570 articles found by Michael Summers
Date Story
2018-09-23 Rock n’ roll stories from Fort Wayne’s past
Big names. Big events. Brushes with fame. “We knew them when…” When it comes to rock n’ roll stories, Fort Wayne has had its share of them over the years…
2018-08-18 The “Best” of the Old School Pics (3)
Over the years, the “Old School Pic” has probably been the most consistently commented on feature in the paper; when we run a photo of a bustling downtown street from the 40s, 50s, or 60s, We’ll usually get a handful of comments or a call or an e-mail.
2018-06-14 Akira and the modern superhero movie
I was recently watching the movie Akira which turns 30 this year. I’d seen it a handful of times before and have read the manga the film is based on, but watching it this time brought a kind of new light to me with the modern superhero movie.
2018-03-16 The Main Street Politics of Courtney Tritch
Doesn’t 2010 seem like a million years ago? Back then, after four years of a Democratic controlled Congress and two years into President Obama’s first term, there was an upsurge of voter anger from conservatives and independents…
2018-03-02 “Best of” the Old School Pics (part 2)
The Fort Wayne Reader has been running the “Old School Picture of the Week” since issue #50. Randy Harter took over writing the articles and supplying the pictures for the feature in 2016
2018-02-03 Guess who's coming to dinner
Entertainment and the arts are full of unlikely hits, works that probably didn’t seem like they would be successes, but somehow caught on with audiences in a big, big way, surpassing even the most optimistic expectations.
2017-12-18 Confessions of a Santa
We can all agree that Christmas is a busy time of year. We’ve all got a billion things to do around the holidays. But without a doubt, Santa Claus has us all beat. He’s literally got a billion things to do, and that’s not even counting all the pre-Christmas meet-and-greets and other promotional activities.
2017-12-02 Sounds of the Season
The holiday season brings Christmas music. It’s inescapable. Odds are, the first strains of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” or “O Holy Night” or “Jingle Bells” or something are drifting into your ears even as you’re tucking the Thanksgiving leftovers into Tupperware or fobbing them off on guests.
2017-11-06 They came from the 80s…
Three decades ago, rock bands dressed like transvestite hookers were all the rage. They wore fishnet stockings, spandex, pink-leopard print leotards, and high heel boots. Their hair was often sprayed and aqua-netted so that it resembled the frill of some prehistoric Ceratopsid, and they boasted facial make-up that would make Barbara Cartland gasp in horror.
2017-07-08 They’re creepy and they’re kooky…
Conventionality has a way of sneaking up on even the most unconventional of families.
2017-06-05 Hobnobben 2017
Let’s say you went back in time some 15 years, and could eavesdrop on a late-night bull session taking place in some pre-smoking-ban drinking establishment between youngish, civic-minded types. The topic: what cool things would you like to see in Fort Wayne? A film festival would probably have been on that wish list (actually, those of you who participated in such things know there’s no “probably” about it)…
2017-05-23 The “Best” of the Old School Pics
The Fort Wayne Reader has been running the “Old School Picture of the Week” since issue #50, and it has probably been the most consistently commented on feature in the paper
2017-04-21 Green space
So much of life is about choices, the decisions we make in order to fulfill our long-term goals and dreams. Do you turn down the ice-cream cone in order to meet your fitness goals? Do you put away a little bit of your paycheck every few weeks in order to build a financial nest egg?
2017-04-21 Blues Bash 2017
David Nelson, President and CEO at the League for the Blind and Disabled, boils down the organization’s work into two main issues.
2017-02-21 Giving Chekov the bird
If playwright Aaron Posner has ever heard the phrase “respect your elders,” he doesn’t seem to have taken it very much to heart. More accurately, judging by his comedy Stupid ----- Bird, Posner seems to have done what many birds seem to do to the monuments we build for our revered institutions and visionary leaders…
2017-02-03 Beale Street Blues
In the opening scene of Memphis, a raucous late-night party at the music club Delray’s comes to a screeching halt when Huey Calhoun, a white guy, wanders in.
2016-12-02 Realist master takes flight
When it comes to contemporary art, realism sometimes doesn’t get the full attention it deserves. It’s not that realism isn’t appreciated or admired or collected — it’s all those things, especially the last one. It’s more that in praising the detail or precision in a work of realism, people overlook other qualities
2016-12-02 Nervous LGBT Nation
During Donald Trump’s long, loud campaign through the primaries and to his eventual nomination as the GOP’s presidential candidate, one item seemingly absent from his list of social bugbears beloved of conservatives was his stance on LGBT rights.
2016-10-24 Oscar the Grouch
Sure, ballparks are all well and good, but for civic leaders and city boosters seeking other creative means to draw tourists to our fair city, slow the brain drain, and put Fort Wayne on the proverbial map, I have two words for you: Lake Monster.
2016-10-09 Morrison Agen: On the Record
Morrison Agen is on a mission. He’s running as a Democrat for an at-large seat on Allen County Council, and of course he wants to be elected. But there’s something else there, too… It’s a mission to get people like him — Democrats and other “progressive-leaning folks” in the area — to realize there is much, much more going on in an election year than whoever is at the top of their respective party’s ticket.
2016-09-02 It’s astounding!
Rehearsals have been under way at the Fort Wayne Civic Theater for a while now, and a few days before curtain, the cast is just finishing up “heckling week.” And yes, “heckling week” is just what it sounds like — people sit in the audience during rehearsal and shout things at the actors
2016-09-02 Art Moves
In four years, the Fort Wayne Dance Collective’s annual fund raiser has quickly become a highlight not just for fans of dance, but for anyone who appreciates something new, different, and interestin
2016-07-15 Wear it well
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is one of those musicals that seems to have fans sort of like a sports team has fans…
2016-06-03 See you at the movies
When asked if there’s a “get” that he’s especially happy about in the impressive line-up of screenings at the Hobnobben Film Festival, Jonah Crismore — Cinema Center’s Executive Director — simply can’t decide. But to be fair to Crismore, he has a lot to choose from.
2016-05-19 Them
Ever since humankind began to extend its ambitions beyond eating and procreating, it’s been seeking explanations for tragedy, calamity, or misfortune.
2016-05-05 A Tale of Two Rallies
Let’s imagine that in May 2015 you’re going about your daily, daily, when someone approaches you and says: “I’m from the future. May 2016, to be exact. A year from now, Indiana will not only be a major player in the presidential primaries, but we’ll actually be the deciding contest for a major political party…
2016-04-21 Adult education… with puppets
In the musical Avenue Q, actors share the stage with puppets, and some of the puppets look and sound a little familiar. There’s a shaggy, gruff-voiced creature called Trekkie Monster, for example, and two guys called Rod and Nicky who share an apartment.
2016-04-07 Random acts of mayhem
BJ Hollars can pinpoint almost the exact hour his collection of essays This Is Only A Test started taking shape — about 2 PM April 28, 2011.
2016-03-18 Dan Wire Vs. the Giant Green Blob That Devoured Lake Erie
In August 2014, Toledo experienced a severe water crisis caused by an outbreak of blue-green algae in Lake Erie. A state of emergency was declared, and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency told city officials to issue a “do not drink” warning — the city’s first — to area residents.
2016-02-09 It’s Alive!
As an actor, Billy Dawson has done heavy drama. He’s done comedy. He’s done musicals and he’s done classics. But to hear him tell it, nothing in his acting experience has quite prepared him to play a lurching, lumbering green-faced golem who “speaks” in moans and grunts…
2015-12-04 Sounds of the Season
The holiday season brings Christmas music. It’s inescapable. Odds are, the first strains of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” or “O Holy Night” or “Jingle Bells” or something are drifting into your ears even as you’re tucking the Thanksgiving leftovers into Tupperware or fobbing them off on guests.
2015-11-22 Artist at work
This past Fall, Max Meyer spent time in between his obligations as the Director of Children’s Education at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art driving 10 hours to an aunt and uncle’s house in Bayside, Queens. From there, he’d take a half-hour train ride into Penn Station, then spend another 20 minutes or so on the subway, all with around 150 lbs of film equipment in tow.
2015-11-22 Industrial evolution
The days when the General Electric plant in downtown Fort Wayne employed thousands of workers and indirectly supported dozens of small businesses up and down Broadway and Taylor were long gone by the time the company auctioned off its contents last year.
2015-10-19 “Rock show at the Acropolis”
When an institution with one of the finest arts programs around calls on the talents of its faculty, students and friends to put on a show to mark its 125th anniversary, expectations are high that you’re going to get something extraordinary, something amazing, something on a grand scale.
2015-10-02 Bat fans
Bob Walton recalls one of the first “patients” he brought home to nurse back to health as part of his particular field of conservation and rehabilitation.
2015-10-02 The Mind of Mitch Harper
It seems like pretty giddy days when it comes to economic development in Fort Wayne, especially downtown. Buildings are going up, committees are being formed, plans are being floated, artists renderings displayed for our wide-eyed appreciation, and new rumors about “what’s next” seem to pop up every few weeks.
2015-09-18 Hit parade harmony
Things are all good to go at the 1958 Springfield High senior prom. The glittery tassels are hung and the pastel crinoline is in full effect. There’s just one little problem — the scheduled entertainment can’t make it.
2015-09-17 Conley for City Council
While he’s out meeting people on the campaign trail, Mike Conley sometimes has a question for constituents of Fort Wayne’s First District: when it comes to local politics, do you vote for the party, or do you vote for the individual?
2015-09-03 Lovestruck
Shakespeare’s must have been having a particularly inspired day when he chose A Midsummer Night’s Dream as the title of his intricate comedy, a title that perfectly evokes the story’s hazy mix of the fantastical and the earthly, the sense of events taking place in “our world,” but not fully “our world.”
2015-07-16 Guest director
The basic story of Jane Lanier’s career as a professional dancer, actor, and (later on) chorographer and director sounds like a movie. And doubtless, Lanier would have a pretty good laugh at hearing her career described like that
2015-05-18 Tattoo redux
A little over 10 years ago, John Commorato Jr. heard a bizarre story from a fellow patron at the Brass Rail one night. It was an ugly story, a grim story, and it struck a strong creative spark in Commorato…
2015-05-04 Buzz in the air
emits the kind of energy that can only be generated by a gaggle of earnest over-achievers on the verge of adolescence and so eager to prove themselves that they can barely stand it.
2015-04-07 Legacy
Among the icons of “old” Fort Wayne — the city of four or five decades ago, boasting a downtown bustling with commerce, nightlife and industry — one institution looms particularly large: Central High School.
2015-03-05 The Dayton Contemporary Dance Company
One of the largest, oldest and most acclaimed modern dance companies in between Chicago and New York isn’t based in, say, Philadelphia or Cleveland. The Dayton Contemporary Dance Company calls (you guessed it) the big town/small city of Dayton, Ohio its home, and boasts a groundbreaking history that goes back to 1968.
