Indy’s busiest weekend

Here we go again… Each year this weekend puts so many cultural events together not even a cloning laboratory could help. Changes are afoot, however. The more this weekend grows (see My Daily Constitution) the more it changes (Masterpiece in a Day in Fountain Square has been moved to the weekend of Sept. 23) and the more this weekend has competition from other weekends in the Department of Too-much-stuff-to-do.

That said, this is the worst weekend of all — or best, depending on your point of view. And we’re here to help. This weekend marks the delicious demolition derby of Fiesta, Irish Fest, Oranje and My Daily Constitution, along with the opening of James Still’s adaptation of The Gentleman from Indiana … and the annual Chocolate Fest and … the French Market and …

The Irish connection

Celebrate Celtic traditions at Indy’s 11th Annual Irish Fest

Indulge in rugby, sheep herding, a Celtic Mass, live music and all the best authentic beer you can drink this weekend at the 11th Annual Irish Fest in downtown Military Park. The festival attracts thousands of Indiana residents and beyond in celebration of Irish traditions, music, food and culture.

Encamped Civil War re-enactors tell their tales in period garb, while an Irish market offers guests more than 25 vendors and exhibits of Irish history, genealogy and gifts to explore. In addition, live bands including Searson, Síocháin, The Kells, Brigid’s Cross, Cloigheann, Three Men in Kilts, Gael Slí, Gaelic Storm (who appeared on the movie Titanic), New York’s Irish “jig pink” band The Prodigals and others will keep families doing the merry jig.

Other entertainers include the Celtic Footforce and the Richens-Timm Academy of Dance. World-champion dancer John Timm leads the group of Indianapolis-based youth and young adults through beautiful demonstrations of grace and athletic ability with traditional Irish foot stomps, similar to Riverdance and Lord of the Dance.

On Friday, highlights of the festival include College Night, a performance by The Prodigals (see our Music section for a profile of the Prodigals), an Irish Festival 5K Night Run and the semi-final round of the Irish Toast Contest.

Early on Saturday, a rugby tournament will launch social, high school and college games, as well as separate high school soccer games. That evening, the Irish Toast Contest Finals will crown the winner of ongoing local pub toasts, awarding them two tickets to Ireland.

Sunday morning kicks off with a Celtic Mass. Later in the afternoon, participate in the Third Annual Kilted Mile, during which people dressed in kilts will run a one-mile course, while bagpipers cheer them on. Awards will go to the person with Bonniest Knees, Hairiest Legs, Best Dressed Kilt and the runner Least Likely to Finish.

Throughout the festival, kids can also get into the competitive spirit with Reddest Hair and Greenest Eyes contests. Families can enjoy time together by tackling a climbing wall, creating crafts and getting their faces painted with Celtic designs. In addition, Irish water spaniels, wolfhounds, red and white setters and other dogs will be on display.

With men in kilts, reels and jigs, bagpipes galore, fiddle tunes and sing-alongs, the Irish Fest is the best place to rest your weary head this weekend. Step beyond the mainstream consciousness and expand your cultural horizons by experiencing first-hand the wonders of the Irish culture.

WHO: Irish fest: Local and national Irish performers, vendors and exhibitors

: Friday, Sept. 15, 4:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 16, 11:30 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.; Sunday, Sept. 17, 10:30 a.m. (Celtic Mass) – 7 p.m.

: Military Park, downtown Indianapolis; adults $12/day, students ages 14-18 with student ID $10/day, children age 13 and younger free, weekend pass $20, Friday, Sept. 15, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. free, $5 for college students with college ID and college apparel; www.indyirishfest.com

Who are “We the People” anyway?

For the next week, Indianapolis celebrates “we the people” in a variety of festivals and events as diverse as we are. But there is a new event added to the mix this year that kicks off on Constitution Day, commemorating the signing of the United States Constitution 219 years ago. My Daily Constitution is a week-long, city-wide public art project dedicated to the collective exploration and interpretation of who “we the people” really are and what are Constitution says about us and does for us.

