Shopping at the theater 

Performance and gift-giving coincide

Performance and gift-giving coincide
Holiday shopping is one of the major stresses associated with this time of year, especially when combined with the visiting relatives, the decorating, the cooking and other preparations. Plus, there are holiday events to be taken in as well; what holiday season is complete without your favorite characters, such as Santa and Tiny Tim?
Intermission Gift Shop
Favorite holiday traditions include theater performances, like long-standing must-sees The Christmas Carol at the Indiana Repertory Theatre and A Beef & Boards Christmas at Beef & Boards Dinner Theater. What some people may not realize, is that one outing can accomplish two goals at these particular theaters: Great holiday entertainment is juxtaposed with two of the best gift shops in town. Both of these venues are well-stocked with unique gift-giving items, for the theater lover on your list, or someone who needs a gift with a touch of pizzazz. “We look for items that can maybe relate to a production we’re doing, and other items that are whimsical, unusual … that would appeal to a type of clientele, a very literate clientele, who like words and like playing with ideas. We find items that fit that category,” says Pat Bebee, manager of the gift shop at the IRT. “Books come into that realm. And specific theatrical pieces: jewelry, hanging masks and books that relate directly to theater.” Jan Lautzenheiser, manager of the Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre gift shop, Intermission, agrees. “We focus on theatrical and musical gifts. Also, a lot of seasonal. And then a big part of the buying is coordinating things to go with the show. We have a lot of Joseph merchandise — T-shirts, song books, CDs; we always try to have song books and CDs. “Coordinating with the show is a big part of it and keeps me having to be creative. Sometimes I can find things that go with a show, sometimes I can’t. That’s the fun of the shop, coordinating merchandise. “Another thing about our shop, we have a really diverse group of people: lots of schools kids, seniors, out of state; we need a little of everything.” Both shops cater to the younger theater-goers as well as the more seasoned. “We carry a lot of toys that relate to older people as well as younger,” the IRT’s Bebee says. “We do much better with toys adults like to play with. Toys that catch our attention, others will respond to them.” Personal experience has proved this true. A long plush dragon I brought home from an IRT outing is coveted by many of my friends, and the music note-adorned whatnots I find at B&B for my musical brother-in-law are always a hit. If you see something you like, though, don’t wait till the next show to get it. Though my dragon did eventually make a reappearance at the IRT, a musical Amish doll I’d had my eye on for months at Intermission was sold and a replacement never surfaced. A boon at the IRT gift shop is the inclusion of locally made jewelry. “Local pieces are made by one of our gift shop associates, Lona Damron. She does some wonderfully fun pieces, wonderfully unique, light and airy earrings, beads and wire. She is currently making eyeglass chains,” Bebee says. “We are open to other locals if their look fits into the look of the shop. We have a limited amount of space, and we try to select an assortment [of items] for balance,” she continues. Both shops offer holiday-related items, and sales from the gift shops help to underwrite the theaters, so your purchases are giving back to the arts. At the IRT, one week of 20 percent off is offered during each play, and Dec. 27 will begin holiday clearance.
What's Playing Beef & Boards Sleeping Beauty, presented by the Pyramid Players, continues through Nov. 22 Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat continues through Nov. 23 A Beef & Boards Christmas Nov. 28-Dec. 31 A Christmas Carol — The Musical Dec. 6-20 The Wright Brothers concert (sold out) Dec. 1 9301 N. Michigan Road 872-9664, Indiana Repertory Theatre The Turn of the Screw continues through Dec. 14 A Christmas Carol Nov. 21-Dec. 24 140 W. Washington St. 635-5252,
Intermission Gift Shop Beef & Boards gift shop For information call Jan Lautzenheiser at 876-0516 Open prior to and during shows Indiana Repertory Theatre Gift Shop For information call Pat Bebee at 916-4848 Open during shows, and one hour before curtain

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