2015-02-19 No nostalgia trip
Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean takes place in a dusty five-and-dime store in the very small West Texas town of McCarthy, Texas…
2015-02-05 Willkommen
Cabaret seems to hold a special place in the pantheon of well-known and popular musicals. while musical theater has its share of tragedies and dramas and “serious moments,” its difficult to think of a musical where the context of the story packs as much of an emotional punch as Cabaret.
2015-02-05 The Downtown Development Trust
When the announcement came last January that West Columbia Street — usually known as The Landing — would be the next area to benefit from current downtown development efforts, astute readers and followers of the news might have noticed something called the Downtown Development Trust mentioned amidst the usual flurry of government and other civic organizations often involved in these efforts…
2015-01-15 Tribute to GE workers
Last October, when the General Electric plant on Broadway auctioned off some of its contents, the phrase “end of an era” seemed as ubiquitous as the GE logo itself…
2014-11-25 Thanks Giving Day
“You never really hear a song about Thanksgiving,” Mike Ross says. “There’s no ‘White Christmas’ of Thanksgiving, is there?” Not only is there no “White Christmas” for Thanksgiving, there’s no equivalent of “Jingle Bells” either, or even a “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” In fact, we’re betting you can’t even name a Thanksgiving song…
2014-11-07 TRIAAC shuts its doors after 15 years
On November 8, the Three Rivers Institute of Afrikan Art & Culture (TRIAAC) brings percussionist Art “Turk” Burton and a host of other jazz greats to town for a pre-Veterans Day Tribute to Veterans at American Legion Post 148. And that concert might be the last event that TRIAAC hosts for a long, long time.
2014-11-07 Behind the music(al)
Eunice Wadewitz wouldn’t have considered herself an expert in musical theater during the first part of her professional music career as a teacher, keyboardist and choral director.
2014-10-21 Not fade away
When The Rolling Stones came to Fort Wayne for a show in November 1964, they had only been around for a little over two years, most members of the band were just in their 20s, and though they had racked up a few hits, “Satisfaction” was still about half-a-year away
2014-10-04 Hopes & dreams
Jeff Casazza, Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre at IPFW, tells a story about when one of his mentors met the great American playwright Tennessee Williams. It was during a dress rehearsal for a production of Streetcar Named Desire. Casazza’s friend was directing, and right before the lights came down, Williams walked in and sat right next to him in the theater.
2014-09-04 Everybody loves Nick
The play is called Over the River and Through the Woods, and while the title obviously references the holiday song and may conjure pastoral images of snow-covered fields and country lanes, the tone and setting of Joe DiPietro’s family comedy is something else entirely.
2014-09-04 Wonderland
Alice and her adventures in Wonderland belong to that particular genre of children’s stories that has probably caused more than a few people to remark, “ummm… this is for kids?”
2014-07-31 Schemes of laughter
As Broadway musicals celebrating the antics of people behaving badly go, "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" isn’t a hard-bitten satire in the vein of, say, "Chicago." Instead, it’s pure entertainment, the bad deeds and villany played completely for laughs.
2014-07-31 The Canton Laundry “pop-ups”
It’s been about 15 years, maybe longer, since the Canton Laundry storefront on Broadway between Washington and Jefferson was occupied by the business that bears its name on the sign. And before it was Canton Laundry, it was… well, another laundry. “It hasn’t been anything but a laundry since the 30s or 40s,” says Michael Galbraith, Executive Director of ARCH. “It’s been starching shirts for a good half-century.”
2014-05-20 Sweetwater launches GearFest ’14
GearFest is once more upon us. Sweetwater’s massive, weekend-long annual celebration of music and music equipment happens Friday, June 6 and Saturday, June 7 at Sweetwater’s campus at 5501 US Highway 30 West.
2014-05-20 Donald Margulies
When artists talk about their childhood, the story is often a familiar one: a deep love of their particular field, followed by a “eureka” moment very early on, when they realize that “this” — music, art, acting, whatever — was something people did, and that they could do it, too…
2014-05-06 Three part disharmony
During their heyday in the 30s and 40s, the Andrews Sisters racked up the kind of sales and chart success that would make The Beatles blush.
2014-05-06 Peter Bagge
Back in the early 90s, a must read title for any denizen of “alternative” culture was Hate, a comic book featuring the cynical, aimless Buddy Bradley and his “friends,” girlfriends, and acquaintances.
2014-04-22 The Collaborative Photographic Project
Over the past several decades, photographer Stephen Perfect would occasionally ask one of his students if he could “borrow” one of their photos…
2014-03-25 The Shape of Riverfront Development
If attendance at the public input session for River Front Fort Wayne is anything to go by, residents of the area haven’t been so interested in our rivers since someone decided it looked like a good place to slap up a fort over 200 years ago.
2014-03-25 Up close and personal
At first glance, the set-up to Grace and Glorie seems like a classic clash of cultures…
2014-03-06 The Return of Rick Barton
As the 90s drew to a close, Boston punk band Dropkick Murphys were on the verge of shedding their up-and-coming status and moving to much bigger things.
2014-03-06 16 years in the making (sort of)
“Did you ever think you’d see 15 male dancers on stage at a Fort Wayne Ballet performance, fighting with swords?” asks Karen Gibbons-Brown, the Fort Wayne Ballet’s Artistic Director.
2014-03-06 Crackling energy
Do a quick read-through of the many positive things written about dancer Andrea Miller and her company Gallim and you’ll notice a common theme. One reviewer, for instance, called Miller “The Queen of Quirk.” Another described her work as “zany.” I even saw a “goofy” in there, while yet another talked about a particular work’s “wild-child dynamism.”
2014-02-24 Two for the stage
Two new — and very different — takes on a couple classics.
2014-02-11 Stage Whispers
The Fort Wayne Civic Theater usually announces the winners of their annual Playwright Festival Contest at a press conference…
2014-02-11 FWR turns 10
The first issue of The Fort Wayne Reader hit the stands during the first week of January 2004. That makes us 10 years old as of last month, and to mark the occasion, we took a look through our meticulously kept distribution records to find the most popular issue for each year we’ve been around.
2013-11-19 Full circle
Whenever actors are honored at awards shows, it’s a sure bet that capping the list of “thank you’s” will be a heartfelt one for “Mom.” And that’s probably doubly true for actor Dan Butler, whose mother took him to his first audition when he was just eight years old — and at the time, he didn’t even know he was going.
2013-10-31 What a way to make a living
Back in 1980, the movie 9 to 5 was not only a box office success but one of those cultural phenomena that seems to take on a life far beyond its relatively modest beginnings.
2013-10-07 New era
Dr John Aden knows museums. A history professor who earned his Master’s and PhD from Indiana University, Dr Aden’s resume includes a stint in a summer research program at the Oriental Institute Museum at the University of Chicago, and several months at the Musee National in Mali as a Fulbright scholar.
2013-09-22 Wedding belle blues
Weddings. When it comes to her special day, every bride likes to feel that she is the specialest of them all. So maybe that’s why, when she selects a handful of sisters, relatives, and close friends to stand with her in front of the assembled guests and say her vows, she often chooses to drape them in some of the most hideous, tacky, and completely-useless-for-any-other-occasion dresses ever designed.
2013-09-06 “The weirdest auditions ever
When it comes to auditions, most actors know the score — show up with something prepared, maybe read a scene from the piece being cast, or maybe even do a little improv.
2013-09-06 Danza
Towards the beginning of my talk with Karen Gibbons-Brown, the Fort Wayne Ballet’s Artistic Director, she offers up a direct and unassuming answer to a pretentious and silly question
2013-09-06 Star Crossed
In the grand tradition of most teenage romances, Romeo and Juliet’s great passion begins with the two star-crossed lovers locking eyes at a party. Papa Capulet has invited Count Paris so that Capulet’s daughter Juliet can meet him — the count intends to marry Juliet one day…
2013-07-18 Do you hear the people sing (a lot)?
How long has Greg Stieber wanted to direct a production of Les Miserables? To hear him tell it, a couple decades and change.
2013-06-06 In the mix
The history of rock n’ roll is full of stories of happy coincidence, strange meetings of chance or turns of fortune. But there’s something about the stories that pop up around record producer Jack Douglas and his long, distinguished career in the music industry that sound almost apocryphal. They’re the kind of stories that prompt people to ask Douglas “Is that really true?”
2013-05-16 Hollywood veteran
When he was running his public relations company in Hollywood in the mid 70s, Michael Druxman devised an Oscar campaign for a couple of his clients that for many years served as a textbook example in the business of what imagination and a little hustle can achieve.
2013-05-02 Ballroom blitz
Perhaps appropriately for a story that revolves around a glass slipper, director/choreographer Doug King steps lightly when talking about Rodger’s & Hammerstein’s take on Cinderella.
2013-05-02 TEDxFortWayne
It’s probably a partial testament to the power of branding that a couple hundred people were willing and eager to buy a ticket and spend an entire day at a conference where the speakers weren’t announced, the topics were vague, and the overall theme — Commerce, Community and Wellness — could apply to just about anything.
2013-04-18 Navigating the Affordable Care Act
You don’t have to be the most astute follower of current events to know that big changes to our healthcare system are set to happen in January of 2014, when the Affordable Care Act — sometimes called “Obamacare” — is implemented in full.
2013-04-18 Sightings
When he was a senior in high school, BJ Hollars entered an essay contest in which he had to discuss why he thought someone was a “great American.” For his subject, Hollars chose his favorite author, Ray Bradbury…
2013-04-05 Keigwin + Company
Among the many accolades and positive notices that the New York based dance company Keigwin + Company has received in its 10 year history is one from a 2009 article in The Village Voice. “One of Keigwin’s greatest gifts is for revealing the individuality of his champion dancers,” wrote Deborah Jowitt. “He lets you see them, he allows you to love them.”
2013-03-15 Devotion to dance
Anyone who has seen Lucia Rogers dance — and, if you’ve seen any Fort Wayne Ballet production in the past decade plus, you’ve seen Lucia Rogers dance — might describe her as a graceful dancer, or an elegant dancer, or an ebullient dancer, or a half-dozen other complimentary adjectives, depending on which part she’s playing.
2013-03-15 Road to the big apple
The four members of the Sweetwater Jazz Project, a.k.a. Post-Modern Prohibition, are all young. Really young. But they boast the musicianship of old pros, performing a style of jazz influenced by the jazz fusion of the late 60s and early 70s.
2013-03-14 Barr Street, 1946
If you can recognize anything here… well, you’ve been in Fort Wayne a long time.
2013-02-28 The great escape
When you first meet Man In Chair, the unprepossessing narrator of The Drowsy Chaperone, you get the feeling that he’s not much of what you might call a “sharer.” In fact, he never even tells you his name…
2013-02-28 Know your local public/private economic development entities
Over the years, the Fort Wayne Reader has done several stories on economic development, and talked to many of the public/private development organizations in the area. And when we publish those stories, we will often hear from readers who say to us, “you know, I don’t even know what all these organizations do, exactly.
