is presenting The House of Yes opening April 2. University of Indianapolis Theater Department (788-3251) will present Stage Blood opening Nov. 21. It is the story of a stage family, and becomes a Hamlet within a Hamlet within a Hamlet. Buck Creek Players (862-2270) will open with Paula Vogel’s 1998 Pulitzer Prize-winning play How I Learned to Drive Sept. 19. The tale of incest is about Li’l Bit, who is in love with her uncle, Peck. Epilogue Theater (846-1581) will present The Cemetery Club Nov. 7-23. Patrick Ball, Celtic harpist and story weaver extraordinaire, will return to the Storytelling Arts of Indiana series (255-7628) March 27, 2004. The Broadway in Indianapolis (800-793-7469) will present the much-anticipated Lion King Feb. 20-March 28 at the Murat. The American Cabaret Theatre (631-0334) will continue its trek back in time with The ’60s Sensation Oct. 10-Nov. 2. Butler Theatre Department (940-9659) will devote an entire season to “Women on the Verge.” Grand Effects Productions (442-9029) will present another melodrama: Wash Your Troubles Away, or Dirty Deeds Come Clean opening Oct. 30. Jan. 15 Beef & Boards (872-9664) dinner theater will present Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats. Not so local … The IU Auditorium is packed this season with wildly popular favorites: Stomp Nov. 18-19; Rent Jan. 30-31, 2004; and Miss Saigon Feb. 24-29, 2004, just to name a few.

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