Archive for September, 2011

25th Heartland Apple Festival in Danville, Oct. 1-2 and 8-9

September 26, 2011 Leave a comment
The pumpkin patch at Beasley's Orchard in Danville.

The pumpkin patch at Beasley's Orchard in Danville. Photo provided by Hendricks County Tourism and used with written permission.

By Jamie Bohler Smith
Hendricks County Tourism

Danville, Indiana, Sept. 22, 2011. — As the fall season approaches, many people get that anticipation and excitement for all the fun-filled days ahead. At Beasley’s Orchard, autumn’s arrival brings award-winning apple cider, hand-dipped caramel apples, hayrides to find the best pumpkins in the patch and more memorable experiences as the 25th Annual Heartland Apple Festival takes over the orchard.

This year’s event will be held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 1-2 and 8-9 at Beasley’s Orchard, 2304 E. Main St., Danville. The festival offers live musical entertainment, an arts & crafts marketplace, fun activities for the kids, hayrides to the pumpkin patch, a 6-acre Corn Maze and a wide array of delicious food.

The Kid’s Activity Zone, featuring “Sugar Buzz”, will offer fun games and activities for toddler to school-age children. New this year, steer-roping and cow-milking contests, pony hop, corn crib, hay mountain and a host of other games will entertain young guests. The talented face painters and Ken’s Balloon Magic return, and Adzook’s Puppets, located next to the main stage, will offer classic and humorous puppet shows for the entire family. Tractor-driven hayrides also will run continuously each day offering visitors a tour of the farm on the way to the 12-acre pumpkin patch.

The main stage will feature live music daily. The first weekend, the band Area Code 812 will perform their acoustic bluegrass, folk and country tunes. The second weekend, Acoustic Catfish will present their current folk and blues sound.

This year’s exciting and challenging new Corn Maze themed, “Get Lost in a Book,” was designed to encourage reading throughout one’s lifetime. The maze is navigated through a series of questions on a passport. If a question is answered correctly, you will be led in the right direction. However, if you answer a question incorrectly, you will be led in the wrong (slightly longer) direction. The maze is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Friday and Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. each Sunday now through Oct. 30.

A wide array of high quality arts and crafts will be found in the outdoor marketplace, from hair bows, purses and wreaths to hand-carved wooden masterpieces and other gifts. Some of the food options will include St. Augustine’s rib eyes and apple dumplings, the Hendricks County Pork Producer’s pork burgers, Boy Scout Troop 302’s fried biscuits and homemade apple butter made fresh using Beasley’s apples, kettle corn and Hot Diggity Dog’s gourmet hot dogs and delicious sandwiches.

Parking is $5 per vehicle throughout the event. For more information about the festival or Corn Maze, visit or call (317) 745-4876. For the latest farm updates and great deals, become a fan on Facebook at

The Hendricks County Tourism Commission d/b/a the Hendricks County Convention and Visitors Bureau attracts visitors to the county by promoting and developing tourism, which stimulates economic growth and enhances quality of life.   Find us on Facebook by searching Hendricks County Convention and Visitors Bureau and become a fan for updates and reminders, contest info and much more. You can also follow us on Twitter @FastTracktoFun. For more information, visit our website at or call 317-718-8750.

“Working…a musical” at Theatre on the Square opens Sept. 30

September 26, 2011 Leave a comment
Working...a musical at Theatre on the Square

Working...a musical at Theatre on the Square. Image provided by the theatre and used with written permission.

By Ron Spencer
Theatre on the Square

Working…a musical is uniquely appealing to a mid-American,  grass roots audience of craftsmen and workers. The hopes, dreams, joys and concerns of the average working American are the focus of this unique, extraordinary musical. That the everyday lives of common men and women should be so compelling and moving will surprise and inspire anyone who has ever punched a time clock. Based on Studs Terkel’s best-selling book of interviews with American workers, Working paints a vivid portrait of the men and women the world so often takes for granted: the schoolteacher, the UPS delivery man, the waitress, the millworker, the mason, the trucker, the fireman, the housewife, just to name a few. These workers’ words and dreams live on in an economic climate that, at least as far as ordinary workers are concerned, has plenty in common with the late 1970s. Or so this show makes you think.  It’s a highly original look at the American landscape that’s simply impossible to forget.