2013-02-16 More Rock n’ roll stories
A couple years ago, FWR did a piece on rock n’ roll stories from Fort Wayne’s past (FWR #167). It was a popular story, as these things go, and we heard a few more. Here’s a sampling…
2013-02-01 Thick as thieves
On a Tuesday evening in late January, the Ian Roland Gallery on the upper floor of the Arts United Center is packed with over three dozen people. Some stand, some sit, some tuck themselves discretely in a corner or against a wall…
2013-01-21 Fringe Fest
During my talk with Jason Markzon, one of the organizers of the Fort Wayne Fringe Fest, I’m trying to avoid using the word “eclectic” to describe the line-up of festival performers…
2013-01-17 Comedy, crime and family secrets
Many writers will tell you that a great deal of writing is actually re-writing — polishing, editing, and honing the material until it’s “just right” — and playwright Nancy Carlson Dodd would probably agree.
2013-01-07 The clothes made the band
Rock n’ rollers place a premium on authenticity, the sense that our musical heroes are the real deal. But the “fake band” is also a respectable rock n’ roll tradition.
2012-12-20 The Update
Many issues ago, FWR ran a cover story entitled “Whatever Happened to…” where we looked at 5 past feature stories that seemed to have no second act. This story is not one of those. It’s less “Whatever happened to…” and more “What are you up to now?”
2012-12-06 Winter adventureland
Anyone visiting the Youtheatre office before this year might have been a little nonplussed. It was located in the basement of the Arts United Center, in an echoing cinderblock-lined room without windows, where the clunk and hum of the building’s machinery provided the background noise.
2012-11-15 The Nutcracker 2012
“The Show Must Go On” is the most oft-repeated maxims of show business. Performers are exhorted to maintain the appearance of control and professionalism through any kind of backstage or onstage chaos — illness, missed cues, misplaced props, broken strings, wardrobe malfunctions… whatever goes wrong, stay focused and stay in character.
2012-11-01 All I want for Christmas is a Red Ryder BB gun
How much time did director Rosy Ridenour spend thinking of ways to modernize, re-imagine, or otherwise tweak the Fort Wayne Civic’s version of A Christmas Story?
2012-11-01 Campaign outsourcing
With both presidential candidates ignoring Indiana this election cycle, Hoosiers can perhaps console themselves with the thought that there are some entities on the national political stage that think we’re important enough to lavish with money and attention — namely, Political Action Committees.
2012-10-04 In the Director’s Chair
Here at FWR, we enjoy the latest Hollywood blockbuster as much as anyone — some of our favorite movies feature dinosaurs and spaceships. But the world of movies is a big one, with lots to offer, and it’s no secret that often, the most interesting, innovative, and moving films don’t make it to the local cineplex.
2012-09-21 Dinner (& Dancing) for Hundreds
When the annual Gay and Lesbian Dinner Dance — a fundraiser for the Fort Wayne AIDS Task Force — takes place on Saturday, October 6 at the Grand Wayne Center, it’ll mark the 24th year for the event.
2012-09-21 Winning Ugly
If conventional wisdom is to be believed, there’s something about the negative tone of our modern political campaigns that turns all Americans into 1850s Southern Belles with a case of the vapors.
2012-09-10 Back on Track — Part 2
Back in April of 2009, the Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association held a rally at the old Baker Street Station in support of renewed passenger rail service through Fort Wayne.
2012-09-06 Codes of conduct
A lot of great actors auditioned for roles in the Fort Wayne Civic Theater’s production of A Few Good Men, and director Renae Butler swears that none of them did a Jack Nicholson impression.
2012-09-06 Spring love, tainted love, pure love
Carmina Burana, the Fort Wayne Ballet’s 2012 -’13 season opener, is rated PG. But Karen Gibbons-Brown, the Artistic Director of the Fort Wayne Ballet, is anxious that you might get the wrong impression.
2012-08-02 The psychedelic sounds of Black Light Radio
The scene: a hang out for teenagers circa 1973. Maybe it’s a basement, maybe it’s an attic, maybe it’s a bedroom, but wherever it is, the lights are low, there are posters covering the wall, there’s an LP spinning on the turntable, there’s a certain smell in the air…
2012-07-19 Voices of experience
In musical theater, the term “show stopper” often refers to a particular song that’s so powerful it has the potential to… well, stop the show.
2012-07-19 The M2020 initiative
Sociologists studying that demographic of young Americans sometimes called the millennials might not be too far off base to label a portion of that group the Richard Florida Generation.
2012-07-06 The full band treatment
When all work was finished on American Music, musician and songwriter Lee Miles did what he usually does — he put the album up on The Illegitimate Son’s website, just to see if he could garner some interest before beginning the usual album release process of booking gigs, mailing out copies, and doing whatever he could do to promote it.
2012-07-06 Michael Wartell: The Exit Interview
At the beginning of our interview with Michael Wartell, the retiring chancellor of IPFW tells us that he’s not interested in talking about anything “controversial.” When we respond that we hadn’t planned on it, he seems a little relieved not to have to issue another polite but firm refusal to comment.
2012-06-25 Action and reaction
About midway through our conversation on the upcoming Fort Wayne Ballet, Too performance at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, I ask David Ingram why some dancers feel the calling to move beyond repertoire and choreograph their own work…
2012-06-25 Feelin’ no pain
According to Brenn Beck, drummer for Fort Wayne’s punk blues duo Left Lane Cruiser, one of the keys to creating a great record is not to prepare too much.
2012-06-25 The Facilitator
It wasn’t a cordial occasion when Rich Davis, President of the Downtown Improvement District, and Ben Hall, manager of Hall’s Gas House, a member of the DID, appeared before Fort Wayne City Council late last March.
2012-06-05 Park life
Behind the sound barrier walls lining the south side of Jefferson Boulevard in between Ardmore and Freeman streets lies Wildwood Park. It’s an architecturally diverse neighborhood with a rich history that ranks as one of Fort Wayne’s best examples of the “City Beautiful” movement, an era of urban design that sprang up in the very early 20th century.
2012-06-05 Irie Reggae
The problem with doing a story on some genuinely community-minded and likeable people pooling their talents for a good cause is that no one wants to take the spotlight…
2012-06-05 New frontiers
Almost everything written about musician, producer, and technological innovator Thomas Dolby will start with the following line: “You may remember Thomas Dolby from the early days of MTV, when his massive hit ‘She Blinded Me With Science’ was inescapable on radio and television, but there’s far more to Dolby’s career and his music than you might realize.” So, consider that written. And it's true…
2012-05-21 Tim Rogers returns to Fort Wayne
Every era has its seminal album that served as an inspiration for a whole generation of rock fans and fledgling musicians, something that came along and said “hey kids, this is how it’s done.”
2012-05-21 “There were very few dull days”
When guitarist Richard Lloyd was a little kid, he believed everyone had “wish money” to draw from, sort of like a trust fund of wishes set up by the generations of family that had come before you, or guardian angels, or whatever.
2012-05-03 Gloria writes a book
Anyone who has followed Gloria Diaz’s column in these pages over the years probably won’t be shocked to discover where the initial germ of inspiration for her collection of short stories, Served Coldcame from.
2012-05-03 The soundtrack of our lives
Back in high school, Carrie Boylan listened to an REM song over and over again, “ad nauseum”, in her own words.
2012-05-03 Areas of confluence
As a lecturer in religious studies at IPFW, Dr. Michael Spath often tells his students that he does not know any non-religious person. “I know many atheists,” he tells them. “I know many non-theists, I know many agnostics, I know many secularists… But I do not know any non-religious people.”
2012-04-20 D.L. Russell opens up The Big Book of Strange, Weird & Wonderful
Starting in the summer of 2008, Fort Wayne-based horror writer David Russell published Strange Weird and Wonderful, a short-story magazine featuring horror, science-fiction, and dark fantasy that he co-founded with another writer, Sharon Black.
2012-04-05 April Playbill
Fort Wayne Civic'sThe Farnsworth Invention; the FWDC brings RUBBERBANDance to town; and The Good Person of Szechuan at IPFW.
2012-03-15 Asleep on her feet
The story of Sleeping Beauty is well known, and when the Fort Wayne Ballet’s executive Director Karen Gibbons-Brown refers to it as “a Disney ballet,” she means it in the best sense.
2012-03-15 The Future of the 122nd
Several months ago, when President Obama issued his budget request to Congress for 2013, the portion detailing defense spending managed to do something which at times seemed impossible during the past year or so of political brinksmanship in Washington: unite Democrats and Republicans. At last, everyone could agree: there was some item in the defense budget that they didn’t like.
2012-03-01 Stage Momma
It probably says something about the musical Gypsy: A Musical Fable that two out of the three lead actresses starring in the Fort Wayne Civic’s production describe their roles as “bucket list” roles. And to describe the play itself, all three use the word “iconic.”
2012-03-01 Get Lugar
Unless you’ve been living under a rock (perhaps a rock in Virginia), you’ve probably heard just a little something about the controversy surrounding Senator Richard Lugar’s residency. While it started small, the issue has grown in the past year or so, pushed into the wider public consciousness by political opponents who see the Senator’s seat as vulnerable, and some of the loudest complaints have come from an area the Senator’s camp probably didn’t expect — conservatives.
2012-02-16 Two satirical
Mark Ridgeway stumped me. The Real Inspector Hound, the second on a double bill of one-act plays that Ridgeway is directing at IPFW? I got that one. But The Pot Boiler, a one-act from 1916 by Alice Gerstenberg? Never heard of it. Or her.
2012-02-16 The World of Jeremy McFarren
In the collection of original images that cartoonist Jeremy McFarren kindly sends over to FWR towers, there’s one called “The Tintin Sketch” that features someone who looks a lot like McFarren himself in the title role, menaced by the Thomson twins and with Snowy at his side.
2012-02-02 Prehistoric Allen County
Let’s take a big step back in time. How far back? Way back…
2012-02-02 Point In Time
It’s an often repeated claim that the average family or individual in the United States is only three paychecks away from homelessness. I had heard the claim repeated often enough as a given fact, though for the life of me, I didn’t know where it came from. Rachel Rayburn, an associate professor in IPFW’s Department of Public Policy who has studied homelessness, says she doubts the claim is literally true.
2012-01-19 Historic transformation
Maybe you haven’t heard about “Pontiac Square,” a neighborhood revitalization project lead by one of the nation’s top companies in the field to transform the old coca-cola bottling plant into loft-style apartments (that’s part of Phase 1, at least).
2012-01-19 Third time’s a charm
Apparently, the third time really is a charm, at least for Ruth Tyndall Baker. The playwright nabbed first place in the Fort Wayne Civic Theater’s 3rd Annual Northeast Indiana Playwright Festival for her play Althea’s Well, the story of a religious woman with an abusive husband in post-Depression era Missouri.
2012-01-19 Art during wartime
A little talked about fact of military life is that there a long stretches where time hangs heavy on a soldier’s hands, even during wartime. For various reasons, there is virtually nothing to do, and to stave off boredom, restlessness, and fear, commanders often encouraged their soldiers to keep busy by exercising their creative side.
2012-01-05 Tim Pape: the Exit Interview
With just a week or so to go in his final term on City Council, Pape took the opportunity to reflect on his tenure on City Council with the Fort Wayne Reader and the Around Fort Wayne Blog.