It will be a remarkable week — with events ranging from a public reading of the Constitution at the Indiana Statehouse, a free film festival at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, a hip-hop constitutional poetry slam, a debate by Arsenal Tech’s award-winning Constitution team and more than a dozen “Constitution Cafe” discussions held in venues around the city, addressing issues ranging from the War Powers Clause to eminent domain to the constitutional rights of non-citizens. Think of it as a civic Fringe Festival.

All events are free and open to the public. For complete event information, go to www.mydailyconstitution.org.


Sunday, Sept. 17

2:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Opening event: Constitution Day Ceremony
A public reading of the Constitution, with Hoosier Constitutional scholars, judges and lawyers.
Where: The Atrium, Indiana State House Building

Monday, Sept. 18
12:15 p.m. — 1:00 p.m.
Constitution Café: “What does the ‘liberal’ in ‘liberal arts’ mean? The difference between constitutional freedom of speech and academic freedom of speech.” Host: Susan Erickson (IUPUI)
Where: Democracy Plaza,IUPUI campus

Monday, Sept. 18
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Constitution Café: “Who are “We the People” Anyway? Personhood, Citizenship and the U.S. Constitution” Traditionally Americans have regarded themselves as a “nation of immigrants” grounded in an increasingly inclusive, “civic” identity consistent with the ideal of pluralism. As America becomes demographically more Latino and Asian, and with Islam as the country’s fastest growing religion, will we still advocate inclusiveness and pluralism as our national ideal? Hosts: Pierre Atlas (Marian) & Charlie Wiles (Peace & Learning Center)
Where: Old Centrum, 1201 North Central Ave.

Tuesday, Sept.19
12:15 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Constitution Café: “Hate Speech, Pornography, Prayer before Football Games: What are Legitimate Limits to Free Speech?” Everyone knows you can’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater, but are there other limits to free speech? Host: Art Farnsley (American Values Alliance)
Where: Democracy Plaza, IUPUI campus

Tuesday, Sept. 19
7:00 p.m. — 9:00 p.m.
Constitution Café: “Can we have national security without sacrificing our core American values?” How can we tell if the government has gone too far in its search for security, or if it has not gone far enough? What can citizens do to maintain the balance between security and individual rights?
Host: Lena Snethen (ACLU-Indiana)
Where: AthenaeumFoundation, 401 East Michigan

Wednesday, Sept. 20
12:15 p.m. —1:00 p.m.
Constitution Café: “International Agreements in War Time: Do U.S. Signatures on a Treaty Mean Anything?” The War in Iraq and the apparently broader series of events called the War on Terror challenge those Americans who believe in international treaties.
What will the consequences be in terms of International Law and our chances of conducting a successful foreign policy?
Host: Ed DeLaney
Where: Democracy Plaza, IUPUI campus

Wednesday, Sept. 20
7:00 p.m. — 9:00 p.m.
Constitution Debate: “The Arsenal Tech High School Constitution Team” This award-winning team will debate the merits of a constitutional government vs. an autocratic or dictatorial government.
Where: Spades Park Library 1801 Nowland Avenue

Thursday, Sept. 21
12:00 p.m. — 1:00 p.m.
Constitution Café: “Taking private property for public use: When and how should the power of eminent domain be employed?” Can public good be defined to still respect individual rights? Hosts: Abdul Hakim-Shabazz (1430) & Jeffrey Stake (IU Law)
Where: Shapiro’s Downtown, 808 S Meridian St

Thursday, Sept. 21
7:00 p.m. — 9:00 p.m.
Constitution Café: “The War Powers Clause and the U.S. Constitution Today” In waging war, what should be the proper balance between Congress and the President? What should be the balance between the Constitution and security in an age of terrorism?
Hosts: Andy Jacobs & John Clark
Where: Indiana Historical Society, 450 West Ohio St.

