On Stage this Week: July 5-9

Happy (belated) 4th everyone! I hope your 4th was filled with good food and good friends. I know mine was.

Let’s keep the celebration going with two romantic comedies presented by IU Summer Theater. Nothing promises theatrical fireworks like the witty banter found in Shakespeare and Austen. If that’s not enough, Shimmy Con presents shine and sparkles with Spectacular Shimmies, a weekend of belly dancing. Checkout the listings below for more information, and comment here to let me know what you thought about the show. Enjoy!


Love’s Labour’s Lost


By William Shakespeare

Directed by Jonathan Michaelsen

In one of Shakespeare’s earliest comedies, the King of Nevarre and his three male friends have pledged to swear off the company of women for three years and focus on a life of study. But when the Princess of France and her ladies show up on the scene, the men and their intentions of living a life of abstinence are tested.

Presented by Indiana University Summer Theater on July 7 and 9 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $20 per person and $10 with a student ID.

Buy tickets here!



Based on the novel by Jane Austen

Directed by Dale McFadden

In this adaptation of Jane Austen’s romantic novel, Anne and her former fiancé, Captain Wentworth, are thrust back into each other’s lives after seven years apart. As the plot thickens, Anne and Captain Wentworth must wrestle with their true feelings and decide whether or not they were wrong all those years ago.

Presented by Indiana University Summer Theater on July 8 at 7:30 pm and 9 at 2:00 pm. Tickets are $20 per person and $10 with a student ID.

Buy tickets here!


Spectacular Shimmies

Sparkles, shimmies, earthy, and elegance briefly describe the complex and wonderful world of belly dance. Spectacular Shimmies is the performance series of Shimmy Con, an annual Belly Dance Conference. Enjoy one or two nights of amazing performances and experience everything that shimmies.

The Friday evening performances will showcase a variety of Belly Dance styles by dancers and troupes from Indiana and surrounding states. Included with your ticket is access to Shimmy Con’s keynote address. Ruby Jazayre will reflect on the changes she has seen in the Middle Eastern Dance World since she began her dance career in 1978. The keynote address starts at 7:30 pm.

On Saturday, listeners will enjoy live music by Salaam. Performing dance artists will include the amazing instructors and speakers of the conference. After the show, get up and join us in open dancing with Salaam.

Shimmy Con presents Spectacular Shimmies on Friday, July 7 and 8. Tickets are available before the performance dates for $15 for Friday and $20 for Saturday or both for $30. On the day of the performances, tickets are $18 for Friday, $23 for Saturday, and $35 for both.

Buy tickets here!


On Stage This Week: April 24-30

This week’s offerings include lots of singing and dancing with choreographers showcases in ballet and modern dance and some beautiful choral music. As for theater, parents, Cardinal has a great event for you and your children. Art of Africa is offering a fantastic play about the apartheid in South Africa that is a must see for all. Check out these performances, and support our local performing arts.


African American Choral Ensemble Spring Concert

From traditional African songs and spirituals to formally composed works, the African American Choral Ensemble Spring Concert celebrates the journey from Africa to America. The concert will include composed works by Rosephanye Powell, Andre Thomas, Ysaye Barnwell, Rollo Dilworth, John Kee, Richard Smallwood, and Dr. Raymond Wise.

The African American Choral Ensemble (AACE), one of three performing ensembles in the African American Arts Institute, has been inspiring and uplifting audiences for more than 40 years. AACE continues to perform a broad repertoire including choral anthems, hymns, spirituals, inspirational, pop, gospel, and formally composed works composed and/or arranged by, for, and about African Americans.

Produced by the African American Choral Ensemble on 4/29.

Buy tickets here!


Ballet at the BCT – The Choreography Project

Produced by Indiana University’s Department of Ballet on 4/26.

Find out more information about this free event here!


My Children! My Africa!

by Athol Fugard

“Fugard’s toughest and most moving political play. One of the theatre’s most affecting dissections of social upheaval.” –Linda Winer, New York Newsday conflict over the most effective means for ending apartheid in South Africa leads to an explosive confrontation between a gifted but impatient black township youth and his devoted but “old-fashioned” black teacher in this deeply felt and richly imagined drama. The unexpected involvement of a young white woman who befriends and learns from both men strips away the political trappings to reveal the human trauma at the heart of South Africa’s ongoing tragedy.

