What a Difference A Year Makes

On August 28 of last year, I posted my opening article for Bravo, Bloomington! Happy belated anniversary to my little blog!

The stated purpose of this blog is to celebrate Bloomington’s inspiring theater and performance culture, and during this past year, I have met wonderful, talented people, promoted shows I believed in, and gained a little foothold in the Bloomington theater world.

On a more personal note, though, this blog had a bigger purpose. When I started the blog, I had just made the hardest decision of my life, to withdraw from my PhD program. For me, this was more than just quitting a job. I didn’t really know who I was outside of school. I had to rediscover my skills, my career goals, and my place in the world.

Bravo, Bloomington! was a key element to my emotional recovery. Read more

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!

~Jen

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!

 

Persuasion

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(end): June 29 – July 2

It’s a very light weekend for theater most likely because is it the weekend before Independence Day. However, I highly suggest that in between the cookouts and fireworks you check out Bella Bravo’s play As Bad As They. I recently did a piece for the Limestone Post about the play, and I personally can’t wait to see it on Friday. Get more information below.

~Jen

As Bad As They

Written by Bella Bravo

In As Bad As They, Jordan Ternin tries to decipher the fine line between her impulses to help and control after her brother Caleb decides to quit using. This play is set in present-day Bloomington, Indiana—in the midst of the Midwest’s opioid-heroin epidemic. The play begins with the estranged lives of Caleb and Jordan. The siblings are reunited on the most dangerous day for an addict, the day he’s released from state custody. On this day the dosage that Caleb handled comfortably two weeks before could cause his death.

Presented by Monster House at the Blockhouse on July 3o. Tickets are $5 and an addition $5 donation is encouraged. All proceeds go to Courage for Change, peer-run, sober-living, and low-barrier halfway house in Bloomington.

Get Tickets Here!

And We’re Back!

Hello all! Sorry I was away for so long, but there have been so many big life events this past month that I’ve not had the time to attend theater events, much less write about them. What did I miss? Did you guys see any great performances while I was away? If you did, you should tell me all about them in the comments. I’d love hear what performances inspired you this past month.

Now that I am back, I will resume posting “On Stage This Week,” and I will post an article or review here once a week, barring a lack of events or an over-abundance of writing work for other publications.

Also, I want to try to make Bravo, Bloomington! a bit more interactive. Please tell me if there is something you would like to see here. Perhaps you want me to feature an organization near and dear to your heart, or maybe you are really interested in theater lighting techniques and would like me to put a spotlight on that topic. Whatever the case may be, please drop me a line and let me know. I am always on the lookout for new, interesting projects.

Bravo, Bloomington! Will Now Take a Short Intermission

Hello all,

First, I want to say thanks to all my readers and all the organizations that have supported Bravo, Bloomington! for the past few months. When I started this project, I did not expect for it to bring so many new and interesting opportunities for me so quickly. This really has been a wonderful experience, and I love how truly welcoming Bloomington’s performance organizations have been when I come visit for interviews or shows. I also want to say thank you so much to the Limestone Post for seeing something useful in this little blog. Writing this blog and for the Post has been wonderfully rewarding, and I look forward to doing more.

That said, I have to take a little break from writing. As much as I hate the idea of taking time off, I feel like it is a necessity. With a wedding coming up and my increased responsibilities at the Limestone Post, it has been hard to keep up with Bravo, Bloomington! these past few weeks. Do not fear, however, I will be back towards the end of June. Starting July, I hope to offer up more articles, subscription options, and an updated site.

Thank you all again for your support, and I will see everyone again at the end of June.

~Jen

On Stage This Week: April 17-23

It’s a light week for the theater, but still you can catch two great shows from two great organizations. Check them out!

~Jen

The Drowsy Chaperone

Book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar
Music & Lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison

Gangsters-turned-pastry-chefs, seductive Spaniards, and a well-oiled chaperone will have you roaring like the 20s! In this “musical within a musical”, IU Theatre icon George Pinney takes the stage to share his talent one last time, as the melancholy “Man in Chair”. As he listens to his favorite record, his drab apartment gives way to the sparkling sets and lavish costumes of The Drowsy Chaperone. (musical)

Produced by the Indiana University Department of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance on Fri 4/18 – Sun 4/22

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 4/22 and 4/23 all performances take place in the afternoon to better accommodate younger audiences.

