Kinky Boots at Beef & Boards

We finally got to spend a wonderful evening together at Beef & Boards. That danged virus had kept us away for different reasons since our last time attending a show in October, 2019. Once again the buffet was great and the show was very very entertaining. It was great to be back enjoying live musical theater, and we highly recommend this show!

Lola (Jonathan Studdard), center, performs “Raise You Up” with her Angels at the fashion show.

Kinky Boots, the five time Tony Award winner for the Best Musical is playing now at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre. This is the first time that the musical has played at Indy’s beloved dinner theater. Based on a true story and featuring Cyndi Lauper music, the production has also deservedly been awarded the Best Original Score and the Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album.

Lola (Jonathan Studdard) and Charlie (Jacob Butler) celebrate the launch of their line of transvestite footwear with the factory employees

The story chronicles the strange and chance meeting of a struggling shoe factory owner Charley and a marvelously outspoken and animated drag queen Lola. What follows is a blend of music, mayhem, heartwarming story twists and turns and some  social commentary on  human sexual identities. One of the classic lines uttered several times was “Ladies .. gentlemen… and those who have yet to make up their minds!”.

Lola (Jonathan Studdard), center, performs at the Blue Angel Club with her Angels

Of note are the performances of, frankly, the entire cast. You will see a lot of talent on stage during Kinky Boots. Jonathan Studdard’s portrayal of Lola/Simon is remarkable in character and intensity. Jacob Butler’s shoe maker Charlie is a solid portrayal of a conservative man trying to get a grip on his relationship with a drag queen. Sparks do fly  between Lola, Charlie and Don (Peter Scharbrough) one of the factory workers. Lola’s Angels are four very talented men in drag as backup singers and dancers.

Lola (Jonathan Studdard), right, sings “I’m Not My Father’s Son” to Charlie (Jacob Butler)

Lola (Jonathan Studdard) sings “Hold Me in Your Heart” at the Clacton Nursing Home

As you would suspect, the music from Cyndi Lauper is a wonderful choice of this production. The singing and dancing is superb. Hats off to the B&B orchestra, costume design and choreography. Kinky Boots is on stage through March 27 at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre. Tickets include the Beef & Boards dinner buffet and select beverages. For tickets, visit Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre or call the box office at 317.872.9664. (Please note that this show is rated PG-13 for some adult content.)





We’re finally off to Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre

Photo courtesy Beef & Boards Media

It has been since October 2019 since our last visit to Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre in Indianapolis. COVID-19 closed it for a long time, and some rocky start ups were also hurt by that danged pandemic. We were due to go last week but alas, Covid exposure within the cast forced a postponement of the opening of Kinky Boots . We are going tonight!

This production is a Tony Award winning musical, featuring the music of Cyndi Lauper and on stage at B&B for the first time.

The old hardware store is now a pub

The building is a 3 story brick with a full basement, built in 1890 and home to the J.G. DePrez Co. a family owned hardware store for years. Like many small town stores, it fell prey to shopping malls and interstate highways allowing easy access to those big city malls. The hardware store closed decades ago.

Pudders is in the white building on the left. Note the DePrez name on the brick in the upper right

Now a portion of the first floor houses a delightful restaurant and, in the back a separate bar room. Named Pudders, this business is located on the Public Square of Shelbyville, a small town in central Indiana. It has been in business since 2019, and has enjoyed a strong local following.

Full bar serving restaurant

Fresh made chips smothered with good stuff

Vegetable Wrap and fries. Wrap is loaded!

Fresh cod “Fish and Chips” with cole slaw







Now that the pandemic is slowing down, Pudders has live music each weekend and periodic trivia nights. Their menu offers an assortment of burgers, wraps, salads, wings and tons of appetizers. We had a small group of family members together for a late afternoon meal. Every meal was delicious and portion sizes were very generous. It is always nice to see older buildings in small towns occupied with locally owned businesses.

Public art is everywhere in Carmel Indiana

Carmel, Indiana is a suburban city immediately north of Indianapolis. Known as the roundabout capital of the U.S. with 140 of those wild traffic routes, the city is also known for its many pieces of public art.  Fifteen of these works of art are by Seward Johnson,  an American artist known for trompe-l’œil painted bronze statues. Other artists also have public art displayed.

