On Stage This Week: May 1-7

It is a quiet week for theater, but then again it is finals week for the university and the school year is coming to a close. However, we do still have some great theater options for your entertainment. I am intrigued by the New Voices Opera Double Bill, and Frog and Toad is tons of fun. Go support local performance this weekend. 🙂

Look out for Bravo Bloomington’s review of the new season announcements for IU theater, opera, and ballet coming soon.


2017 Double Bill

NVO is a vehicle for new opera through the collaboration of emerging student composers, performers, and administrators in an experiential learning environment. The 2017 Double Bill is presented in part by The BUEA Zone Arts Grant, the Bloomington Arts Commission, and Bloomington Playwrights Project.

The performance contains two different creations. The first creation is Marilyn’s Room by Kyle Peter Rotolo.Fame and stardom can bring riches and rewards, but for many the pressure and exposure bring loneliness and sorrow. Some of America’s most famous starlets have struggled with depression, addiction, abuse, or all of the above and the public can’t seem to get enough. Marilyn’s Room explores the world around the star, the people behind the scenes whether they are calling the shots or just cleaning the sheets. These are the people who see the real star, the real human being underneath the fancy gowns and facades. They are the individuals who get to experience fame at its worst every day, but leave it at work every night.

Marilyn’s Room will be followed by In Memoriam by Matthew Recio and Molly Korroch. Nearly every family in today’s society has watched a loved one struggle through the stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s. It isn’t easy for anyone to watch the person you once knew slip away. Fear and uncertainty pepper every interaction and it can put serious strain on families and friends. Science is struggling for effective treatments, let alone an actual cure. Families are desperate to preserve the person they know and love, and In Memoriam tells the story of the Adams and their search for an alternative treatment.

Produced by New Voices Opera on May 4. This is a free event, but a suggested donation of $10 is greatly welcomed.

Find more information 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!

How to Enjoy Opera in One Easy Step: A Review of the BSO’s “Happily Ever After?”

As someone who loves art, theater, culture, and performance, I have always wanted to like opera. It’s not that I ever disliked opera, but I couldn’t tell you I liked it either. The reason being, I had—or thought I had—very little experience with that particular art form. With a limited budget and innumerable entertainment choices, I just never got around to trying out the opera.

I only watched my first full-length opera just last year; it was Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte or as it is commonly translated, “Women are like that.” The opera was a comedy about two lovers that decide to test their betrotheds’ fidelity by “going off to war,” returning dressed as soldiers, and wooing the other man’s fiancĂ©. As a Renaissance theater person, I understand this trope; I don’t like it, but I understand it. The trope is terribly misogynistic, but certain playwrights have been known to challenge the inherent misogyny and thus add complexity to the discussions of gender and heterosexual relationships. Mozart’s opera, as far as I could tell, had very little complexity to question the inherent misogyny of the piece. In addition, neither the music nor the performance was really engaging enough to distract me from these issues. At the end of the evening, I remember thinking, “Ugh, maybe I am just not an opera person.”

However, thanks to the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra’s most recent concert, I have thoroughly changed my tune. 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