Archive for May 20, 2013

Clowes Memorial Hall 50th Anniversary Season, 2013-2014

Clowes Memorial Hall

Clowes Memorial Hall on the campus of Butler University.

By Marc Allan
Butler University

INDIANAPOLIS – During the 2013-2014 season, Clowes Memorial Hall of Butler University will celebrate 50 years of presenting culturally diverse programing for the citizens of Indiana. The 50th Anniversary Celebration Week festivities in October will include performances by Whoopi Goldberg, Colbie Caillat & Kenny Loggins, and Disney’s Pixar in Concert with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. The celebration week, Oct. 19-27, 2013, will also include Butler Ballet performance of an original piece by Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, Mark O’Connor with Butler School of Music ensembles, and a WFYI documentary chronicling the 50-year history of Clowes Memorial Hall.

A special art exhibit, Clowes 50th Art Mosaic, will hang on the entire south wall of the Main Lobby during the 2013-2014 season. The four-story, 50-piece collaborative artwork will include contributions from more than 30 Hoosier artists of all ages. The exhibit can be viewed Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., beginning in October.

Season highlights for 2013-2014 includes a one-man show with noted actor John Lithgow, the world premiere of a Béla Fleck composition commissioned for the Clowes Memorial Hall’s 50th anniversary, international acts The Johnny Clegg Band and Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the return of Blue Man Group, The Onion Live, Tarantino in Concert, the Stephen King/John Mellencamp/T-Bone Burnett musical “Ghost Brothers of Darkland County,” and the continuation of Intergalatic Nemesis, the epic story that began last season.

The Clowes Memorial Hall 2013-2014 season will also include a special performance of Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with the Marsalis Family featuring Ellis, Branford, Wynton, Delfeayo, and Jason Marsalis.

The full lineup for the Clowes Presents series includes: Buena Vista Social Club (Sept. 27), John Lithgow in “Stories by Heart” (Nov. 9), Béla Fleck and Brooklyn Rider (Nov. 15), Martha Graham Dance Company (Feb. 7, 2014), Danú (March 1), The Johnny Clegg Band and Ladysmith Black Mambazo (March 14), Motionhouse (March 28), and Blue Man Group (April 11-13).

Clowes Off Center will be in its third season of presenting unique, edgy, or out of the norm comedy, theatrical, and musical presentations. The 2013-2014 lineup includes: The Onion Live (Oct. 11), Ghost Brothers of Darkland County (Oct. 18), Intergalactic Nemesis Book I and Book II (Jan. 25, 2014), and Tarantino in Concert (Feb. 15).

Clowes 4 Kids, sponsored by PNC, will feature educational entertainment geared towards families and pre-K-2 children. Performances include Junie B. Jones on Nov. 18, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favorites on Jan. 28 and 29, 2014, Charlotte’s Web on Feb. 20, Five Little Monkeys on April 8, and Seussical on April 9, 2014.

Tickets for all events (with the exception of Clowes 4 Kids) will go on sale June 24 at 10 a.m. Subscription discounts and package prices will be available for all performances.

Clowes is located at 4602 Sunset Ave. in Indianapolis on the campus of Butler University.

Clowes Memorial Hall gratefully acknowledges the generous support of  The Ackerman Foundation, Concentrics Research, The Lacy Foundation, LDI Ltd, Cassidy Turley, Georgia Direct Inc., Jet Linx, Lauth, PNC Financial Services Inc., Ticketmaster, the Arts Council of Indianapolis, the City of Indianapolis, the Indiana Arts Commission (a State Agency), Arts Midwest, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a Federal Agency).


Gallery Opening of the 50th Mosaic – Sunday, Oct. 20

Afternoon tea hosted by the Clowes Hall Women’s Committee, the auxiliary that has been part of the Clowes family from the beginning. This invitation-only event will be the official opening of the Clowes 50th Art mosaic, a four-story high collaborative artwork to hang on the entire south wall of the Main Lobby for the 2013-2014 artistic season. This work will include contributions from 50 Hoosier artists of all ages.

Public Open House at 4 p.m. – Sunday, Oct. 20

Clowes will open its doors to the public for an open house that includes backstage tours of the facility.

50th Documentary Showing – Monday, Oct. 21, at 7:30 p.m.

WFYI will broadcast a documentary chronicling Clowes’ 50 years.