Friday, Sept. 22
12:00 p.m. — 1:00 p.m.
Constitution Café: “Who’s First Amendment? Reclaiming the Public Interest in Our Media” It sure isn’t your father’s media: five mega-corporations own most of the nation’s newspapers and broadcasters, while bloggers and internet sites proliferate. What is news, what is infotainment? Where do Americans get the information required for informed voting and self-government?
Hosts: Sheila Kennedy (SPEA) & Andrea Price (Public Access of Indianapolis)
Where: Indiana Repertory Theatre, 140 W. Washington St

Friday, Sept. 22
8:00 p.m. — 10:00 p.m.
Constitution Café: “Liberty, Equality, and LGBT Rights”What do liberty and equality mean in Indiana and the United States today?
Hosts: Ellen Anderson (IUPUI) & Gary Welsh (Advance Indiana)
Where: Outward Bound Books:625 North St

Saturday, Sept. 23

10:00 am — 12:00 p.m.
Constitution Café: (English/Spanish) “Do U.S. Constitutional Rights Extend to Non Citizens?” What rights do non-citizens, documented and otherwise, have for free speech, the workplace, voting, free association, equal protection, criminal law, and other aspects of our Constitutional democracy?
Hosts: María Pabón López (IU-I Law) and Teo Cain (local organizer)
Where: St. Mary's Catholic Church, 317 N. New Jersey St

Saturday, Sept. 23
1:00 p.m. — 2:00 p.m.
Organization for Neighborhood Empowerment Bus Tour: “Case Study: Air Quality Indianapolis — A tour of an East Side Neighborhood” This bus tour will visit the neighborhood surrounding the Citizens Gas & Coke manufacturing plant on the east side of Indianapolis.
Where: Family Center,Christian Park, 4200 English Ave

Saturday, Sept. 23

2:00 p.m. — 4:00 p.m.
Constitution Café: “Public Participation in Environmental Regulation: Theory vs. Reality” State environmental agencies are charged with the protection of all citizens of the state. In reality, groups with the greatest resources exert a disproportionate influence on the enactment of environmental regulations.
Hosts: Michael Sutherlin (Hoosier Environmental Council) & Dick van Frank
Where: Family Center, Christian Park, 4200 English Ave

Saturday, Sept. 23
5:00 p.m. — 7:00 p.m.
Constitution Café: “Constitution Who? Constitutional issues about Students and Young People.” What are constitutional rights for students and young people?
Hosts: Jacquelyn Bowie-Seuss
(ACLU-IN) & Warren Watson (J Ideas)
Where: Glendale Library, 6101 N. Keystone Ave

Saturday, Sept. 23
7:00 p.m. — 9:00 p.m.
Hip Hop Poetry Slam and Open Mic: “Constitution Who?” Featuring DJ Dicky Fox
Where: Glendale Mall First Floor Indoor Court

Sunday, Sept. 24
My Daily Constitution Film Festival
11:00 am Control Room: A documentary about the world?s perception of America?s war with Iraq, with an emphasis on Al Jazeera’s coverage
1:00 p.m. Persons of Interest: A documentary about the detention of Muslim-Americans in the wake of 9/11
2:30 p.m. Our Brand Is Crisis: Documentary about US political pros designing an election campaign in Bolivia.
Where: Indianapolis Museumof Art: 4000 Michigan Road Indianapolis 46208

Sunday, Sept. 24
4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Constitutional Café: “The Right to Vote and American Constitutional Democracy” When it comes to voting, how are our state and the rest of the country progressing? Hosts: Rod Bohannan (Indiana Legal Services) & Amos Brown (WTLC-AM)
Where: Bethel AME Church, 414 W. Vermont St