2011-12-19 The '07
Fort Wayne’s 46807 zip code covers a lot of ground and boasts a lot of history.
2011-12-19 Small town tragedy
“In movies, small towns are sort of portrayed as ‘apple pie-in-the-windowsill,’ these safe havens,” says Matt McCrory, co-director of the movie East of Nowhere. “We wanted to portray small towns differently. Bad behavior spreads faster when there’s not a lot of people to spread it to.”
2011-12-05 Mechanika artist/author visits IPFW
Back in FWR # 181, we had an article about IPFW instructor Jim Martin’s entertainment design course based around the book Mechanika: Creating the Art of Science Fiction by award-winning artist and production designer Doug Chiang…
2011-12-01 Holiday playbill
Fort Wayne's stages get busy over the holiday season, and here are a few performances happening this month.
2011-11-17 The holiday season of their discontent
Raymond Chandler, the Godfather of American detective fiction and creator of private eye Philip Marlowe, claimed to have a cure for anytime he was afflicted with writer’s block — when in doubt, have a guy holding a gun enter the room.
2011-11-17 The Nutcracker 2011
The Fort Wayne Ballet’s Artistic Director Karen Gibbons-Brown was on her way to a meeting at one of the local hospitals when she was recognized by a woman who was watering plants in the lobby…
2011-11-03 Panic Attack, USA book tour stops by the Brass Rail
Some readers might remember a time not that long ago when Brass Rail co-owner John Commorato, Jr. was a frequent fixture at different poetry readings in the area. Though he doesn’t perform very regularly these days, Commorato still has a passion for poetry and spoken word…
2011-11-03 Sins of the father
Some of the meatiest and most resonant dramas in theater are about families with secrets, and in Arthur Miller’s American tragedy All My Sons, the secrets of the Keller family — especially patriarch Joe Keller — are corrosive and run deep.
2011-10-20 New vision for New Haven
Fort Wayne residents traveling east on 930 towards New Haven are familiar with a portion of New Haven’s 5th district — it’s the stretch of highway between the cloverleaf and the BMV. And unfortunately, says Steven McMichael, that strip of road lined with old buildings, industrial areas, and brown field sites is the only and lasting impression that many people have of New Haven.
2011-10-20 Interview with Tom Henry
FWR sits down with Mayor Henry for a one-on-one interview.
2011-10-20 Girls behaving badly
Any actor will tell you that it’s a blast playing the bad guy — after all, they usually get all the best lines. So for many actors, landing a role in the musical Chicago is a singular opportunity, since with the exception of one hapless husband, all the characters in Chicago are bad guys.
2011-10-20 Fort Wayne native BJ Hollars explores racial violence in Thirteen Loops
“’Thirteen loops’ are the number of loops a Klansmen wraps around a noose prior to a lynching,” says BJ Hollars, author of Thirteen Loops: Race, Violence and the Last Lynching in America. “It's a kind of calling card of sorts, an acknowledgment that the Klan was involved.”
2011-10-06 Air time
Karen Gibbons-Brown, the artistic director of the Fort Wayne Ballet, often emphasizes how formal ballet training provides the fundamentals for a career in dance. And apparently, ballet training even comes in handy if you want to run away and join the circus.
2011-10-06 Paula Hughes
Republican candidate for Mayor Paula Hughes sits down with the Fort Wayne Reader and the Around Fort Wayne blog for an exclusive interview.
2011-09-15 New headquarters gives the Fort Wayne Ballet a lot to Celebrate
As Karen Gibbons-Brown, the Executive Director of the Fort Wayne Ballet, gives me a tour of the FWB’s new facilities at the Auer building on 300 East Main Street, I remark on how much more spacious the four dance studios are, how much more open everything is compared to the former headquarters on Penn Avenue, etc…
2011-09-15 The ARCHIE awards
The mission of ARCH is to advocate for the protection and preservation of historically and culturally significant assets and historic places in Fort Wayne and Allen County.
2011-09-01 Taste of Brazil
“If I had to describe Brazilian cuisine in a handful of words, I’d say it’s a fresh, spicy, warm kind of cuisine,” says Cynthia Presser.
2011-09-01 Design from out of this world
When Jim Martin talks about his latest course offering, his enthusiasm makes him sound a bit like a kid who has just discovered this new field of illustration and design, and realized that he has a knack for it…
2011-09-01 City development specialist Carol Coletta visits Fort Wayne
Carol Coletta has been at the forefront of the “creative communities” and city development movement for years.
2011-09-01 They came from the 80s…
Around a quarter of a century ago, rock bands dressed like transvestite hookers were all the rage. They wore fishnet stockings, spandex, pink-leopard print leotards, and high heel boots. Their hair was often sprayed and aqua-netted so that it resembled the frill of some prehistoric Ceratopsid, and they boasted facial make-up that would make Barbara Cartland gasp in horror…
2011-08-21 Coming home
“You see a guy with an acoustic guitar and a guy with a jenbe walk up on stage, what’s your thought?” asks Greg Jackson, the percussion half of the duo Whiskey Holler. “You’re thinking, ‘okay, this is going to be some hippy thing.’ No. Definitely not.”
2011-08-21 Kings, rebels, princes, and drunks
Sequelitis. Even The Bard wasn’t immune. Among drama scholars and aficionados, Henry IV Part I is considered one of Shakespeare’s liveliest, most popular histories and, in the debauched knight Falstaff, features one of his most indelible characters.
2011-08-09 Every Picture Tells A Story
A pretty tall order — that’s what artist and teacher Vicki Junk-Wright thought when she met with Larry Rowland, Executive Director of the Parkview Foundation, and other Parkview officials to discuss ideas about a piece of art to display in the new Parkview Health Center currently under construction off Dupont Road.
2011-07-18 Fancy footwork
Over a hundred actors showed up to audition for the Fort Wayne Civic Theater’s production of Hairspray, and the first thing they found themselves doing — all of them — was getting a 45-minute dance lesson from choreographer Melissa Duffer.
2011-07-18 Where are the Libertarians?
Back in 2007, the Libertarian Party of Allen County seemed poised to become a significant player in local politics. That year, they put eight candidates for Fort Wayne City Council, the largest number of city candidates fielded by a third party in as long as anyone could remember. The candidates were a somewhat random bunch, but there were some familiar names among the novices
2011-07-04 Catching up with Dan Wire and Friends of the Rivers
Dan Wire has had a busy week. Heck, he’s had a busy year. When we attempt to catch up with Wire — “point man” for the organization Friends of the River and a tireless advocate for Fort Wayne’s waterways — he’s in the midst of serving as moderator for the 2011 Rivers Summit, a two day event focusing on issues surrounding Fort Wayne’s rivers and featuring local, national, and regional speakers and guests.
2011-07-04 The New New Harrison Deal
During his presentation to Fort Wayne City Council in mid-June on the new deal to complete the retail/residential section of the Harrison Square project, Tim Haffner, the City’s attorney, offered up a nugget of unintentional humor almost worthy of an episode of Parks & Rec.
2011-06-20 Alan Parsons on “The Art and Science of Sound Recording”
Legendary producer Alan Parsons delivers the keynote address at Sweetwater’s GearFest on Saturday, June 25. The presentation is called “The Art and Science of Sound Recording,” which is also the title of the 10-hour, three DVD series Parsons has just released.
2011-06-20 Tics and traits
Actress Victoria Adams-Zischke, who teaches “Acting for the Camera” at IPFW this July as part of the school’s Summer Arts program, says that the first and usually biggest obstacle that any actor making the leap from stage to film has to overcome is what we’ll call the “tic” problem.
2011-06-06 Puppet love triangle
Classical ballet is fairly packed with tales featuring supernatural creatures, magicians, and dolls come to life. But even among its peers, the Russian ballet Petrouchka is a little unusual. To put it simply, it’s a love triangle between… well, puppets. But dancer David Ingram, who choreographs the Fort Wayne Ballet’s performance of Petrouchka on Friday, June 10 as part of their annual Fort Wayne Ballet, Too program, saw the basic story of Petrouchka as rich with possibilities.
2011-05-24 The Northeast Indiana Playwright Festival
It’s always interesting to hear professionals in a particular field drop their adult roles for a few moments and “get their geek on.” As the Executive and Artistic Director of the Fort Wayne Civic Theater, Phillip Colglazier obviously has plenty of opportunity to exercise his artistic skills. But when he talks about the inspiration behind the Northeast Indiana Playwright Festival, you hear a little of the theater fan who really understands the hopes of all those undiscovered playwrights out there, pounding away at original scripts…
2011-05-09 Telling stories
Apparently, the Bible was hot property for musical theater source material in the late 60s and early 70s. Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Godspell all debuted around that time, and all have endured through revivals on the big stage, countless productions on smaller stages around the world, and various soundtracks.
2011-05-09 Day in the country
Anyone who frequents one of the local art fairs during the summer months is probably familiar with Kristy Jo Beber, or at least her work.
2011-05-09 Burma Soldier
Among Burmese, the year 1988 holds special significance. The nation had been under the heel of an oppressive military dictatorship since 1962, and in those 26 years had endured brutal civil wars, a crumbling economy, violent ethnic conflict, and horrific political oppression under General Ne Win. But in 1988, General Ne Win drastically devalued the currency of the already impoverished country, stating that any monies divisible by the number nine were invalid.
2011-04-18 Roscoe (and Tony) to the rescue
The explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico in April of last year was just the beginning of one of the worst environmental disasters in US history, and like a lot of people, artist and author Lynn Rowe Reed was horrified at the images that would dominate coverage of the event over the next few months.
2011-04-18 Top GOP Mayoral candidates speak out
With the May 3 primaries looming, FWR had a chance to talk to the three main GOP contenders for the Mayoral ticket. So, without further ado…
2011-04-04 The Independent candidate
“I’m not doing this just to ‘stir the pot,’” says Haley Ahrendt. “It’s not about that for me. That’s not who I am. I’ve just always been interested in politics, I’ve always wanted to run for office, I have good ideas, and now is the time.”
2011-04-04 Rollercoaster of love
Innumerable songs have been written about love in all its many forms, and as far as attitude toward the subject goes, the songs in I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change probably lie somewhere between “Love Is A Many Splendid Thing” and “Love Stinks.”
2011-04-04 A Ferocious labor of love
Nate Utesch is, apparently, a pretty busy guy. In addition to his regular gig as a graphic designer at One Lucky Guitar, he’s also a keyboardist and programmer with Metavari and a visual artist in his own right. And sometime last year, Utesch began publishing Ferocious, an art journal featuring illustration and writing by artists, designers, and authors from all over the globe.
2011-03-20 Indiana Dance Festival 2011
At some point in the last few weeks, while going through your normal day — running errands in a shopping center, say, or hustling to a meeting — you may have been surprised by three dozen or so of your fellow citizens suddenly breaking out into dance.
2011-03-20 Fort Wayne Trails
If it’s there, people will use it… That’s been the prevailing consensus in contemporary community development when it comes to trail networks for biking, running and walking — build them, maintain them, make them accessible and safe, and people will use them.
