Going to enjoy the show!

Ready for “Hello, Dolly! at Indy’s Beef & Boards

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.

“Kinky Boots” coming to Indy Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre

The 2022 season at Indy’s beloved dinner theater has a Tony Award winning musical opening next week. Their press release proudly states: Kinky Boots, the Tony Award-winner for Best Musical, struts onto the Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre stage for the first time in 2022, featuring music by Cyndi Lauper and a heartwarming tale that’s based on a true story. Opening Feb. 10, this high-heeled hit will bring plenty of sparkle to Beef & Boards’ 49th Season!

This vibrant musical not only won the Best Musical Tony, but also Best Original Score for the talented music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper, along with four additional Tony Awards, and the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album.

Kinky Boots is on stage for 47 performances through March 27 in the intimate space of Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre. Tickets include the dinner buffet and select beverages. For tickets, visit beefandboards.com or call the box office at 317.872.9664.

We are so looking forward to seeing this marvelous show. The pandemic stifled so many months of B&B’s productions. It will seem like finally getting to go to visit a dear friend when we see Kinky Boots next week.

Going to see Beef and Boards “Shear Madness” to start the 2022 season

Tony (Daniel Klingler) plops shaving cream on Nick (Jeff Stockberger) as he prepares to give the undercover cop a shave in Shear Madness

From a Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre press release dated December, 2021: “Shear Madness is back by popular demand to kick off Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s 2022 Season! Opening just a bit early, on Dec. 28, this play will have the audiences rolling in the aisles as they help detangle the clues of a murder mystery in a not-so-typical hair salon.”

This hilarious production features madcap improvisation blended with the clues that reveal the person responsible for the murder of the old lady upstairs in the salon. The audience gets to spot clues, interrogate suspects, and solve the mystery. No two shows end the same, leading to repeat customers who enjoy the madcap mayhem. Set in Indianapolis, the play features many funny references to the local area.

Shear Madness has won tons of awards, including “Best Comedy of the Year” multiple times, and has been inducted into the Comedy Hall of Fame, the first stage play to be so honored. It will run through February 5. Tickets range from $58 to $70 and include Chef Odell Ward’s famous dinner buffet. For tickets visit Beef and Boards or call the box office at 317-872-9664.

Sher and I have not been to B&B since October 2019. We can’t wait to get back to our favorite theater!

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema schedules Planet of the Apes

Full size statue from the from the 1st movie

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is a nation wide chain of “dinner and a movie” entertainment. While they are closed due the COVID-19 restrictions, their website still shows a scheduled showing of the 1968 cult classic “Planet of the Apes” for August 30th this fall. Whether this showing happens remains to be seen.

Sher and I and our Austin family went to one of these theaters during our Winter Texan stay this past year. The seats are large and comfortable, and the table for your dinner is more than adequate. Food was good, too. We saw and enjoyed  Little Women.

Anyway,  I wanted to show you the huge statue in the lobby of the theater we went to

Ad for an Ape movie marathon

in Austin. The statue is from the actual movie Planet of the Apes. I asked one of the employees where it came from. Turns out the owner of the theater chain also owns the rights to the Planet of the Apes franchise. There were movie posters for all of the Ape movies displayed in the lobby as well as ads for an APE movie marathon of the original five movies.

Have you seen the Planet of the Apes movies? Can you name the original five titles? Might be a good topic for a “stay at home in isolation” set of trivia questions. Stay safe, dear readers. Don’t go ape!

 

Total immersion at Teatro ZinZanni show in Seattle

We had heard about it, we had looked at the web site, but nothing prepared us for the extravaganza that was our evening at the Teatro ZinZanni Seattle presentation of A Night Like This. It’s hard to describe, but here goes:

Imagine walking into a real life vintage circus tent. This tent, made in 1910, has fine wood work, mirrored walls and wood floors. Fancy does not do justice to the opulence of this structure.  Daughter Katy and son-in-law Mike arranged for us to all go to the show.

Entering the world of Teatro ZinZanni

Striking fabric ceilings in the lobby

 

 

 

 

 

The lobby offers coat check, a full bar, and even a “Boutique” for purchasing boas, masks, hats and other trimmings for your outfit. We were seated at our table big enough for 8, but private for the four of us. It was an amazing sight to see how ornate and big the tent was!