Chocoholic bonanza

Chocolate Fest, Young Audiences of Indiana’s annual orgy of deliciousness that benefits arts education programs in Indiana schools is back again. More than 25 of the city’s top chefs will present their most artistic desserts at the Artsgarden at Circle Centre on Wednesday, Sept. 20 from 10 in the morning until 2 p.m. Featured chocolatiers and restaurants include: Agio, The Best Chocolate in Town, Blondie’s Cookies, Breadsmith, The Canterbury, The Classic Kitchen, The Conrad, Deano’s Vinos, DeBrand, Endangered Species Chocolate Company, 14 West, Ghyslain, Godiva, Good’s Candy Shop, Great Harvest Bread Co., The Hamilton Restaurant, Ivy Tech State College, Matteo’s, McCormick and Schmick’s, Omni Severin, Peterson’s, Scholar’s Inn, Palomino, Puck’s, Rene’s Bakery, Ruth’s Chris, South Bend Chocolate Company, and The University Place Conference Center. Admission is free to the Artsgarden, but you need to purchase tickets to sample the desserts. You get those tickets at the Artsgarden for $5. Advance tickets are available for $4.50 at Marsh and O’Malia’s. There will be plenty of to-go boxes and bags, so you can take your faves back home or to share at the office, where you will be the most popular person for at least a day. A complete dessert menu is available at www.yaindy.org.

La Dolce Garfield Park

Garfield Park’s Art Center kicks off the Fall art season with a celebration of Italian arts, wine and food on Saturday evening beginning at 5 p.m. Things get started with a public conversation about art and Italia with John Turner, Rosanna Hardin Hall and Laura Marie Panozzo. Deano’s Vino will offer sample wines, Maria’s Pizza will provide other delicacies and Starbuck will bring the espresso and desserts. At 7:30, there will be a double feature film showing of Federico Fellini’s 1960 masterpiece, La Dolce Vita (The Sweet Life) starring the incomparable Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg in this epic look at jetsetting Roman style. The flip side of this doublebill features the romantic comedy Roman Holiday, starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. Hepburn won the world’s hearts as well as the Oscar for her portrayal of a princess who gives her keepers the slip. Admission is free of charge. Garfield Park is located at 2505 Conservatory Dr. Call 327-7184 for information.

A bit o’ France on Central Ave

On Saturday, St. Joan of Arc Church at 4217 Central Ave. presents its 16th annual French Market Festival. This free neighborhood festival features great, French-themed food along with entertainment and activities for all ages. For those with appetites, the cuisine on offer will include crepes, New Orleans style oysters (available after 3 p.m.), walking shrimp cocktail, Provençal Chicken en croute, Creole Onion Soup en croute, Rotiserrie Chicken, BBQ Ribs and Rib Tips, Tarte Flambe, Roasted Red Pepper Quiche, Escargot, Beef Bourguignon, and Crawfish Etouffe. Beer and wine will be served to those over 21 (so unFrench, but that’s life in these United States). Entertainment will include performances by David Ackerman, Seven Pleasures, Governor Davis and the Blues Ambassadors, Conga Jazz and Living Proof. There will also be exhibits by local artisans, a bake sale and a children’s area with games until 5 p.m. The French Market opens at noon and carries on until 10 p.m.

Gregorian chanting at Tab

Hailed by the New York Times for “Expert renditions of Gregorian chant” and by the Los Angeles Times for “Seamless ensemble and seductive phrasing,” Gloriae Dei Cantores, the internationally acclaimed choir from Massachusetts, will be performing at Tabernacle Presbyterian Church on Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 7:30 p.m., with a pre-concert lecture at 6:30 p.m. The choir has toured 23 countries in Europe, Asia and North America, 49 U.S. cities, sings in 18 languages, and has a discography of 34 recordings from all historical musical periods and styles. Their latest recording is Mozart: Rare Choral Works. A freewill offering will be accepted for admission. Tabernacle Presbyterian Church is located at 418 E. 34th St. For more information call 923-5458.