Produced by Art of Africa on 4/27th – 3oth.

Buy tickets here!


New Moves: Student Choreographers Showcase 2017

Collaboration and innovation take center stage in this original choreography by IU Contemporary Dance seniors. Fresh tracks on the trail toward the future of dance creation and performance, including sound, film, visual art, performance, and text – the newest tools for the newest moves!

Produced by Indiana University Department of Theater Drama and Contemporary Dance on 4/28 and 29.

Buy tickets here!


A Year with Frog and Toad

A hit on Broadway, A Year With Frog And Toad was nominated for 3 Tony Awards – including Best Musical. Based on Arnold Lobel’s well-loved books and featuring a hummable score by Robert and Willie Reale, this whimsical show follows two great friends — the cheerful, popular Frog and the rather grumpy Toad — through four, fun-filled seasons.

Waking from hibernation in the Spring, Frog and Toad plant gardens, swim, rake leaves, go sledding, and learn life lessons along the way. The two best friends celebrate and rejoice in their differences that make them unique and special. Part vaudeville, part make believe, all charm, A Year With Frog And Toad tells the story of a friendship that endures, weathering all seasons.

The jazzy, upbeat score of A Year With Frog And Toad bubbles with melody and wit, making it an inventive, exuberant, and enchanting musical for the whole family.

Produced by Cardinal Stage on 4/28 -29. All performances take place in the afternoon to better accommodate younger audiences.

Buy Tickets Here!

Watch Out Little Fritzy; the Krampus are going to get you!

Yesterday morning, I woke up from the strangest dream. There I was watching a performance of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker when a monstrous Krampus with curled horns danced onstage to punish that mean older brother, Fritz, for torturing his poor, little sister, Clara, with a dead mouse and breaking her beloved nutcracker. The Krampus grabs him by the ear and gives him a good swat with a switch before sending him off to bed. Clara is shocked and a little scared by the monster standing in front of her, but he gently takes her hand and leads her to the land of sweets, where he accompanies the Sugar Plum Fairy in a moving and graceful dance. As the audience gave its standing ovation, I woke up thinking, “What the hell…?”

I shouldn’t have been too surprised because the night before I got a good dose of both thanks to Bloomington’s Krampus Night and Indiana University’s production of The Nutcracker. The movement from one to the other may seem like an insane culture shock, but I see it as a representation of the huge variety of performance events Bloomington has to offer. The drastic differences in the two highlight the fun and artistry in each. Whereas, Krampus night was a fire-breathing, light-flashing, scream-inducing, monster-filled extravaganza, The Nutcracker was a magic-inducing, breath-taking, awe-inspiring tutu-filled creation that made my heart race just as face as when a Krampus lunged toward me and roared. Read more

New Reference Page for Bloomington Performance Organizations

Hello all, I’ve put together a new page on the blog with a listing of performance groups and organizations in and around Bloomington. I am hoping that someday the list will be comprehensive, but as of now, it is definitely a work in progress. Your help would be greatly appreciated. If you know of any groups or organizations I may have overlooked or were unaware, please let me know. I will add them as soon as I can.

2016 – 2017 Season Preview

Despite the humidity and heat outside, the start of fall is almost upon us. The public school kids are back in classes, and the IU students fill our streets once more. The start of another academic year is exciting, but nowhere near as exciting as the year of entertainment Bloomington can expect in 2016-2017 season! The offerings put up by the university and the local organizations have me practically skipping with excitement. Read more

All Bloomington’s a Stage

Hello all! I am your host, Jennifer. Welcome to Bravo, Bloomington!: a blog that celebrates the surprisingly rich performance arts culture I found when I moved to Bloomington, IN, seven years ago. Like numerous other people, I came to Bloomington for school. At the time, I was a bright-eyed, incoming PhD candidate with grandiose dreams of changing the world one academic article on Renaissance drama at a time. Born in Michigan and raised in Texas, I knew very little about Indiana. In Michigan, Indiana was only memorable in that it wasn’t Michigan, and we liked to make fun of that fact. Oh but Michiganders did like to cross the border every once in a while to visit the natives. Those Amish folks made some fantastic quilts and furniture. For Texans, Indiana is just one of those little states somewhere in the middle of the US. Indiana could never measure up to Texas, but then most states couldn’t. Texas was its own country, you know! Read more