2011-03-07 Doll House
Karen Gibbons-Brown, Executive and Artistic Director of the Fort Wayne Ballet, explains where Coppelia fits in the canon of some of the great ballets. “The Nutcracker is magical,” she says. “Swan Lake is stunning; Cinderella is poignant; Romeo & Juliet is tragic… but Coppelia is charming.”
2011-03-07 Is Fort Wayne ‘bad for business’?
As the field for the Republican nomination for Mayor of Fort Wayne filled up, two of the most prominent candidates made pledges to make the area a friendlier place to do business.
2011-02-20 With Rent comes responsibility
Directing a play is a lot of work. It requires patience, an attention to detail, and a collaborative spirit. And, of course, the bigger the play, the more you need of all those things…
2011-02-20 The stuff of dreams
Before launching into the motivations, the technical aspects, and the artistic intentions behind “Dreamscapes and the Subconscious,” an exhibit opening at IPFW’s Visual Arts Gallery on Monday, February 21, it’s important to make one thing very clear — the “wow” factor is very high with this show.
2011-02-06 …before I wake… addresses the stages of grief
The grieving process has been well researched and well documented — Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ 1969 book On Death and Dying is still probably the definitive word on the subject; it was the first to describe what are called “the five stages of grief,”
2011-02-06 Headwaters Junction Revisited
As Kelly Lynch researched and developed his Headwaters Junction proposal over the years, he frequently used his cousin as a confidant and sounding board. And recently, as the Headwaters Junction tale took another unexpected turn, his cousin once again offered up a little perspective.
2011-02-06 Rock n’ roll stories from Fort Wayne’s past
When it comes to rock n’ roll stories, Fort Wayne has had its share of them. We set out to find some of the more distinctive or unusual stories from over the years. We’re sure there are many more out there, but here are a few we’ve gathered…
2011-01-24 And the winner is…
Ten pages. That’s how much time aspiring playwrights have to impress the judges reading submissions for the Fort Wayne Civic Theater’s annual Northeast Indiana Playwright Festival.
2011-01-24 Squared Away?
Greg Leatherman, the City of Fort Wayne’s Executive Director of Redevelopment, has just returned to work after a three-day weekend in which he made a concerted effort not to talk to media, read the editorial pages, or visit any local political blogs. “I think I gave a dozen interviews in one day last week,” he laughs. “I thought, ‘okay, that’s enough for now…’”
2011-01-09 The Artlink Visual Awards
The inaugural Artlink Visual Art Awards — the AVAs — has two important objectives…
2010-12-19 Economic forecast
Here’s some news you may not know: the recession officially ended in June, 2009. At least that’s what the National Bureau of Economic Research —the leading authority in economic research in the US — declared a few months ago. But if the announcement leaves you scratching your head and wondering if you missed something… well, you haven’t. Unfortunately.
2010-12-07 Leslie Hormann joins Youtheatre as Executive Director
Leslie Hormann-Stone, Youtheatre’s new Executive Director and the first-time director of the company’s traditional holiday production The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, laughs when asked about the multitude of new elements audiences will see in this year’s staging of the children’s classic. “I guess that I just didn’t have enough people to work with,” she jokes. “I wanted to add to the mayhem.”
2010-12-07 The World of Wil Radcliffe
Middle-Earth… Hogwart’s… Narnia… Northeast Indiana…One of these things is not like the other? Novelist Wil Radcliffe would beg to differ.
2010-11-22 When a body meets a body…
It’s a tried-and-true scenario of many a science fiction/disaster tale: the massive comet or asteroid hurtling towards Earth, unstoppable, implacable, and mankind can only brace for the environmental and geological havoc its imminent impact will unleash…
2010-11-22 Arts United buys 300 East Main
Arts United has purchased the property at 300 Main Street — the “Fourth Wave” building…
2010-11-22 The “Muttcracker”
Dancers trying out for the Fort Wayne Ballet’s annual production of The Nutcracker probably guessed that something a little out of the ordinary was happening this year when they noticed one of the questions on the audition sheet — “are you allergic to dogs?”
2010-11-08 Much like the one you used to know…
How do you approach a stage production of one of the most well-known movie musicals of all time, featuring perhaps one of the best-selling, most often-covered songs ever composed? You go big.
2010-11-08 “Time to let ‘the kids’ take over”
There used to be a saying: “Behind every successful man, there’s a good woman.” Something like that, at least. The saying is probably still around, and though it’s considered sexist these days, the principal still holds true…
2010-11-08 When It Was City
Fort Wayne back in the middle decades of the 20th century holds a strong attraction for a lot of people, and not just the people old enough to remember it.
2010-10-18 Putting the green back in Allen County’s urban landscape
2010 will mark the 9th anniversary of the Great Tree Canopy Comeback, the annual event organized by Friends of the Park working in cooperation with the Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department
2010-10-18 Midwest Gothic
In all the various subgenres of horror stories or ghost stories, is there one called “Midwest Gothic”? If there isn’t, there probably should be. Despite its reputation as the homey heartland full of respectable, hard-working, God-fearing folk, the American Midwest, and our little section of it, has a lot of messy, sometimes ugly, sometimes violent, history.
2010-10-04 Behind the scenes at a busy bee
In a studio off the main auditorium in IPFW’s William’s Theater, director John O’Connell is leading a group of actors through a series of warm-up exercises that will help transform these self-possessed drama students into the insecure, awkward, and sometimes downright strange bunch of characters that make up the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.
2010-10-04 Checking in with Mike Conley
Last April, FWR talked to Mike Conley about his run for Allen County Council’s 2nd district chair. The story interested us because, as 2010 political candidates go, Conley seemed an unusual one.
2010-10-04 “Cinema for the ear”
The state-of-the-art Performance Theater at Sweetwater has served as a showcase for a lot of ground-breaking technology. So if we were to tell you that on October 14 that that same facility will host an art show featuring a number of huge oil-paintings, you’d think that either (a) sounds a little staid for Sweetwater; or (b) there’s something about this “art show” that you’re not telling me.
2010-10-04 Catching up with the Hayhurst campaign
During a heated election year, predicting the strategies and outcomes of political races seems to rank near baseball as the nation’s favorite past time. Yet despite the constant stream of pundits telling you what’s going to happen weeks or months before it actually does, you’ll still hear the maxim “but anything can happen” added as a cautionary note at the end of even the most self-assured bit of forecasting.
2010-09-17 The Fort Wayne Ballet starts the 2010/11 season in a joyful mood
The Fort Wayne Ballet typically kicks off its seasons with a program featuring a eclectic mix of work, and as you might expect from a performance entitled “Celebrations!” the tone for the 2010-11 season opener is pretty upbeat. But the title is significant in a number of ways…
2010-09-17 Contested
“I don’t think running for judge is very sexy,” says attorney Lewis Griffin, one of three candidates on the ballot for Allen County Superior Court Criminal Division judge. “We can’t promise new jobs, can’t promise… I don’t know, health insurance, those kinds of things. So I think…” Griffin pauses, and for just a moment the usually articulate lawyer appears at a loss for words. “Well, I was going to say ‘any publicity is good publicity'…"
2010-09-07 Breath of Afrika 2
“Community is a very ephemeral word right now,” explains Ketu Oladuwa, director and founder of the Three Rivers Institute of Afrikan Arts and Culture (TRIAAC). “It doesn’t have much meaning, except theoretically. But community needs a place to be. It needs an anchor. That’s what we’re trying to do: revitalize that sense of community.”
2010-09-07 Tangled web
What’s with all the death? The Fort Wayne Civic Theater big summer musical was Curtains, a comedy about a theater-loving detective trying to find a murderer among the conniving cast of a down-on-its-luck stage company. And now…
2010-09-07 I Will Stay If…
“I will stay if…” Those four simple words have probably launched a thousand discussions in the Fort Wayne area. And it’s just as true that those same words that have provided ample fodder for so much coffee shop conversation have also been at the core of current community development theory in the U.S. for the past decade.
2010-08-23 Weird stories
Let us tell you a story… FWR #155 featured an article about Marlin Stutzman, the Republican nominee for the 3rd district US Congressional seat. One item in particular attracted some attention…
2010-08-08 50 recipes. 50 days. No additives
Erica Justice is on a mission. She wants to show you that preparing healthy, nutrient-dense meals can be easy, inexpensive, and taste a whole lot better than you might imagine.
2010-08-08 Who is Marlin Stutzman?
Congressman Mark Souder’s sudden resignation on May 18, just weeks after he had won the Republican primary, roused over a dozen conservative contenders from their post-primary slump, all eager to nab the GOP’s nomination as the candidate for Indiana’s 3rd district in the US House of Representatives.
2010-07-19 Dying on stage
As recent Broadway musical comedies go, Curtains may not be as household a name as, say, The Producers, but it comes with an impressive pedigree — much of the music is from the songwriting team of John Kander and Fred Ebb, the same duo that gave musical theater Chicago and Cabaret, among many others.
2010-07-04 Friend of the River
When Dan Wire takes City luminaries, policy makers, and other local public figures out on his pontoon boat for a cruise down the St. Joe river, he can usually count on a certain reaction. “After a while, they’ll say ‘Wire, why do you want people to know about this? There’s nobody here. It’s all yours!’” Wire laughs. “And I always tell them ‘just as you’ve enjoyed it, we need to have a lot of people enjoy it’.”
2010-06-22 Teachable moments
Most weeks, Russell Kolkman is a mild-mannered insurance agent and family man with a steady job, a house, a car, and all the accoutrements of responsible citizenship. But every month or so, Kolkman spends a weekend antagonizing police officers with the goal of forcing them into a gun fight.
2010-06-22 Headwaters Junction
Kelly Lynch has trains in his veins. Or maybe it’s the steam from a 1940’s locomotive that chugs through his bloodstream. Whatever, Kelly Lynch loves trains, and at 24-years-old probably knows more about the massive engines that used to thunder across the United States delivering freight and carrying people than most septuagenarians who actually bore witness to the era.
2010-06-07 Inner space
Every summer, the Fort Wayne Ballet presents a performance of an original work under the moniker Fort Wayne Ballet, Too. It’s a showcase for experimental, new work by an emerging choreographer, and the program is designed to highlight the types of dance or movement that a typical performance season may not have room for.
2010-06-07 GearFest 2010: Kurth & Taylor
The music industry has more than its fair share of improbable success stories and “happy accidents,” and one of the more interesting of these will perform at Sweetwater’s 2010 GearFest on June 26.
2010-05-25 From page to stage
For nearly 25 years, playwright Nancy Carlson has known a group of five women who take an annual vacation to a run-down lake resort. But she just met them, in the flesh, a few weeks ago…
2010-05-10 Butcher, baker, candlestick maker
It’s probably a lot easier to tell you what Working: the Musical is not than to attempt to describe what it is. You’d probably get the wrong impression.
