Here it is still just January, and we’re already bursting at the proverbial seams with stuff to do. Sure, it’s the Palladium’s fault, but IndyFringe is swinging into high gear, as well as the theater season in general.
This is the Grand Opening Week for the Center for the Performing Arts and if you haven’t heard about this ramshackle, economically-challenged little burg north of Indianapolis called “Carmel,” it’s time you paid it a visit — the new center is a great motivation to do so. We promise this will be a fun series of events, beginning with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, Jan. 22 and culminating with a Classical Concert on Jan. 30.
David Hoppe interviewed the Center’s Artistic Director, Michael Feinstein, and you can check it out.
Here’s a run down of what’s a-happening this weekend.
Ribbon cutting — Saturday, Jan. 22; 11 a.m. — 12:20 p.m.; don’t bring your own scissors, because they will have one on hand. Ribbon cutting is followed by the first public performance to take place on the Palladium stage: Carmel Brass will present a free concert. Next, from 1-6 p.m., the Community Day extravaganza will present local music and dance groups on the Palladium stage.
A free Open House happens the next day, from 11 a.m. — 6 p.m., featuring tours of the Palladium and performances by Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre, New World Youth Orchestra, the CSO String Quartet, Indiana University Jazz Group and the Purdue University Glee Club.
If we tell you now what’s happening the following week (Jan. 29 and 30), it would ruin your new year’s resolution to “be here now.” Check out our coverage next week for those la-la gala events.
Speaking of the Center for Performing Arts, the now century-old Civic Theatre will EVENTUALLY be moving to their new home, The Tarkington Theater at the Palladium, but for now, they are continuing to perform at their theater on the campus of Marian College, where they will present The Last Night of Ballyhoo (written by the great Alfred Uhry, author of Driving Miss Daisy), a 1997 Tony Award-winning play, opening Friday, Jan. 1.
Speaking of theater, Wendy Kesselman’s new adaptation of The Diary of Anne Frank, coming to the Indiana Repertory Theatre. In the title role of Anne Frank is Chicago-based Rebecca Buller, whose impressive experience as an actress includes: The Seagull at the Goodman Theatre; All My Sons and Dolly West's Kitchen at Timeline Theatre Company; The Cherry Orchard at Strawdog Theatre Company. The production opens on Friday, Jan. 21 at 7:30 p.m. We’ll have a review for you next week.
Speaking of stuff that happens on stage (yeah, I know I’m stretching the “speaking-of” conceit here): IndyFringe is presenting its first annual Winter Magic Festival, in conjunction with Taylor Martin’s Indy Magic Monthly. This weekend, five enchanting and enchanted acts will grace the Fringe stage, starting with veteran legend Robert Sode’s A Touch of Magic at 6 p.m. Surreality, a show by magician/humorist Barry Rice, follows at 7:30, leading into 9 p.m.’s Random Amazingness with 21-year-old up-and-comer TRIGG. Evansville, IN native Brandon Bagget, a comedy illusionist, rounds out the evening at 10 p.m. The Keepers of Magic, a Kentucky-based group of tricksters will get your Saturday afternoon started at 1:30; encores of all the acts will continue throughout the weekend. Kid friendly!
Sticking with the performing arts, the beloved Andre Watts returns to the Hilbert Circle Theatre to play his signature work — Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto. After intermission, Carlo Rizzi will lead the Orchestra through a performance of Berlioz's “Symphonie fantastique,” the wildest trip in all of music. You can see these performances Friday, Jan. 21 and Saturday, Jan. 22 at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $33-75.
Also on stage this week is Winterreise, which classical music reviewer Tom Aldridge has pronounced to me a dozen times and I still can’t quite get it. Vin-ter-REE-zay? Butler music faculty Kyle Ferrill and Kate Boyd will present Schubert’s final masterpiece, Winterreise, which translates to mean “winter journey.” Good timing, eh? The performance takes place at Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall on the campus of Butler University (4600 Sunset Ave.) Admission to the event is free.
When it comes to the visual arts, we are starting to gear up for the best First Friday ever! (I’m just engaging in hyperbole here.) Really, it’s going to rock! (It probably will.) But in the meantime, we have lots of great exhibits up and running, including this new one where local painter Wiley E. Dummich will lead a tour of his abstract colorist work at 1:30 p.m. this Sunday, Jan. 23, in the lobby of Clowes Hall. His work, on display through Feb. 11, is featured as part of Art @ Clowes, a rotating exhibit that features works by Hoosier artists. The shows, including the tour in question, are free and open to the public during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Finally, and this the forbidden part: The Herron School of Art and Design's Basile Gallery will feature filmmaker and activist David Wojnarowicz’s controversial film A Fire in My Belly on continuous loop from Jan. 21 through Feb. 5. The 1980s film was created as a reaction to the death of Wojnarowicz’s lover due to AIDS. The film features the image of ants crawling over a crucifix, a scene that had been used in a Smithsonian exhibit called "Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture," which dealt with culturally challenging images. The scene had been removed as part of complaints on the part of the Catholic League. Herron is displaying the video to allow student and community members the opportunity to connect with the work and stimulate discussion in the arts community.
Go on, don’t let the cold keep you home. See you out there.