Yoga meets quantum physics

According to Moacir Costa, a Brazilian physicist and author of the Brazilian bestseller The Era of Spirit, quantum physics reveals the basic components of the Universe to be Energy and Intention. Prof. Moacir will be in Indianapolis, at Cityoga, for a lecture and special workshop combining yoga, the Buddhist Path to realization and String Theory aimed at helping people deepen their yoga practice. Prof. Moacir’s lecture will take place on Friday, Sept. 15 from 6-7:30 p.m. Admission is $18 in advance or $25 at the door. The professor will then give a workshop on Saturday, Sept. 16 from 1-4:30 p.m. Admission for the workshop is $60 in advance or $70 at the door. There is a 20 percent discount for educators. Advance tickets may be purchased at Cityoga or online at www.artofyoga.org. Cityoga is located at 936 Indiana Ave. Call 423-1730 or go to www.cityoga.biz for more information.


One of Indy’s great annual street parties, Fiesta will not only bring the Americas together, it will unite food, arts, crafts and a dance party for your downtown, family, all-ages revelry. See our special insert for exhaustive information, but highlights of the event includes:

1-2 p.m.- Anderson Ballet Folklórico de Floricanto
Ballet Folklórico de Floricanto— (Latin America) Based in Anderson, Indiana, this group of dancers, 6 years to 17, will perform traditional Latin American dances.

5-6 p.m.- Estrella Latina

Estrella Latina—(Latin America) Local entertainers will sing and dance for top prizes!

7-8 p.m- Grupo Mantra
Mantra (Rock)—This band is the latest in Latino Rock.

8-9 p.m.- IPANEMA
IPANEMA (Brazil) features Elizabeth Souza, a native of Brazil, singing lively sambas and sultry bossa novas.

9-10 p.m.- Salsa & Company
Salsa & Company (Salsa)—Indy’s hottest and newest salsa band.

11-12 p.m- Orquesta Iluziones

Orquesta Iluziones (Salsa)— Traveling from Valparaiso, Indiana, this hot Latin salsa band performs throughout Illinois — this is their second visit to Indy.

WHO: Fiesta Indianapolis: “Where the Americas Come Together”

WHEN: 26th Anniversary Outdoor Celebration Saturday, Sept. 16; noon to midnight

WHERE: At the American Legion Mall and Veterans Memorial Park (Downtown Indianapolis located between Meridian, Pennsylvania, North, and St. Clair Streets) Free admission

Celebrating home

James Still adapts a Booth Tarkington novel

On a whim, Janet Allen, Indiana Repertory Theatre’s artistic director, handed playwright James Still a copy of Booth Tarkington’s The Gentleman from Indiana as he walked out of her office heading home to L.A. He opened the novel when he got on the plane, fell in love with it before he’d finished the first paragraph, and called Allen between flights to tell her that their long search for a story to celebrate “this place we call home” had come to an end.

Tarkington’s novel is about John Harkless, a young man down on his luck, who arrives in Plattville, Indiana, to take over its “everlastingly bad” newspaper. In time, he not only revives the Herald but uses it to help defeat the county’s corrupt politicians and take on the Klan-like Whitecaps that have terrorized the town.

Enter the love interest, Miss Helen Sherwood, a beautiful, smart, spunky young woman, years ahead of her time.

So, is the play James Still made of Gentleman mainly a love story?

“Once you introduce a love story on the stage, it creates expectations in our hearts that must be satisfied,” he said.

But he’s quick to add that the play is about much more than that.

Still was drawn to the idea of the convergence of a moment in a young man’s life with a moment in the history of a town—and to the question, What place does an honest man have in a world of corruption and greed?

“When you take hope away from people in a democracy, they lose pride of place, pride in themselves,” Still said. “That’s what Mr. Tarkington was writing about. I think we need to hear that now.”

The novel is about finding a home, too—and it was in this aspect of the story that Still, who grew up in Kansas, made a personal connection. “The story of a guy coming back to the Midwest and finding a home is the story of me coming to the IRT,” he said. “It’s a creative home for me. There is a story in this story that I know.”

Gentleman is a dense novel: nearly 400 pages with few of the kind of cinematic scenes today’s readers are accustomed to, and a plot that doesn’t have a very linear build. Preserving the lush language, finding action in it, provided the playwright’s greatest challenge.