2010-05-10 Whatever happened to…
The Fort Wayne Reader has covered a lot of stories over the years, and occasionally, we’ve devoted a cover story to something that seemed like it had the potential to be a big deal in the community, something people talked about, got people energized and inspired, augered “big things” to come…
2010-04-22 Turning Japanese
As fairy tales go, one of the classics that never seems to lose its magic dust is The Princess and the Pea. It’s been revisited frequently in film and on stage, and perhaps one of the reasons the story seems ripe for reinvention is that it’s a lot of fun for actors and directors to put their own stamp on the basic bare bone material of the story.
2010-04-22 Conversation killer
When Chris Colcord signed on to direct the Arena Dinner Theater’s production of Dial M for Murder, he wasn’t really prepared for what he was getting into.
2010-04-22 Conley for Council
“I love Northeast Indiana, I’ve lived here my whole life, and I feel as though I can make a difference,” says Mike Conley. “It’s a pretty simplistic answer, but it’s the truth. What more do you need beyond that?”
2010-04-04 Performances in April
Two very different performances grace Fort Wayne's stages this April
2010-03-22 Running down a dream
To put it simply, La Sylphide is the timeless story of a groom who starts having second thoughts in the aftermath of his bachelor party…
2010-03-22 Meet the new FWMoA
“One does not have to be at the Chicago Institute to be an intelligent curator,” says Charles Shepard III, Executive Director of the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. “This is an important point in my mind, because I think across the country, in smaller communities, a lot of times museums feel like they’re lesser or smaller or whatever. You can be a dynamo at any size. If you use your mind, you can really come up with terrific shows and go after them.”
2010-03-08 A cast of many talents
I could cite the broken box office records, the chart-topping soundtrack albums, the many hit revivals that Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has racked up since it debuted some 40 years ago — the first collaboration between Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice to hit the big stage, by the way…
2010-03-08 Conservative contender
We’re told that the 2010 mid-term elections will be a bad one for incumbents. Democrats will probably bear the brunt of voter dissatisfaction with government — after all, there’s more of them in there right now — but members of Congress sitting on the other side of the aisle shouldn’t rest easy: many Republicans, the argument goes, are also spending a little too freely, talking like conservatives on social issues but throwing taxpayer money around like liberals.
2010-02-20 Love and memory
To put it the simplest way possible, Eurydice is playwright Sarah Ruhl’s take on the Greek myth of Orpheus. But Jeffery Cassazza says not to let that scare you.
2010-02-20 The Fort Wayne Rock Documentary
For such a seemingly unassuming guy, Greg Locke is pretty ambitious. Many people probably know Locke as a perceptive critic and an enthusiastic chronicler of Fort Wayne’s music scene. Now, he is venturing into filmmaking.
2010-02-04 The “other” orphan Anne
Anne of Green Gables starts off with a major misunderstanding, and it’s the perfect beginning for a story that’s basically about perception and how one sees other people.
2010-02-04 Blues with a feeling
When harmonica player Bill Lupkin and the Chicago Connection take the stage at the First Annual Blues & Soul Food Bash at the Arts United Center on February 20th, they’ll be bringing a whole lot of history with them.
2010-01-25 The play’s the thing
The Ladies In Cabin 10, a story about five middle-aged friends on an annual summer vacation, is the winner of Fort Wayne Civic Theater’s first annual Northeast Indiana Playwright Contest. Winning playwright Nancy Carlson will have her play performed at the first annual Northeast Indiana Playwright Festival at the Allen County Public Library June 4 – 6. Carlson was one of five playwrights honored.
2010-01-25 The Light Lease Trust Fund
Back in 1974, during the Ivan Lebamoff administration, city leaders did something pretty remarkable. It was felt that the city’s electric power grid — situated in what’s basically the Science Central site these days and serviced, back then, by City Light — was not adequate anymore, and the City was looking to get out of the utilities business anyway…
2010-01-11 Karen Gibbons-Brown in On Technique
New York, London, Monte Carlo… Fort Wayne? One of those things is not like the other, maybe. But a common denominator can be found a book called On Technique by dancer Dan Speer and published by the University Press of Florida.
2010-01-11 The Cultural District Project
For the past several months, a collection of Fort Wayne organizations — the Convention and Visitors Bureau; Arts United; and the Downtown Improvement District — have been meeting with a group of concerned stakeholders to create what could be an important tool in the next stage of Fort Wayne’s downtown development.
2009-12-19 The whole hog
Medieval pageantry, Christmas carols galore, a cast of 157… And Beefeaters. Lots of Beefeaters.
2009-12-06 Christmas isn't just for the good kids
In The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Imogene Herdman (Hannah Moore), the young hellion who winds up portraying Mary in the annual church Christmas pageant, has her own take on being refused a room at the inn. “I don’t get a room at the inn? This ain’t fair! I’m going to just go to these people and say ‘I’m sorry, it’s the middle of winter and I’ve got this baby so you’ve got to get out or move over!’"
2009-12-06 The Fort Wayne Ballet's guest dancer Ariel Cisneros
Two weeks ago, just as FWR #138 was streaming its way to the printers with our cover story on the Fort Wayne Ballet’s 2009 production of The Nutcracker, we got a phone call from guest dancer Ariel Cisneros…
2009-11-24 Hell is an awfully big city
David Russell made a promise to himself many years ago when he served in the military during the first Iraq war: if he made it out of that experience, he was going to pursue his dream of becoming a horror writer.
2009-11-09 Tradition vs. change
The Fiddler On the Roof made its Broadway debut in 1964, and it’s probably safe to say that there’s been at least one production happening on some stage somewhere every night since.
2009-11-09 The Price of Patience
The Fort Wayne City Council’s meeting on October 27 was the Biggie. That was the session where council was expected to pass — or not — the city budget; it was also the session where city council members offered up their recommendations to trim the budget.
2009-10-20 So many ways to be wicked…
A quiz: if you were a dancer, what would you think would be the deadliest of the Seven Deadly Sins? According to Liz Monnier, artistic director of The Fort Wayne Dance Collective, it’s Sloth. “No one really wanted Sloth,” she says. “Dancers like to do exciting things.”
2009-10-20 Congressional rematch
For a U.S. Congressional campaign, there’s really no such thing as too soon. This past August, Dr. Tom Hayhurst, a former member of Fort Wayne’s city council, announced that he would once again seek the Democratic ticket to challenge Mark Souder for Indiana’s 3rd Congressional District in 2010, giving those who follow Indiana politics something to chew on during the non-election year of 2009.
2009-10-05 Mean girls and tough guys… 50s style
Youtheatre’s 76th season launches Saturday, October 10 with the original “high school musical” Grease, and the play’s young cast is trying to get their heads around a world in which The Mickey Mouse Club was considered cool.
2009-10-05 Quilt: a musical celebration and a timely reminder
For nearly three decades now, HIV/AIDS had been such a prevalent national and global health issue that many people under 40 might find the sort of fear and paranoia that surrounded the disease when it first began to creep into the national consciousness back in the early/mid 80s hard to believe.
2009-09-21 Fort Wayne Ballet leaps into '09/'10 season
Whenever FWR checks in on the Fort Wayne Ballet, one of the favorite topics of conversation we have with artistic director Karen Gibbons-Brown is the misconceptions, myths, and just plain bizarre rumors about ballet and ballet dancers that tend to get passed around.
2009-09-21 Will Parkview Field rock?
Mike Nutter, President and General Manager of the Fort Wayne TinCaps, has been with the minor league organization since 1999, and he’s had to deal with some high pressure situations during that time.
2009-09-08 The ghosts in the piano
Ghosts, both literal and metaphorical, haunt the African-American family in August Wilson’s award-winning play The Piano Lesson. At its heart, The Piano Lesson is a story about the conflict between the present and the past, when to honor your history and when to let it go
2009-09-08 “Culture Is Good for Business”
Culture is good for business. That’s the philosophy, or at least part of the philosophy, behind the Three Rivers Institute of Afrikan Arts and Culture (T.R.I.A.A.C.), the non-profit organization that local musician and artist Ketu Oladuwa set up two years ago as an umbrella for the different projects and events he has been involved with in Fort Wayne for many years.
2009-08-25 Calhoun conversion
Plans to reconfigure the one-way section of Calhoun Street that runs between Washington and Berry have been floating since 2006, but as expected it only took a few days after Fort Wayne City Council’s 6 – 3 vote in favor of the project for construction crews to get busy.
2009-08-25 Opportunities?
For people who would like to see downtown Fort Wayne transformed into a vibrant, buzzing place to live, work, and play, a favorite parlor game — or bar stool game, to be more accurate — is “wouldn’t it be nice if…” Or “wouldn’t it be cool if…” Or “why doesn’t someone get off their lazy butts and…”
2009-08-09 Hear No Noise
In 2008, Metavari, a Fort Wayne-based instrumental “post-rock” band, was performing at Down the Line 2, an annual fund-raiser for the Embassy boasting a line-up of original local bands paying tribute to their influences…
2009-07-21 CasiNO
Mayor Henry’s hopes to have a special referendum on a casino in Fort Wayne were disappointed last June when the bill necessary to set up the referendum did not make it through committee during the extended legislative session in Indianapolis.
2009-07-21 Schticky singers
Harvey Cocks has directed the Fort Wayne Civic Theater’s summer musical for the past 11 years, yet there’s something about The Producers that seems particularly suited to Cocks. The story is set in the hustle and bustle of the old New York theater world that Cocks was a part of for many years and knows very, very well.
2009-07-21 Renaissance Pointe Redux
Renaissance Pointe seemed like an ambitious plan when Mayor Graham Richard introduced it in 2006. In fact, it seemed like the kind of innovative thinking that a lot of current theories in modern urban studies and revitalization espouse — an aggressive plan to re-introduce “city living” to Fort Wayne by investing in the existing infrastructure and using “green” design in many aspects of Renaissance Pointe’s development.
2009-07-06 The writing on the wall
To hear Julia Meek tell it, it all started with Sam Hyde’s love of a Mastodon… In 2005, Meek — an area artist who also hosts the radio program Folktales on NIPR — created a Mastodon for the “Mastodons on Parade” event.
2009-06-18 The Monster Show
Monsters aren’t what they used to be. Or at least that’s what curator Rebecca Stockert thought when she began to solicit pieces for the Monster Show, an art show running through the end of June at the Firefly Coffee Shop on North Anthony.
2009-06-18 The Green Show
As the old saying goes, one person’s trash is another person’s material for artistic expression. Or something like that. But that’s one of the ideas behind a great deal of the work at Artlink’s Green Show, which runs at the downtown gallery through July 7.
2009-06-04 Fort Wayne Ballet, Too
When choreographer David Ingram arrives in Fort Wayne the second week of June, he’ll have about two weeks to put together the program for the Fort Wayne Ballet Too performances scheduled for June 24 at the Cinema Center. And Ingram isn’t 100% sure of what he’s doing yet…
2009-06-04 The Safe Streets Task Force
During the last week of May, the FBI announced that it was collaborating with local law enforcement agencies to fight violent crime and organized gangs in the Fort Wayne area as part of a program called the Safe Streets Task Force (SSTF).