Mark O’Connor with Butler School of Music Ensembles

Butler Ballet performance of an original piece by Gustavo Ramirez Sansano – Thursday, Oct. 24, at 7:30 p.m. (free event)

Clowes will bring back two artists who have been part of the Clowes Presents series to illustrate how Clowes has brought in professional artists to work with the students of Jordan College for the Arts to expand their academic career beyond the classroom.

A product of America’s rich aural folk tradition as well as classical music, Mark O’Connor began his creative journey at the feet of a pair of musical giants. The first was the folk fiddler and innovator who created the modern era of American fiddling, Benny Thomasson; the second, French jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli, considered one of the greatest improvisers in the history of the violin. Along the way, between these marvelous musical extremes, O’Connor absorbed knowledge and influence from the multitude of musical styles and genres he studied. Now, at age 49, he has melded and shaped these influences into a new American Classical music, and a vision of an entirely American school of string playing. As The Los Angeles Times recently noted, he has “crossed over so many boundaries, that his style is purely personal.” O’Connor will perform with the Butler Symphonic Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble and the Butler Jazz Ensemble for this performance.

In addition, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano (former artistic director of Luna Negra Dance Theater) has choreographed a new work to be premiered by Butler Ballet in honor of the 50th anniversary of Clowes Hall. Gustavo Sansano was appointed artistic director of Luna Negra Dance Theatre in 2009 after directing TITOYAYA Dance Project in Valencia, Spain, for four years. Sansano has been the recipient of numerous awards for his choreography, including first prizes at the Richard Moragas competition in Barcelona, the Dom Perignon choreographic competition in Hamburg, and at Las Artes Escenicas de la Comunida Valenciana. His work has been featured at Les Etoiles de Ballet in Cannes, and the IX International Festival of Ballet in Miami. He has been commissioned to create works for Compania Nacional de Danza, the Hamburg Ballet, Budapest Dance Theatre, Ballet Junior de Genève, and Netherlands Dans Theatre II, among others. As a dancer, Sansano performed works by Jacopo Godani, Hans Van Manen, Jiri Kylian, Ohad Naharin, Johan Inger, Paul Lightfoot, Victor Ullate, and many more, working for the Ballet Joven de Alicante, Ballet Contemporaneo de Barcelona, Ballet de la Communidad de Madrid, Netherlands Dans Theatre II and Hubbard Street Dance of Chicago.

Colbie Caillat and Kenny Loggins – Friday, Oct. 25, at 8 p.m.

One of the brightest new artists in recent years, Colbie Caillat’s musical breakthrough came through the use of the social networking site MySpace. Caillat’s songwriting talent is in her ability to observe and capture significant personal moments, such as first love or passage into adulthood. Her debut album, “CoCo,” reached No. 5 on the Billboard’s Top 200 albums chart and remained in the top 20 of the chart more than half a year after its release. The single “Bubbly” spent 14 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Adult Top 40 chart and four weeks atop the Adult Contemporary chart. Caillat easily connects with listeners through her dusky voice and peaceful, easy music.

Singer-songwriter Kenny Loggins has enjoyed more than four decades of musical success.  Although proficient as a performer, Loggins made the most impact on the industry through his songwriting. Twelve of his albums have gone platinum and beyond, and he is a two-time Grammy winner. Loggins’ career began in the 1970s, when he partnered with Jim Messina. Together they had such hits as “Angry Eyes,” “Danny’s Song,” “House at Pooh Corner,” and “Your Mama Don’t Dance.” In the ’80s, Loggins became known as the “King of the Movie Soundtrack” scoring top 10 hits with “I’m Alright” (Caddyshack), “Footloose” (Footloose), “Danger Zone” (Top Gun), and “Nobody’s Fool” (Caddyshack II). Loggins continues to perform as a member of the country trio Blue Sky Riders.

Whoopi Goldberg – Saturday, Oct. 26, at 8 p.m.

Whoopi Goldberg is widely known as one of the most incredible women in the entertainment industry. This Academy Award-winning actress (Ghost), acclaimed talk show host (The View), activist, and author is one of the most versatile and beloved entertainers in America. With her trademark dreadlocks, wide, impish grin, and piercing humor, Goldberg is best known for her adept portrayals in both comedic and dramatic roles, as well as her groundbreaking work in the Hollywood film industry as an African-American woman. She is one of only five entertainers to win an Oscar, Tony, Grammy, and Emmy.

