Posted in Indianapolis theater: previews

Openings for the weekend of 6/16

19105678_1552210294848949_7602764245296168594_n“Another Man’s Slingbacks” at Khaos Company Theatre

“Killer” Kerrgian, the homophobic quarterback of the Lincoln High football team, is magically transformed into a homosexual during homecoming week, when a passing fairy godmother grants a gay classmate’s vengeful wish. The football star gets to learn what life is like on the other side of the pom-poms; and Ricky, the gay student, learns a few lessons about manliness as well.​

  • June 16-24, Fridays-Saturdays, 7 p.m.
    Pay What You Want Night June 23
  • $18
  • www.kctindy.com

The Exceptionals at StageWorthy Productions

The Encore Award-winning, non-profit, volunteer community theater will stage the Indiana premiere of The Exceptionals by Bob Clyman. Where do you draw the line between eugenics and the desire of every parent to give his or her child the best possible start? If the answer seems pretty simple, just ask Gwen, Allie, and Tom, three parents whose children were conceived at a prestigious fertilization program, specializing in donors with IQs over 180. It is now five years later, and the parents of these exceptional children are discovering that the answer is anything but simple.

  • June 16-25, Fridays-Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m.
  • All seats are $12
  • The Broadway United Methodist Church, 609 E. 29th St., Indianapolis.
  • www.stageworthy.org, 317-750-6454
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Posted in Indianapolis theater: reviews

“Bonnie & Clyde: The Musical” at Buck Creek Players (4.5 stars)

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“Bonnie & Clyde” at Buck Creek Players

The first glimpse you get at Bonnie & Clyde: The Musical is of the couple riddled with bullets, dead in their car. While it takes some liberties with the actual details, the gruesome point is clear: theirs was a story fated to have a solemn, bloody ending.

But from there, the show steps back to how it all ended that way. This isn’t a shoot-‘em-up story (though of course it’s in there), but a love story—romantic love and familial love, and what one will do for said love.

Annie Miller as Bonnie and Joseph D. Massingale as Clyde lead up a massive cast under the direction of D. Scott Robinson. And every actor on stage more than holds up his or her own. The talent that has been accumulated for this production is impressive.

Not only do Miller and Massingale create sympathetic characters, but the musical numbers put their exceptional vocal talents on display as well. (A side note: the show’s music is by Frank Wildhorn of Jekyll & Hyde.) But others get center stage as well: Jonathan D. Krouse as Bonnie’s love-struck friend Ted has a memorable duet with Massingale, and Miranda Nehrig as Blanche, Clyde’s sister in law, is a hoot singing about her husband going back to jail.

This is an exceptional piece of stagecraft. My only nitpicking is that the spotlights smooth out and Massingale remembers to unsnap his holster before trying to pull out his gun.

  • June 9-25, Fridays-Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.
  • $20 ($18 for children, students, and senior citizens)
  • www.buckcreekplayers.com
Posted in Indianapolis theater: reviews

“The Great Bike Race” at Theatre on the Square (4.5 stars)

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“The Great Bike Race” at Theatre on the Square

I didn’t get to see The Great Bike Race when it was featured at the 2014 FringeFestival, but I’m almost glad because I went into the show not knowing what to expect. In fact, I thought the premise sounded kind of boring: a story about bicyclists racing the Tour de France in 1904.

Holy crap was I wrong!

Writer-director Zack Neiditch expanded the 40-minute Fringe version into just shy of 90 minutes. While some areas in the extended cut move too slow, overall its comedic ride is well worth taking.

The “cleverly anachronistic” (a phrase the actors instructed reviewers to use in describing the show) follows 16-year-old Henri Cornet (Frankie Bolda), an honorable cyclist among a pack of cheaters. The worst of them, and vicious rivals, are the aggressive hot-air-bag Hippolyte Acoutrier (Paige Scott) and the sneaky and subtle Maurice Garin (Ben Asaykwee).

Other contestants include Jean-Baptiste DuFortunac (Carrie Bennett Fedor) and Llucien Portier (Evan Wallace), who discover their man-love during the race. Many of the male characters are actually taken on by women, but Sonia Goldberg as Alois Catteau is an actress who is pretending to be a man who is a woman. (Get all that?) Josh Ramsey portrays multiple racer roles, all from different nationalities, in a tongue-tying, kilt-swishing, mustache-drooping hot mess. (I love the “Scottish surprise.”) Jean Dargasse (John Kern) actually hops a train to get to the finish line faster, and Gustave Drioul (Craig Kemp) just keeps his geriatric character pedaling.

I assure you, this isn’t the stage version of a historical documentary. The show is full of, dirty trick and sexual innuendo, and it even boasts a few musical numbers (Asaykwee, woot woot!). Plus, there is a stuffed cat a la the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog. And a cow. And an angry mob of French hicks. The stage is full of crazy-funny insanity.

And ah-maze-balls victory dances.

  • Through June 24, Fridays-Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m.
  • $25 ($20 for student, senior, or military).
  • zrpevents.vbotickets.com to purchase online or visit www.tots.org to learn more

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