The walls are ornate, table is set

Orchestra stage in background, seating where the action takes place

 

 

 

 

 

Right after we got our drinks, things started to happen. Cast members started roaming around, interacting with the crowd. The show had started, even tho there was no official “start”! It was time to start eating: course 1 was a delicious beet salad. Keep in mind that this evening includes a full 4 course meal, each served with a flair by waiters/actors. The spacing of the courses is just perfect.

Cocktail time!

My two beautiful girls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The star of the show, Christine Deaver, brought laughter and mirth throughout the evening. Her singing was terrific, and she brought members of the audience into her act several times. Her improve work is sensational and she keeps the audience in stitches.

Christine, photo courtesy of Teatro ZinZanni

Christine, photo courtesy of Teatro ZinZanni

The orchestra is just, well, fabulous. The variety and quality of music those four guys put out is incredible. Throughout the show you will be treated to songs that will bring back memories and get your hands clapping and foot a tappin’.

Both seating and performance area

The salad course: delicious beets

 

 

 

 

 

 

Words cannot describe the excitement you feel when viewing the gymnastic and aerialist acts. An international cast ads to the quality of these performances. The thing about this show is that there is always something going on. When a center stage act in not happening, cast members are wandering around having fun with the crowd. Star Christine liked and felt of Mike’s hair, and another actor repeatedly stated he liked my mustache. You are totally immersed in your experience at A Night Like This.

No photography once the show starts, so we had our group photo taken by the in house photographer

Sher and I have been to many places, events and entertainment venues during our years on the road. We both feel that our night at Teatro ZinZanni Seattle was the best and most unique of any we have experienced. We would strongly suggest that you also attend a performance.

 

 

Little Shop of Horrors is at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre

Prepare yourself, Indianapolis, for the off-beat, dark musical comedy that is Little Shop  of Horrors! The show’s premier was in May of 1982. The Off-Broadway run was a great success, and during that run a star studded film was also produced.

Picture a skid row flower shop struggling to stay in business. Assistant Seymour Krelborn comes into possession of a strange plant. Named Audrey II after the girl of his dreams, Seymour discovers that the strange plant talks, sings R&B, promises fame and fortune, and needs human blood to survive and grow. Starting  in a flower pot, the blood thirsty creature soon is a monstrous size.

Seymour Krelborn (Joey Boos), center, introduces Mr. Mushnik (Douglas E. Stark) and Audrey (Jenny Reber) to his strange and unidentified plant

Mayhem breaks out as Seymour tries his best to keep feeding Audrey II the human blood that the creature demands. “Feed Me!” becomes the mantra for the monster, and the terror for Seymour! Side story lines keep the show rolling along as Seymour keeps loving Audrey, who is stuck in a violent relationship with dentist Orin Scrivello. How does Seymour keep Audrey II alive and well? Let’s say that people start to disappear. Laced throughout the show are some wonderful songs and dance routines.

The B&B production is filled with stage favorites. Joey Boos returns to the Beef & Boards stage in the role of Seymour. Also returning are Jenny Reber as Audrey,  and Logan Moore  as Orin Scrivello, DDS. Douglas E. Stark plays the role of Mr. Mushnik, the hapless owner of the skid row flower shop where Audrey II lives. It is interesting to note that the voice of Audrey II comes from Josiah R McCruiston and Josh Maldonado is the talented puppeteer of the creature. You never see either on stage!

Seymour (Joey Boos) is horrified by the demands of Audrey II

 

It is easy to see why Little Shop of Horrors has a nearly cult status.  The sci-fi hit about a carnivorous plant with world domination on its mind is just too much fun. Rated PG-13, the production does present some violence and graphic references and a touch of sexual innuendo.

Little Shop of Horrors is rated PG-13 and is on stage through Nov. 17. Tickets  include Chef Odell Ward’s dinner buffet, fruit & salad bar, unlimited coffee, tea, and lemonade. For reservations, call the box office at 317.872.9664 anytime between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays. For complete show schedule, visit the Beef & Boards website here.