2009-05-18 Brookview Beautiful 2: the City responds
FWR #124 featured a cover story on improvement and development projects in and around Fort Wayne’s historic Brookview neighborhood, and the efforts of the residents there to have a say in the various changes the City of Fort Wayne and the Indiana Department of Highways have planned for their area.
2009-05-18 No cover
“What do people really remember about the film version of The Full Monty?” says John O’Connell, director of the Civic Theater’s musical production of the story, which makes its debut May 15. “They remember that it’s about an unlikely group of unemployed guys who decide to do a night of Chippendale’s-style stripping in order to make a bunch of money."
2009-05-18 Back on track
The last passenger train rolled out of Fort Wayne’s Baker Street Station during the fall of 1990, but it seems that ever since then, rumors of Amtrak’s return to the city have popped up every few years or so. But in early April, a rally at the Baker Street Station in support of renewing passenger rail service through Fort Wayne was the strongest sign yet that the idea might become a reality sometime in the very near future.
2009-04-30 YLNI in ’09
When Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana (YLNI) launched in May 2005 with an “informational open house” at the Dash-In downtown, attendees were encouraged to write down the things they would like to see happen in Fort Wayne.
2009-04-21 "It's like normal high school… except with singing and dancing"
The young cast of Youtheatre’s production of High School Musical 2 all tell me the same thing when I ask too many questions about the story, or their characters, or certain scenes in the musical. Hunter Debolt, who plays pianist Kelsi Nielson, sums it up: “I don’t want to ruin what happens,” she says. “You’ll have to come see it.”
2009-04-21 A Depression-era fable in Southern Indiana
Jim Leonard’s Depression-era play The Diviners — which begins its run at IPFW on April 17 — won the National American College Theatre Festival Playwriting Award in 1980 and, later that year, was produced professionally at the Circle Repertory Theater in 1980, earning rave reviews.
2009-04-21 Brookview beautiful?
Last summer, Michelle Briggs Wedaman, a resident of Fort Wayne’s historic Brookview neighborhood just north of downtown, called David Ross at the City Engineer’s office, seeking some information about a proposed project on State Boulevard that had recently hit the local media.
2009-04-07 Full House
The Dance Collective brings Wonderboy to town; the Fort Wayne Civic Theater presents the edgy work of Christopher Durang in 5 in 1; and Sweetwater hosts the other-worldy sound of the SEAMUS conference.
2009-03-10 "It's Alive!"
Some people spend years trying to figure out what they want to do with themselves. Not Steve Blanchard. In high school, Blanchard decided that acting would be a great way to make a living, and set out to do just that…
2009-02-24 Horn of Plenty (of trouble)
Once upon a time, in an era known as the 1940s and 50s, giant, flashing neon signs loomed over the cityscapes and highways of America like resurrected prehistoric beasts in a drive-in movie…
2009-02-24 Summit City Shakespeare
Thom Hofrichter, Managing Artistic Director of the First Presbyterian Theater, admits something that you don’t expect to hear from a guy who has spent almost his entire adult life in the theater. For a long time, he confesses, he just really didn’t like Shakespeare
2009-02-10 The spider & the sty
For a classic children’s story full of talking barnyard animals and a kindly spider, Charlotte’s Web sure doesn’t go easy on its porcine protagonist Wilbur…
2009-02-10 Mayor Henry and the Tough Year
During an ordinary year, governing a sizeable city with its various ongoing projects, plans for the future, and general daily needs is no small responsibility. But 2008 was no ordinary year. It was an extraordinary year, and not in a good way. The problems that plagued the country in 2008 — mortgage crisis, financial collapse, economic downturn, loss of jobs, etc. — came home, and Fort Wayne found itself beset by what Mayor Tom Henry, just ending his first year in office, euphemistically calls “economic challenges.”
2009-01-16 Deck the Halls, 1938
Okay, one more holiday-related picture…
2009-01-16 Civic Theater's The Glass Menagerie
Tackling a play like Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie means shedding a lot of baggage. The story of the Wingfield family, stuck in somewhat emotionally and economically desperate circumstances after Mr. Wingfield abandons them, is one of the most famous plays by one of the most famous American playwrights of the 20th century.
2009-01-16 Casino boogie
Rumors of a casino in Fort Wayne pop up every few years, but gambling talk reached a fever pitch in late 2008. Stories appeared in local media, the question came up at a city council meeting, and a local businessman announced plans to develop a casino, waterpark, hotel and theater…
2009-01-05 The Best Television Shows of 2008
The best TV series of the 2008 season was also the best of the 2007 season – Mad Men. I thought that the sophomore season of Mad Men couldn’t be as good as the first – but how wrong I was!
2008-12-23 Shopping for Memories visits downtown Fort Wayne’s retail past
Jim Barron doesn’t quite know how he came to be the chronicler of downtown Fort Wayne’s glory days.
2008-12-09 Youtheatre delivers The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
The Herdmans are the kind of family that can make even the most generous soul forget that the Christmas season is supposed to be about kindness, giving, and goodwill towards others.
2008-12-09 What’s in a name?
The Harrison Square and Parkview Field projects have met with considerable public controversy. That statement comes as absolutely no surprise to anyone who has glanced at a local headline or listened with half-an-ear to a news report over the past two years…
2008-11-25 Creating the magic of a holiday tradition
Karen Gibbons-Brown, the executive director of the Fort Wayne Ballet, knows exactly when she started work for this year’s production The Nutcracker — December 9, 2007.
2008-11-06 The human factor
The story told in Lee Blessing’s Two Rooms seems torn right from today’s headlines — a Middle East in turmoil; terrorists; kidnapping; a U.S. government trying to balance its idealistic policies with events in “the real world”; and a media trying to define its role to a suspicious public.
2008-11-06 Family tree
In the summer of 2005, while vacationing on Michigan’s Leelanau peninsula, Fort Wayne attorney Tom Shoaff happened to see a massive, gnarled elder box tree lying on the ground, felled by storms the night before.
2008-11-06 Oscar the Grouch
Sure, ballparks are all well and good, but for civic leaders and city boosters seeking other creative means to draw tourists to our fair city, slow the brain drain, and put Fort Wayne on the proverbial map, I have two words for you: Lake Monster.
2008-10-21 The 2008 Great tree Canopy Comeback
The bad news: Fort Wayne Parks are losing their trees. Several years ago, Friends of the Parks and the Cultural Landscape Committee of the Fort Wayne park board commissioned a Cultural Landscape Report. They found that three of Fort Wayne’s major parks — Lakeside, Memorial, and Swinney — had lost nearly 50% of their tree canopy since 1949.
2008-10-21 Verbal Abuse
Last winter, David Kopson — editor of local fiction magazine The Margin and a poet and writer in his own right — sequestered himself in his garage to get a grip on a literary project that he had been toying around with for several months. “It was basically me locked away in my garage, chain smoking, sitting in front of my laptop with whiskey at appropriate times, but mostly coffee,” he says.
2008-10-21 Downtown Fright Night 2008
On Saturday, October 25, zombies, ghosts, goblins and monsters of all stripes — as well as a few superheroes and princesses — will descend on downtown Fort Wayne for the 2nd annual Fright Night, a family-friendly evening of Halloween activities hosted by different downtown organizations.
2008-10-21 Schoolyard Scrape
“Do you want to talk about buildings?” asks Evert Mol, Fort Wayne Community School board candidate. “Sure, I guess I can talk about buildings…” Frankly, Evert Mol seems a little tired of talking about buildings. But it’s because of buildings that Mol finds himself as a contender for the 5th district seat on the Fort Wayne Community School Board, running against 27-year FWCS board veteran Steve Corona.
2008-10-07 Perception vs reality
To paraphrase L.P. Hartley, the past is a foreign country. You can know the basic facts, but what really happens there — or happened — and why and how, is almost impossible to understand. And when it involves family, seeing the truth can be even more difficult.
2008-10-07 Harvey Cocks: A Life in Theater
Harvey Cocks is struggling to remember the very first play he ever directed. He knows it was in summer stock theater during his time in New York in the 50s. He remembers Melvyn Douglas was in it, and he remembers the play was about the first girl to play on a football team. “Oh, it was a terrible, terrible play,” he laughs, before adding. “You’ll have to forgive me. I’m having a senior moment.” Hardly. With nearly seven decades of show business memories to draw from, Cocks can be forgiven for forgetting the name of a play here or there.
2008-09-22 "A step — or leap — into this century"
In many professional fields these days, the trend is towards specialization, with any particular field divided up into segments or boxes. But Fort Wayne Ballet artistic director Karen Gibbons-Brown says the current world of ballet and dance is more like a wheel, with no distinct lines separating one form of dance from another.
2008-09-22 Red state blues
The presidential primary last May brought a flurry of attention to Indiana as both Democratic party candidates and their spouses came seeking our vote in what was a very tight race. It was the first time Indiana had played a hand in Democratic Party politics since dinosaurs strode the Earth (actually, it was 1968), and we loved the attention. Senators Clinton and Obama toured the state, bought ads, made surprise visits, gave speeches… and they promised us that when they finally, officially, secured their party’s nomination for the presidency, they wouldn’t forget us. To which even the most idealistic Democrat in the great state of Indiana might reply… “yeah, right!”
2008-09-10 The Fort Wayne Philharmonic auditions its first conductor candidate
Audiences at the Fort Wayne Philharmonic will see a few new faces behind the conductor’s podium over the next several months as the orchestra auditions for a new conductor (or maybe, strictly speaking, they’ll see a few new backs and arms). After a long selection process, the candidates on the short list will be leading the Philharmonic during a series of concerts that will allow them to demonstrate their skills with the baton.
2008-09-10 The gift of gab
Noel Coward wrote a lot of plays, but the type of thing he’s especially known for are his “comedies of manners” — sophisticated satires that hum along like a fine tuned sports car, powered by rapid-fire wit.
2008-09-10 The Devil Music Ensemble vs. The Red Heroine
When film-goers of the silent movie era packed the big movie palaces back in the 1920s, they could usually count on hearing a musician or ensemble scoring the film live. Sometimes the musicians played a prepared score, or sometimes they improvised with popular tunes of the day. Houses with the big pipe organs (like the one at the Embassy) could deliver the full orchestral experience, and even throw in some sound effects.
2008-09-10 Comics in the Fort
A few of Fort Wayne's finest cartoonists…
2008-08-18 Sweetwater brings its expertise to its own Academy of Music
As millions of customers all over the world can attest, the people at Sweetwater aren’t just music equipment retailers, they’re experts at the stuff. They know the gear, they know how it works, and they know how to use it.
2008-08-18 The Kelty faithful
Back in February 2007, with the mayoral primary still over two months away, aspiring Republican candidate Matt Kelty had this to say in an interview with the Fort Wayne Reader (issue #72)…
2008-08-04 All-star line up at Roots & Rhythm festival
The Roots & Rhythm Festival — an all-day event happening Saturday, August 16 at Headwaters Parks — showcases a diverse line-up of national and regional talent, and festival organizer Bruce Lehman is still reeling at how quickly the show came together. “We just came up with the idea eight months ago,” he laughs. “Now it’s just a few weeks away.”