“Ambassador of the Street” by Seward Johnson, placed 2012, cost $78,000

“Spring Eternal” by Jerry Joslin, placed 2010, cost $49,975

“Things To Do” by Seward Johnson, placed 2008, cost $80,000

“Who’s In Charge” by Seward Johnson, placed 2008, cost $88,000

Even bike racks have become “art” in Carmel

The day we were in Carmel the weather was not conducive to enjoying street art. We’ll return on a day without cold rain and see more of the many other public art displays. There is some controversy about the people street statues, as not all taxpayers feel that they are worth the price.

Brunch at RIZE Carmel

Brunch is such a good meal, you can’t beat a lunch and breakfast combo. The other day we got a family group together and made candles. We had a two hour wait for our just made custom candles to cool, perfect for a leisurely brunch.

The “Moss Wall” at the entrance






RIZE in Carmel, Indiana was mere minutes away, so off we went. There were few people out, as it was quite rainy and somewhat cool, thus seating for our group was immediate.

Too good for words

Generous portions

Avocado Toast with Salad







Miller Farm Chicken Hash with duck egg







RIZE is known for the decadently delicious cinnamon rolls, smothered in icing. Other dishes are most tempting as well. I had the biscuits and gravy, covered with a huge duck egg, over easy. The Avocado toast on levain bread with salad really fits the bill, as does the Miller Farm Chicken Hash, also topped with a large duck egg. And to start, or finish, your delightful brunch, go ahead and treat yourself to one of several Mimosas. Choose from either strawberry, orange, pomegranate, citrus-lavender, honey, or blueberry. RIZE is perfect for a relaxing and satisfying brunch.



A candle making experience

It is always fun to try a new experience. We had never been to a DIY candle store. This candle making sounded like a good thing.

The Penn & Beech Candle Company in Carmel, Indiana has a lovely store with everything you need to make your own custom scented candle. When you first walk in you are greeted with a marvelously clean scent in the air. Once you register your first task is to figure out what fragrances you want your candle to have. There are shelves of candles with single scents for you to unscrew the lid and take a whiff.

The staff recommends that you pick four scents that you want to start experimenting with. Once you have that, four squeeze bottles are brought to your workspace. Holding the bottles under your chin, squeeeeeze and smell. Two at a time will give you the future candle fragrance. Mix and match, determine of the scents which may require more than another. You are guided through the process.


Once your fragrance choices are made, the fun really begins! You have already decided which glass you will make your candle in. There are shot jiggers on a tray and a stirring spoon. In my case, I had decided on a ratio of 2 parts Hops scent and 1 part Earth scent. You fill the jigger up with that ratio, and fill it to overflowing. No worry, you’ll dump the overflow from the tray to candle wax.

Next step, a pouring cup of hot molten soy wax is brought to your table. This is where you pour in the fragrance oils you have measured out then stir the wax and fragrances together.   This is then poured into the candle glass the you have picked out.  It takes two hours for the candle to set up, so we went for brunch and then returned to pick up our creations.

Fruits of our labors

Our entire party truly enjoyed this fun experience. Every aspect of the candle making process was an adventure. So many fragrances to try, lots of different candle glasses and containers to pick from, and most of all a wonderful experience we could enjoy with family.


2-22-2022 was a busy busy day

Tuesday 2-22-2022 was quite the day. It was my first full day as a 71 year old Baby Boomer. Not sure how I feel about passing the seventy milestone. With other family gathered together we had a full day of activities  planned.

Sher picked her oils

I liked these two scents

We started off by going to the “make your own” Penn and Beech Candle Company in Carmel, Indiana. They had hundreds of scents to use in the candle of your choice. We had a ball sampling scents, narrowing down to the perfect blend. The scent liquids were then mixed in the hot wax, and left to cool for a couple of hours.

Too good for words

Generous portions







We then went to one of our favorite places for brunch: RIZE. The Carmel location was just minutes from the Candle Company, and of course you have to start with their decadent cinnamon rolls smothered in icing. I got brave and ordered a first time for me duck egg on my biscuits and gravy. Delicious. We then picked up our candles.

Dollar Tuesday Tacos

National Margarita Day

Tuesday the 22nd was notable for several reasons. In the background the Ukraine v Russia crisis loomed. However, in the interest of celebration, we had our dinner at the Cholula Mexican Restaurant and recognized National Margarita Day with some frozen strawberry margaritas. Taco Tuesday, well of course! Cholula’s had tacos for $1 each.

Here are some of the candles we created

What a fun day! Making candles  was quite the experience. Sher and I decided that this was a very enjoyable activity that we have done together. Of course it was most special having our daughter and grandson and our youngest son with us.  I guess being 71 years old is not that bad after all.