“There’s something mathematical about adaptation,” Still said, describing the process. “It’s a puzzle – someone else’s. I’ve taken that puzzle apart and I’ve got all his pieces. But I have to put it back together in my own way and at the same time remain true to the integrity and spirit of the original picture.”

Still had 15 actors to work with and spent a lot of time looking at the dynamics of Tarkington’s fictional town to discover which of the 50 or so characters were key to the story and which ones had roles that were repetitive or that overlapped. He cut some characters, combined others. In several cases, he fleshed out Tarkington’s characters, enhancing their roles. Writing the new scenes that were required as the novel morphed into a play was a part of the process that he especially enjoyed.

“That’s where I felt I was interfacing with Mr. Tarkington,” Still said. “I liked challenging the audience to figure out where Tarkington stopped and I began—and where we overlapped.”
Still thought about the author a lot while working on the project. “I knew what he looked like,” he said. “I’d seen pictures of his office and of his desk. I remember taking walks and, literally, talking to him. I’d ask ‘Why did you do that?”

Ultimately, though, he had to think of the adaptation he was writing as his own play. “When you do an adaptation it has be your take on it,” Still said. “You don’t want the audience to feel as if the book is propped up on the stage with voices coming out of it.”

Several years in the making, Still’s adaptation of The Gentleman from Indiana will kick off this year’s season, his ninth as Playwright-in-Residence. He’ll be in the audience on opening night, wondering what he wonders every time he watches one of his plays. What brought all these people here? What made them choose this when they could’ve done a million other things tonight? And telling himself a million versions of why audiences are willing to keep going along on his experimental journeys.

WHO: The Gentleman from Indiana

WHERE: Indiana Repertory Theatre Sept. 13 – Oct. 7

INFO: Info and tix: www.indianarep.com


Oranje: Yes, that’s the way it’s spelled: with a J. Over the past five years Oranje has grown into one of the city’s nonpareil arts parties, a site-specific blast that brings together 26 progressive music acts, including 13 bands and 13 DJs on five stages, film and video screenings, a fashion show, and visual artists showing work in a variety of mediums. And then there’s the food. And the drink (Oranje is for people 21 and older).

Oranje has never taken place in the same space twice. Last year it happened at the old Herron School. This year, on Saturday, Sept. 16, it will be at the former Fox 59 studios at 1440 N. Meridian St. What you’ll find there will be a veritable multi-media bazaar featuring painting, photography, glass, sculpture, ceramics, electronic music, jewelry design, metal, audio-video production, even furniture design.

Among the bands and DJs performing will be: Twin Cats, Scale Model from Chicago, IL, Lunar Event, VJ Dizi, the Mudkids, Cleveland’s Infinite Number of Sounds, and Stationary Odyssey from Bloomington, IN. DJ Rusty, the Katie Trotta Band, ESW, Glitch Clique, Motosota, Cynthia Layne, Ligyro, Twin peaks, Benji Ramsey, Seth and Mack, Slater Hogan, Nathan Ballard (from San Francisco) and Chicago’s Justin Reed will also be on hand, as will DJ Indiana Jones and Danger and Kaiton Slusher and Ryan Faubion.

Six bars will be open for business and food on offer will include Hot Box Pizza, Sushi on the Rocks, Hoaglin to Go and Chef Danger.

This year’s Oranje will also feature three Enviro-Lounges, art installations and an independent film theater.

The party begins at 8:00 p.m. and will run until 3 in the morning. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. You can order tickets through Ticketmaster outlets or go to www.ticketmaster.com.

Broad Ripple Gallery Walk

Broad Ripple’s annual Gallery Walk takes place Friday, Sept. 15 from 5-9 p.m. Artifacts Gallery at 6327 Guilford Ave. will feature paintings by Patricia Ellison. Ellison is a native Hoosier, but this her first exhibition in Indiana. Ellison has been painting and sculpting for 38 years. She has worked as a consultant to advertising firms and schools, a writer, a graphic designer, as well as a 2D and 3D video artist.



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