Cole Porter, Box Office boss, rethinking Broadway, livestreams and more
Welcome back to Interlude, a weekly tip sheet for enriching one’s life through the arts.
Meet the boss of the Box Office
The Center’s Box Office professionals are officially known as the “Patron Services” team, because that’s what they do. They are creative problem solvers who know their customers’ tastes and help them dial in the best possible concert experience for their budget – with a smile. The guy who runs that operation is longtime staffer Brian Seitz, Director of Patron Services and Organizational Core Values, and he says the key to keeping patrons satisfied is finding the right people for the job.
“Superior service largely comes from careful hiring,” Seitz says, “bringing in team members who fit our culture and what we’re trying to accomplish.”
Bloomington-based performers Lara Lynn Weaver and Kevin MacDowell are known for their children’s concerts and their salutes to hometown hero Hoagy Carmichael. For our next Luminaries presentation, however, they have set their musical sites on another Indiana legend: Cole Porter, the man behind such indelible tunes as “Night and Day,” “Love for Sale” and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.”
10:30 a.m. Saturday – For the kids, Faegre Drinker Peanut Butter & Jam offers classic piano-based rock ’n’ roll from Martinie’s Boogie Three.
Saturday-Sunday – Central Indiana Dance Ensemble presents four performances of a family favorite, The Wizard of Oz.
6:30 p.m. Sunday – Indiana Wind Symphony closes out its season with an eclectic program titled Moonlight Fantasy.
Last weekend was busy, too
In case you missed it, Artistic Director Michael Feinstein and his special guest Melissa Manchester delivered two powerhouse shows Saturday for crowds at the Palladium and hundreds who watched the evening livestream from across the nation and as far as the U.K., Japan and Australia. At the 8 p.m. show, Feinstein surprised his longtime friend with the Great American Songbook Hall of Fame award, foreshadowing the official induction festivities in September. Read more in Broadway World.
On Sunday, Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard was on hand to cut the ribbon for the newly renovated Founders Club hospitality space at the Palladium. The reception also honored local business leader and longtime Center supporter Rollie Dick and his wife, Cheri, who made the renovation possible. See more photos in Current.
Conference recap: Rethinking Broadway’s Golden Age
Last week the Great American Songbook Foundation hosted the fourth biennial StageStruck! Conference, a virtual, international gathering that re-examined Broadway’s Golden Age through a modern prism.
The highlights included three panel discussions, which you can watch at the links below, featuring leading actors and scholars in the field:
A Book Launch Panel with authors Shana Redmond, Julianne Lindberg, Megan Woller, Ellen Peck, Tim Carter and Dominic McHugh discussing their latest works. Fun fact: McHugh, the British musicologist who curated the conference, conducted research in the Songbook Library & Archives for his new book, The Big Parade: Meredith Willson’s Musicals from The Music Man to 1491.
This week in performing arts history
May 16: On this date in 1987, The Mystery of Edwin Drood closed at Broadway’s Imperial Theater after 608 performances. Written by Rupert Holmes from an unfinished novel by Charles Dickens, it was the first Broadway musical with multiple endings and an outcome determined by audience vote. The Center’s resident Actors Theatre of Indiana staged the five Tony Award winner in April-May 2018 in the Studio Theater.
May 18: On this date in 1902, composer, bandleader and broadcaster Meredith Willson, best known as creator of The Music Man, was born in Mason City, Iowa. The Meredith Willson Collection in the Great American Songbook Library & Archives includes early drafts of the blockbuster musical as well as scrapbooks, journals, scripts, correspondence with presidents, photos, recordings, film and video.
May 21: On this date in 1955, Chuck Berry recorded “Maybellene” at Universal Recording Studios in Chicago. Adapted in part from the Western swing fiddle tune “Ida Red,” it is considered one of the first definitive rock ’n’ roll songs. The track became Berry's debut single in July, hitting No. 1 on Billboard’s Rhythm and Blues chart and No. 5 on the Hot 100.