Disney’s Pixar in Concert with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra – Sunday, Oct. 27, at 2 p.m.

For the first time ever, all ages can relive the joy of Pixar’s most beloved characters, from the Toy Story trilogy, Cars, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, WALL•E, Up, Brave, and more, with visually stunning film clips and their memorable scores performed live by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Erik Ochsner.


Buena Vista Social Club – Sept. 27 at 8 p.m.

Buena Vista Social Club released its only studio album, produced by Ry Cooder, in 1997 and achieved instant success. The album, featuring a specially assembled group of veteran Cuban musicians, was further propelled by Wim Wenders’ acclaimed film and later by a series of international tours and albums by many of the featured musicians. Buena Vista Social Club became a phenomenon. Joining this expanded lineup of Cuban players is vocalist Omara Portuondo, a member of the original Buena Vista Social Club, whose 2008 recording Gracias (World Village/Montuno) won a Latin Grammy and scored a Grammy nomination. Portuondo has been singing and performing since she was a teenager in Cuba in the 1940s, but as The New York Times’ review of Gracias noted, the years have done nothing to mitigate her vocal prowess: “Her voice is rich, shapely, dynamic and still sultry.” The Los Angeles Times described her voice as “formidably potent and emotionally limber instrument,” noting that “her 100-minute set in San Francisco showed that she‘s an even bigger talent onstage.”

John Lithgow in “Stories by Heart” – Nov. 9 at 8 p.m.

In John Lithgow’s one-man theatrical memoir, “Stories By Heart,” audiences will be captivated as this award-winning actor invokes stories from his own memories and intertwines them with stories from his childhood, including P. G. Wodehouse’s “Uncle Fred Flits By” and Ring Lardner’s “Haircut.” This evening will be about the power of storytelling, and the magic of theatre, as told by one of our greatest actors.

Béla Fleck and Brooklyn Rider – Nov. 15 at 8 p.m.

Béla Fleck returns to Clowes for the world premiere of a piece specially commissioned for the 50th anniversary of Clowes Hall. Fleck, famously named for Béla Bartók, Anton Webern and Leos Janácek, is stretching the boundaries of classical music. Having worked in bluegrass, country, jazz, and world music, Fleck released Perpetual Motion in 2001, a classical recording that featured Edgar Meyer, Joshua Bell, Chris Thile, and Evelyn Glennie, among others. It went on to win two Grammys. Fleck now brings a brand new work, “Banjo Quintet,” performed with Brooklyn Rider.

Martha Graham Dance Company –Feb. 7, 2014, at 8 p.m.

The Martha Graham Dance Company has been a leader in the development of contemporary dance since its founding in 1926. Informed by the expansive vision of pioneering choreographer Martha Graham, the company brings to life a timeless and uniquely American style of dance that has influenced generations of artists and continues to captivate audiences. Graham and her company have expanded contemporary dance’s vocabulary of movement and forever altered the scope of the art form by rooting works in contemporary social, political, psychological, and sexual contexts, deepening their impact and resonance.

Always a fertile ground for experimentation, Martha Graham Dance Company has been an unparalleled resource in nurturing many of the leading choreographers and dancers of the 20th and 21st centuries, including Merce Cunningham, Erick Hawkins, Pearl Lang, Pascal Rioult, and Paul Taylor. Graham’s repertoire of 181 works has also engaged noted performers such as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Claire Bloom, Margot Fonteyn, Liza Minnelli, Rudolf Nureyev, Maya Plisetskaya, and Kathleen Turner. Her groundbreaking techniques and unmistakable style have earned the company acclaim from audiences in more than 50 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. The Martha Graham Dance Company will be in residency at Clowes for one week, with many additional activities for the public being planned.

Danú –March 1 at 8 p.m.

A high-energy celebration of the Emerald Isle, the music of Danú offers an authentic Irish experience. Using traditional instruments—flute, tin whistle, fiddle, button accordion, and bouzouki—the music is clever and fun. Danú mixes ancient Irish music with contemporary works to create an unforgettable evening. Danú has won the BBC Award twice and the Irish Music Magazine Award. In the United States, Danú has performed coast to coast, including performances in Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, and Washington.

The Johnny Clegg Band and Ladysmith Black Mambazo –March 14 at 8 p.m.