With a book by Stephen Schwartz, the composer of such mega-hits as Godspell, Pippin and Wicked, and Nina Faso, the compelling score for Working is by Schwartz, James Taylor, Craig Carnelia, Mary Rogers and Susan Birkenwood. Two new songs are by Lin Manuel Miranda Tony Award-winning composer of In The Heights. The ever-changing landscape of the American workforce dictated the necessity to honor the Hispanic-American work experience. In one song  Miranda celebrates his first job in New York as a McDonald’s counter man / delivery boy (Yes! In New York McDonalds delivers!) and the other is a hauntingly beautiful duet about caretakers doing the work that family members do not want to do. The original cast of 17 has been reduced to six actors who play multiple roles assisted by a stage manager and  tech crew which gives you the sense of the workings of theatre. Recent  revivals at California’s Old Globe  Theatre and an even newer revision at The Broadway Playhouse in Chicago garnered rave reviews and were held over  for extended runs in both cities.

Theatre on the Square will be the first production outside of Chicago and San Diego. Directed and choreographed by Ron Spencer, TOTS’ Executive Artistic Director, the show features all new-comers to the theatre; Kila Adams, Keith Beatty, Jeanne Chandler, Holly Hathaway, Collin Poynter and Rex Wolfley. Musical and vocal direction are by Roger Smith, who also doubles as keyboard and conductor.

The show plays on TOTS’ Mainstage from Friday, September 30 through Saturday, October 29, 2011. Tickets are $25  for adults and $20 for seniors 62 and over, full-time students and active duty military personnel. Season Flexpasses are now on sale and offer 11 shows for the price of 8 at $200.00 per Flexpass. Tickets and information are available at the Box Office 317-685-8687 or online at

Things to do in Indianapolis, Sept. 26 to Oct. 2, 2011

September 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Review: “Dracula” at the Repertory Theatre

September 24, 2011 Leave a comment
Indiana Repertory Theatre

Indiana Repertory Theatre. staff photo.

By Elizabeth J. Musgrave
Syndicated Columnist

IRT opens its 2011-12 season with a bite…a huge bite. The highly anticipated “Dracula opened to a full house of vampire enthusiasts, IRT devotees, and fans of the playwright. The play is penned by Stephen Dietz who raced into our consciousness last season with his delightful “Becky’s New Car” which brought its own rave reviews.

Not a light-hearted version of Bram Stoker’s novel; this performance includes the necessary, raw sexual undertones woven throughout, while bringing forth the strong Gothic vibes. To keep the darkest core of Dracula, portrayed intensely by Wade McCollom, a shade lighter, enter the supporting role of Reinfeld, played by Dieterich Gray.’

Reinfeld’s role of insane asylum inmate brings forth the darkest of fears and mood-lightening barbs in ping-pong fashion, keeping the audience from slipping too far into the depths of Stoker’s world of vampires.

Tom McElroy portrays Van Helsing bringing scientific theories to the circle, keeping logic at forefront, while acknowledging the need to address superstitions.

Dietz stays true to Victorian beliefs, medical abilities and societal allowances of the time period while introducing the blackest underbelly in stark contrast to the “don’t ask, don’t tell” attitude of the day.

With the minimalist stage, scenic designer Robert Mark Morgan allows no one to escape the dark realities or the scientific mood. Director Peter Amster permits sensual desires to permeate the theater, saturating theatergoers with the pulsating need of the Count of Transylvania: blood.

Bottom Line: IRT’s “Dracula” sets the standard for all other theaters to reach this season.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as Indy’s Arts & Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC, and follow her on Twitter @GottaGo and Facebook. Read more on her very popular blog at

Categories: reviews, theatres

Midwest National Abstract Art Exhibition, Oct. 1 to Nov. 13

September 23, 2011 2 comments
Abstract Art Exhibition at Garfield Park Arts Center

Abstract Art Exhibition at Garfield Park Arts Center, Oct. 1 to Nov. 13.