Covering the performing arts in the Indianapolis area for zoomdune.com is a broad pursuit, considering the myriad organizations, large and small, and multiple disciplines that constitute this writer’s best.
This selection of the top ten performing arts events of 2014 is based on the overall artistic quality of each presentation, as well as the inspirational and entertainment value of each.
Click on titles to access zoomdune.com five star reviews of each production.
“Evening with the Stars”
For the sixth year in a row, Indianapolis City Ballet brought together some of the biggest ballet stars from many of the world’s most renowned companies for its annual dance extravaganza, “Evening with the Stars.” Making this year’s gala extra special was its new venue—Clowes Memorial Hall.
“A Tribute to Marvin Hamlisch”
Jack Everly, Principal Pops conductor outdid himself in the programming of this Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra “A Tribute to Marvin Hamlisch” concert, honoring the late composer/condiuctor/pianist.
The founders of the once uber-conservative Columbia Club surely turned over in their graves when Australian-born, actor, singer and cabaret performer Meow Meow performed “Feline Intimate,” her over the top show at the Cabaret situated in the private club’s Crystal Terrace Room.
“The Cock Fight Play”
The Phoenix Theatre’s “The Cock Fight Play,” aka “Cock,” didn’t draw the crowds that it should have. Too bad for those who didn’t see it, because it was one of the best acted, best directed shows of the season. A thoroughly captivating comedy-drama by British playwright Mike Bartlett, which explored sexual identity, the play was most notable for its surprise ending.
“Danny and the Deep Blue Sea”
The penthouse of the historic Picadilly Apartments at the corner of E. 16th Street and Pennsylvania was the site of this up close and personal NoExit Peformance production of John Patrick Shaney’s drama, “Danny and the Deep Blue Sea,” featuring bravura performances by the husband and wife team of Georgeanna Smith and Justin Wade. A rare event, it only ran for only two performances and was preceded by an elegant sit down dinner.
“And Then They Came For Me: Remembering the World of Anne Frank”
Indiana Repertory Theatre playwright-in-residence James Still wrote “And Then They Came For Me: Remembering the World of Anne Frank,” based on video-taped interviews Stills conducted with Eva Geiringer and Ed Silverberg, two Holocaust survivors, both of whom were acquainted with Anne Frank. It’s no wonder it is one of the most produced plays in the world.
Celebrated Dance Kaleidoscope artistic director David Hochoy choreographed three pieces for “American Rhapsody.” Two were set to “American in Paris” and “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin and another to “Bachianas Brasilieras No. 5” by Heitor Villia-Lobos. All three works were among Hochoy’s finest and the concert itself was one of DK’s best.
The Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre did fine justice to“Les Misérables” —Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s hit musical. Reluctant, at the time, to see yet one more production of “Les Mis,” this reviewer will always be grateful that he took the time to see this one. It was truly special.
Bobdirex producer Bob Harbin has a gift for casting and his high energy, fresh take production of “Hair” demonstrated why his shows are so popular. This summer hit was no exception.
“The Rocky Horror Show”
Zach Rosing of Zach Rosing Productions and director Zack Neiditch scored big with their production of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” If the pair ever decided to present their version annually, it could become an annual Indy Halloween tradition.