Johnny Clegg, a singer, songwriter, dancer, anthropologist, and musical activist, is one of South Africa’s most celebrated musicians. His crossover music, a vibrant blend of western pop and African Zulu rhythms, has exploded onto the international scene and broken barriers in his own country. In more than three decades, Johnny Clegg has sold more than 5 million albums worldwide. He has wowed vast audiences with his audacious live shows and won a number of national and international awards for his music and for his outspoken views on apartheid, his perspectives on migrant workers in South Africa, and the general situation in the world today.

For more than 40 years, the voices of Ladysmith Black Mambazo have married the intricate rhythms and harmonies of their native South African musical traditions to the sounds and sentiments of Christian gospel music. The result is a musical and spiritual alchemy that has touched a worldwide audience representing every corner of the religious, cultural, and ethnic landscape. Since its start in the 1960s, Ladysmith Black Mambazo has been invited to perform at many special occasions. By special invitation from South African President Nelson Mandela, the group performed for the Queen of England and the Royal Family at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The group has also performed at two Nobel Peace Prize ceremonies, a concert for Pope John Paul II in Rome, and the 1996 Summer Olympics.

Motionhouse –March 28 at 8 p.m.

Under the collaborative direction of Kevin Finnan and Louise Richards since 1988, Motionhouse creates and delivers an extraordinary range of dance performances, acclaimed for striking use of imagery, theatricality, and immediate impact. Since the company’s launch, it has toured 18 full-length productions to middle-scale theatres, built up a formidable educational program for schools and colleges, trained dozens of dancers, pushed contemporary dance into the aerial arena by combining choreography with sling and bungee skills, and developed large-scale, site-specific dance spectacles with increasing ambition. Motionhouse has also seen great success for its shorter festival pieces, which tour extensively throughout the UK and Europe. Motionhouse won the Audience Prize at the MiramirO Festival in Ghent in 2009 for Underground, which remains in its repertoire and is performed alongside newer shows Chaser and Cascade.

Blue Man Group – April 11-13 (times vary)

Escape the ordinary and surround yourself in an explosion of comedy, music, and technology. The New York Times heralds the show as “one of the most delightful performance pieces ever staged.” E! Entertainment News exclaims, “Blue Man Group is what every live performance aspires to be.” The Baltimore Sun raves, “Blue Man Group packs a wallop. It’s a big, loud, funny, silly, visually arresting production!” Although it is impossible to describe, people of all ages agree that Blue Man Group is an intensely exiting and wildly outrageous show that leaves the entire audience in a blissful, euphoric state. With no spoken language, Blue Man Group is perfect for people of all ages, languages, and cultures.


The Onion Live – Oct. 11 at 8 p.m.

The Onion is an American news satire organization. It is an entertainment newspaper and a website featuring satirical articles reporting on international, national, and local news, in addition to a non-satirical entertainment section known as The A.V. Club. It claims a national print circulation of 400,000 and says 90 percent of its website readers are between 18 and 44 years old. Since 2007, the organization has been publishing satirical news audios and videos online as the “Onion News Network.” Web traffic on amounts to some 7.5 million unique visitors per month. The Onion’s articles comment on current events, both real and fictional. It parodies such traditional newspaper features as editorials, man-on-the-street interviews, and stock quotes on a traditional newspaper layout with an AP-style editorial voice. Much of its humor depends on presenting everyday events as newsworthy and by playing on commonly used phrases, as in the headline “Drugs Win Drug War.”

Ghost Brothers of Darkland County – Oct. 18 at 8 p.m.

Stephen King, John Mellencamp, and T-Bone Burnett join forces on a brand new musical. In the tiny town of Lake Belle Reve, Miss., in 1967, a terrible tragedy took the lives of two brothers and a beautiful young girl. During the next 40 years, the events of that night became the stuff of local legend. But legend is often just another word for lie. Joe McCandless knows what really happened; he saw it all. The question is whether he can bring himself to tell the truth in time to save his own troubled sons, and whether the ghosts left behind by an act of violence will help him—or tear the McCandless family apart.

Intergalactic Nemesis Book I and Book II – Jan. 25, 2014, at 8 p.m.

Clowes welcomes the return of Intergalactic Nemesis, this time to continue the epic story with the sequel. A one-of-a-kind theatrical experience that mashes radio drama with comic-books, three actors, dozens of characters, hundreds of sound effects, thousands of notes, and more than 1,250 full-color, high-resolution, blow-your-mind images blasting from a two-story-high screen. Inspired by Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars, and the pulp serials of the 1930s, The Intergalactic Nemesis is a spectacle unlike any other, and it’s for the kid in everyone.