Award winning Hairspray on stage at Beef & Boards

The turbulent 60’s come to life on stage at Indy’s beloved Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre with the presentation of the Broadway musical Hairspray. This Tony Award winning show lights up the B&B stage with a large and very talented cast telling the story of a Baltimore teen who gets a spot on the local TV dance show.

Tracy Turnblad (Adee David) falls for teen idol Link Larkin (Nate Willey) and wants to racially integrate the Corny Collins Show. Standing in her way is the spiteful and prejudiced Amber Von Tussle (Sarah Daniels) who is using Link as her way to fame. The plot thickens and results in jail time after a protest against the segregation policy of the TV show.

The drama aside, the highlight of the production of course is the toe-tapping songs including “Good Morning Baltimore,” “Big, Blonde and Beautiful,” “You Can’t Stop The Beat” and “Welcome to the ‘60s.” Motormouth Maybelle (Tarra Conner Jones) brings down the house with her powerful and poignant version of “I Know Where I’ve Been.” Amber Von Tussle (Sarah Daniels) directs a humorous “Cooties”  at rival Tracy.

A highlight for me was the dance and song duet by Wilbur Turnblad (Eddie Curry) and Edna Turnblad (Daniel Klingler). Their rendition of “You’re Timeless To Me” was one of the funniest and most cleverly choreographed numbers I have seen in a long time. Eddie Curry, by the way, is also the Director of the show.

Every song will have you smiling. The characters will have you rooting for them or loving to hate! The B&B orchestra once again will amaze you with the quality and depth of music it produces. The sets and lighting seamlessly support the production. The costumes are fabulous. Have you figured it out yet? Do not miss Hairspray.

Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s production of Hairspray is now on stage through Oct. 6. Tickets include the dinner buffet and are available by calling the box office at 317.872.9664. For more information, including show schedule, visit the Beef & Boards website.

 

Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story rocks Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre

Everyone received a pair of Holly’s signature glasses in their program. Group photos followed

Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story received a standing ovation after last night’s show. Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre audiences rarely give a standing ovation.  I could stop my review right now. However the show is so great that I want to share more details. This musical is filled with over 20 of Buddy Holly’s greatest hits as well as other numbers from Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper. The show tells the true story of Holly’s phenomenal rise to fame after his first hit “That’ll Be The Day” hit radio in 1957.

Holly is played by Kyle Jurassic, making his debut at Indy’s immensely popular dinner theater venue. Jurassic is no stranger to this role as he has held the title role prior to this production. He has devoted much time to learning about what kind of man Holly was, and this ads a flavor of authenticity to his portrayal of the man with the glasses.

Among  Holly’s greatest hits featured were  “That’ll Be The Day,” “Peggy Sue,” “Everyday,” “Oh Boy,” “Not Fade Away,” “Rave On,” and “Raining In My Heart”.  In addition  Ritchie Valens’ signature song “La Bamba” and the Big Bopper’s trademark song “Chantilly Lace” are also included in the show.

Chuck Caruso plays the Big Bopper and Edward LaCardo is Richie Valens. Both do a great job portraying the characteristics of these iconic performers. Josh McLemore is outstanding as drummer Joe Maudlin. James Daley shows you things you never thought were possible when playing the bass as Jerry Allison. Beef and Boards favorite Sarah Hund shows off not only her voice but her fiddle playing as well. All supporting actors and musicians add to the incredible talent offered to the audience in the show.

Kyle Jurassic plays the iconic title role in Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s production of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story Photo courtesy B&B Media

Of special note is the immensely powerful voice of Tara Conner Jones as Mama Pearl, lead signer at the Apollo Theater in New York. Her electrifying version of “Shout” brings the house down.

There is of course a touch of grief as you know what happens. Holly, the Big Bopper, Richie Valens and pilot Roger Peterson were killed  in a tragic plane crash shortly after the Iowa concert. The news is given on stage with gravity and sadness. However, more music follows leading to a grand grand finale.

Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story is on stage at B&B through August 18th. For tickets, which include the dinner buffet, call the box office at 317.872.9664. For show details, including performance schedule, visit Beef & Boards website here.