Buy Tickets Here!

On Stage This Week: April 10-16

Hello all,

Despite a super busy schedule, I’m trying to make Bravo, Bloomington a bit more active. For this reason, I am starting “On Stage This Week.” On Monday or Tuesday of each week, I will post a list of the shows being performed during that week. As of now, I am focusing mainly on theatrical performances, but I am more than happy to promote any and all local performances and productions here on the site. If you want your event added to the list, please feel free to message me or comment here.

Are you a fan of musicals, then this is the week for you to go to the theater! This week is musicals week in Bloomington, or so it seems. Check out the listings below, go see a show, and sing along to some fun musicals. It’s the perfect cure for whatever ails you.

Enjoy,

Jen

Calling all Kates

Book by Emily Goodson
Music & Lyrics by Jeremy Schonfeld

Marc gets dumped by his fiancé, Kate McBride, right before their wedding and honeymoon around the world. He’s now single and left to travel the globe alone since his plane tickets are non-transferrable and non-refundable. In an act of desperation, Marc posts an ad online for the only companion who could legally join him… someone with the exact same name as his ex-fiancé. Set loose in a bunch of different foreign countries, strangers Marc and Kate must get to know one another and learn to get along in the wake of Marc’s heartbreak. Will they fall in love? Probably not. Will they have a heck of a good time? Definitely. (musical)

Produced by the Bloomington Playwrights Project on Thurs 4/13-Sat 4/15

Buy Tickets Here!

 

The Drowsy Chaperone

Book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar
Music & Lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison

Gangsters-turned-pastry-chefs, seductive Spaniards, and a well-oiled chaperone will have you roaring like the 20s! In this “musical within a musical”, IU Theatre icon George Pinney takes the stage to share his talent one last time, as the melancholy “Man in Chair”. As he listens to his favorite record, his drab apartment gives way to the sparkling sets and lavish costumes of The Drowsy Chaperone. (musical)

Produced by the Indiana University Department of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance on Fri 4/14 – Sun 4/16

Buy Tickets Here!

Flower and Sword

By: Ma Sen

Flower and Sword is the story of a Child returning home to visit her father’s grave. The Child is met in sequence by their Mother, Father, and Father’s Friend. A deadly love triangle is revealed as masks drop and characters merge into each other. Is the Child doomed to the same deadly fate as their parents? Taiwanese playwright Ma Sen’s one act play questions the boundaries between love, family, fate, and gender. (play)

Performed as part of the China Remixed festival Mon 4/10 – 4/12

This is a FREE event. Find out more information here!

 

The Music Man

By Meredith Wilson

One of the most joyous family musicals ever! Professor Harold Hill’s a slick but charming con man who’s got the perfect get-rich-quick scheme. First, get the folks of Iowa’s River City to invest in a marching band for the kids, complete with instruments and uniforms. Then, take the cash and skip town before anyone figures out that he doesn’t know a note! But figure him out they do—especially lovely Marian the librarian and the hard-nosed mayor. Does tragedy ensue? Of course not, because the flimflam man turns out to have a heart, romance blossoms, and that mythical band turns out to be real after all! (musical)

Produced by the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music on Fri 4/14 and Sat 4/15

Buy Tickets Here!

 

Happy Holidays!

We are so close to the holiday break that I can almost taste my mom’s sugar cookies. While there are still many performances happening during the next few weeks, Bravo, Bloomington! will be on vacation until after the new year.

Bravo, Bloomington! hopes that you have a happy holiday season full of good food, good people, and good performances. See you again in the New Year!

Holiday Events!!

The holidays are a crazy, busy time full of events and get-togethers. To help you keep it all straight, Bravo, Bloomington! has added an events calendar listing the multitude of performance events going on around town. You will find everything to help get you in the holiday mood. Bloomington had musicals, ballets, choirs, concerts, plays, and scary monsters? Check out the events calendar on the Bravo, Bloomington! homepage.

If you have or know of an event that you want added to the calendar, please message me here or through the blog site. I want to make this calendar as comprehensive as possible, and your help is absolutely necessary for that.

Wishing you a happy holidays!

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.