Tarantino in Concert – Feb.15 at 8 p.m.

Bridging the worlds of film and music, Hollywood’s critically acclaimed live concert experience “For the Record” is a unique fusion of music, theater, and film that brings motion pictures to life in a concert setting. “Tarantino in Concert” is high-octane ride of songs and scenes from the films of Quentin Tarantino: Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, Jackie Brown, Death Proof, and Inglourious Basterds. The star-studded ensemble cast from stage, record and screen is led by Death Proof star Tracie Thoms (Cold Case, Rent, The Devil Wears Prada). Direct from LA, this critically acclaimed live concert experience has all the hit songs from QT films, including “Son of a Preacher Man,” “Magic Carpet Ride,” “Bang Bang,” “Hooked On A Feeling,” and many more.


Junie B. Jones, Monday, Nov. 18

Hurrah! Hurrah! Junie B. Jones has finally graduated from kindergarten and is ready for first grade—at last! Armed with her top-secret personal beeswax journal, Junie struggles to adjust to a whole new group of friends, a new teacher, and new glasses—yikes! This is challenging, even for the irrepressible Junie B. Back by popular demand, this musical adaptation follows Junie B. through rollicking adventures based on four books by Barbara Park: Top-Secret Personal Beeswax: A Journal by Junie B. (And Me!); Junie B., First Grader (At Last!); Junie B., Boss of Lunch; and Junie B, One Man Band.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favorites, Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 28-29, 2014

Back by popular demand, the Eric Carle stories return to Clowes Hall in this beloved production. Join The Very Hungry Caterpillar on a transformational journey as he changes into a beautiful butterfly, Little Cloud as it changes shapes to depict the things it sees below, and The Mixed-Up Chameleon as he learns the importance of being true to oneself. This extraordinary puppet adaptation features black-light technology to capture the charm and visual style of three favorite books by Carle.

Charlotte’s Web, Thursday, Feb. 20

Wilbur is a pig with a problem! Unless he gets some help, he is sure to wind up as pork chops on someone’s dinner table! Thank goodness for his true friend Charlotte, a little gray spider, who devises a solution that just might save him. Enjoy this dramatic adaptation of the treasured tale by E. B. White that features a cast of madcap farm animals that exemplify bravery, selfless love, and the true meaning of friendship. A sure bet to capture the hearts and imaginations of children!

Five Little Monkeys, Tuesday, April 8

In this zany play, all in cumulative verse, five silly simian siblings insist on doing things their own way and—heedless of admonitions—much more monkey mayhem ensues. Five Little Monkeys, based on the children’s book series by Eileen Christelow, features wonderful costumes and amazing acting as each of the monkeys displays his or her own style while driving Mama Monkey crazy.

Seussical, Wednesday, April 9

“Oh, the thinks you can think” when Dr. Seuss’s best-loved characters and stories collide in an unforgettable musical caper! The Cat in the Hat is the host and emcee in this romp through the Seuss classics. The noble Horton the elephant, the one-feathered bird Gertrude McFuzz, and the antics of The Cat in the Hat steal the spotlight as their stories meet in an incredible crazy-quilt adventure in which the power of imagination and the most miraculous “think” ever save the day! Based on the hit Broadway production, this musical is especially adapted to captivate young audiences.


Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with the Marsalis Family – March 29, 2014, at 8 p.m.

Hailed as “an extraordinarily versatile orchestra” by The Los Angeles Times, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra is composed of 15 of jazz music’s leading soloists under the leadership of musical director Wynton Marsalis. Drawing from an extensive repertoire that includes original compositions by Marsalis, Ted Nash, and other members of the orchestra, as well as the masterworks of Ellington, Mingus, Coltrane, and other great jazz composers, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis concerts are internationally critically acclaimed. “The finest big band in the world today,” said the Daily Telegraph, UK.

This historic event features the entire Marsalis family—Ellis Jr. and sons Branford, Wynton, Delfeayo, and Jason—whose story is both inspiring and significant in jazz history. The Marsalis family, together and individually, has made significant contributions to the preservation of jazz, the expansion of the art form, and the education of students of jazz.

For more information, visit, or call 317-940-6444.