2008-08-04 Nashville singer-songwriter Tori Sparks stops by Mid City Grill
It’s well before noon, and Nashville-based singer songwriter Tori Sparks has already put in a day’s worth of work.
2008-08-04 New leadership at the D.I.D.
When Richard Davis, the new executive director of Fort Wayne’s Downtown Improvement District, was interviewed for the job last winter, he had a chance to turn the tables on the selection committee and ask them some questions.
2008-07-21 Working hard at being silly
Even by the screwball standards of most musical comedies, Thoroughly Modern Millie stands apart in terms of sheer goofiness. But that’s what makes it such a great show, explains director Harvey Cocks…
2008-07-21 Inner city blues
Late one October night in 2006, a Molotov cocktail exploded on the back porch of Phil Marx’s house. Another burst in the back yard, while a third smoldered in the front.
2008-07-07 Rock Band: 101
Various scientific studies have expounded on the benefits of studying music, pointing out how learning to play an instrument can improve everything from hand-eye coordination to abstract reasoning skills. In fact, one 1998 study by the University of Muenster in Germany discovered that music lessons in early childhood actually enlarged parts of the brain.
2008-06-23 T.I.F. for the P.T.C.?
On June 10, Fort Wayne City Council unanimously voted to approve Citilink’s pursuit of $518,000 in tax revenue from Indiana’s Department of Local and Government Finance (DLGF). It was the latest chapter in a story that began last November, when Citilink asked for a tax levy appeal by the DLGF after Citilink realized it hadn’t collected the money from recently annexed areas. But in February, the Department of Local and Government Finance said that by law Citilink couldn’t collect the revenue without city council’s approval. Not getting the revenue, Citilink warned, could lead to increased rates and reduced services.
2008-06-10 Historical Truth
By all accounts, Sojourner Truth cut an incredibly charismatic and powerful figure. Born into slavery in Swartekill, New York in 1797, Truth went on to become one of the most prominent abolitionists and women’s rights crusaders in the 1800s. She supposedly stood nearly 6’ tall and possessed a deep, resonant voice that, while not especially loud, seemed to command attention, and her speeches and lectures brought her the attention of the era’s most powerful figures, including Abraham Lincoln.
2008-06-10 New moves
These days, ballet companies aren’t “just” ballet companies. True, traditional ballet is demanding enough, and it forms the foundation of everything a modern company does, but ballet companies often encompass a huge range of dance, and are always incorporating new forms.
2008-06-10 Fort-4-Fitness
Tim Kenesey, CEO of Medical Protective and the Chairman of the Fort-4-Fitness health festival taking place in September, is trying to come up with a tactful way of addressing the big elephant head that pops up anytime the words “Fort Wayne” and “health” are mentioned in the same sentence.
2008-05-20 The big picture(s)
For the Downtown Improvement District’s Art Crawl, the art won’t just be big. In some cases, it’ll be huge. Literally.
2008-05-20 Foot traffic
Fort Wayne fears a lot of things. Flooding. Change. A Democrat in the White House. And walking. Ask what the biggest impediments to downtown development are and on the shortlist will be “lack of convenient parking spaces.” By this we usually mean we might have to walk an entire city block or two to get where we want to go.
2008-05-06 Coffee clash
What does Fort Wayne need? A thriving downtown? A baseball stadium? Lower taxes, clean water, and job opportunities? Sure. But Fort Wayne also needs doughnuts. Lots of doughnuts. And we’re going to get them.
2008-04-21 Andy Friedman — the “Hillbilly Leonard Cohen” — stops by The Brass Rail
The songs on Taken Man, the first studio album by Brooklyn-based country artist Andy Friedman, boast the kind of lyrics that you have to pay attention to. They don’t so much demand your ear as draw you in and make you eager for what he’s going to say next. Literate, world-weary, and a little sardonic, and set off by stark, simple arrangements, the songs on Taken Man have lead to Friedman being described as a “Hillbilly Leonard Cohen” and an “erudite redneck.”
2008-04-21 Hearts, Minds, and Delegates
No matter what your political affiliation, your political beliefs, or even your level of interest in the 2008 campaign, you’ve probably woken up at some time in the past month and thought — what kind of upside down bizarro world are we living in where Indiana is playing a significant role in Democratic national politics?
2008-04-08 Youtheatre ends ’07-’08 season with Annie Jr
Annie is one of the most popular and beloved musicals of all time. And why not? You’ve got a tough but cute and spirited orphan, a bald no-nonsense capitalist named Daddy Warbucks, and at least two songs that are darn near impossible to forget, one of which — “Tomorrow” — ranks up there with “It’s A Small World” in the “hear-it-once-and-it’s-with-you-forever-like-it-or-not” category.
2008-04-08 Fort Wayne: Hotbed of Higher Education
Many moons ago, FWR took an informal survey for an article on what residents of Fort Wayne liked about their city. People mentioned the low cost of living, the arts, and how folks here were generally “nice” (hey, that’s what they said). But the response we did not see coming: the number of great educational opportunities for working adults.
2008-03-24 Life lessons
Talk to Harvey Cocks and Richard Marchbanks about their roles in the Civic Theater’s production of Tuesdays with Morrie, which begins its run on March 28, and they’ll both tell you how honored they are to be able to play these parts, how they’re discovering more and more about the characters during rehearsals, and how much they’ve grown to admire the two people they’re portraying on stage. All of which is true.
2008-03-24 Valerie Tutson keeps the storyteller's tradition alive
Valerie Tutson has been telling stories since 1991. She knows so many stories — traditional African stories, Bible stories, black history stories, folktales, songs — that she says actually counting them is an overwhelming task.
2008-03-24 Faces of Fort Wayne
The mission statement for Faces of Fort Wayne tells you that the event will showcase the artistic talents of the city’s diverse international community.
2008-03-24 On your feet!
Last month, the all-male New Zealand dance troupe Black Grace performed at the World of Music and Dance Festival (WOMAD) in Adelade, Australia. Around 15,000 people came to see their kinetic blend of contemporary and Pacific island dance forms, and the response, says Black Grace founder and artistic director Neil Ieremia, was overwhelming. “At the end, everybody jumped to their feet and started yelling and carrying on,” he says. “It was fantastic.”
2008-03-10 "…and at least one of them lived unhappily ever after."
Giselle is one of those fairy tales where a beautiful, charming young woman meets the man of her dreams and falls in love. Unfortunately, her love interest is a jerk who betrays her affections, and though he’s redeemed, he’ll spend the rest of his life knowing he has missed his chance at happiness. Still, in the end, he probably has it better than his love, Giselle — she’s dead.
2008-03-10 Steve Shine and the Allen County G.O.P.
In politics, the public mantra of any spokesperson is “everything is fine.” As chair of the Allen County Republican Party, attorney Steve Shine has been a very visible and effective spokesperson for his party since he took the position in 1993. But one of the interesting things about Shine is that he won’t tell you that everything is fine among the Allen County G.O.P.
2008-02-18 Going off the Rails
Robert Davis is a troubled man. Despised by his wife and harangued by his boss, Davis is on his daily train commute when he loses his briefcase full of documents concerning the merger of his contracting firm. A stress-induced panic attack leaves him unconscious on the platform, and when he wakes up, he’s all alone, the station deserted and a disembodied voice on the PA speakers announcing the arrival and departure of trains that don’t seem to exist.
2008-02-18 Veterans of Fort Wayne Theater make up The Odd Couple
The play The Odd Couple needs little introduction — author Neil Simon is hardly a stranger to success, commercial or artistic, and The Odd Couple is easily his most popular work, spawning a hit film and TV show, plus countless spin-offs, take-offs, and revivals
2008-02-18 Grassroots Green moves beyond the bad news
To hear John Steinbach tell it, he was just one of millions who had their eyes opened and their hearts shaken by An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore’s award-winning 2006 documentary about global warming.
2008-02-04 The trials and tribulations of a rambunctious 8-year-old
At the beginning of Youtheatre’s production of Ramona Quimby, Beatrice “Beezus” Quimby (Lindsey Lehman), older sister of the title character, tells the audience that some plays are about famous people doing great things, or fantastical creatures in magical places, or are set in the far off future or in the distant past… But the story you’re about to see is about normal people, and happens in the most unremarkable place you can imagine, the kind of place where if “a bomb dropped on Washington, DC… people would still continue to mow their lawns.”
2008-02-04 Everyone, everyday, everywhere
If you’ve ever enjoyed a Philharmonic concert, a Civic Theater performance, or checked out a “hot buzz” independent film at the Cinema Center, you have Arts United to partially thank for that.
2008-01-21 Princess and the Pea
A domineering queen, a shady advisor, a weak king, a repressed prince, a free-spirited damsel and young love thwarted… All elements that could either make for gut-wrenching Shakespearean tragedy or gut-busting farce.
2008-01-21 Myths of the Smoking Ban
Since Fort Wayne’s ordinance prohibiting smoking in virtually all public areas went into effect on June 1, 2007, the fallout on local businesses has been the subject of rampant speculation and rumor-mongering.
2008-01-07 Best & Worst of 2007
Our opinionated and highly arbitrary rundown of things we liked and didn’t like in 2007 reflects nothing more than the fact that we spent a lot of time thinking and talking about these things in FWR Towers this year. A lot of them have to do with local politics, and why not — it was a good year for it.
2007-12-24 New times for New Haven
While Fort Wayne has been studying, debating, and squabbling about downtown development for the last few years, New Haven just to the east of us has been going through its own revitalization process, sprucing up its downtown area, improving its parks, connecting its arm of the River Greenway to ours, and looking at some other exciting projects in the works.
2007-12-11 Christmas goes to the wild Herdmans
For a story that centers around a church Christmas pageant, there’s not a lot of harmony, generosity and seasonal goodwill going on in the Fort Wayne Youtheatre’s production of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.
2007-12-11 The Stars of Access Fort Wayne
“Some people think of us as the editorial page of the cable system,” says Norm Compton, manager of Access Fort Wayne at the Allen County Public Library. “People can come in here, produce programs, and say what they want as regards to whatever subject that is.”
2007-11-20 Fall Brawl
The Saturday after Thanksgiving, a small army of women decked out in skirts and kneepads and boasting names like Whiskey Soured, Malice Cooper, and Chainsaw Mary will converge on the Memorial Coliseum for a day of no holds-barred, knee bruisin’, lip bustin’, roller derby action.
2007-11-20 Mayor Richard and the Big Picture
The interview with Fort Wayne Mayor Graham Richard was conducted on election day, when Fort Wayne residents (well, a few of them, at least) were headed to the booths to cast their vote for his replacement. The first question is what advice he would have for the next mayor, whoever that might turn out to be.
2007-11-20 A 20-year holiday tradition
The 2007 production of The Nutcracker marks the 20th year in a row that the Fort Wayne Ballet has produced the holiday classic in its entirety, and the ballet’s artistic director Karen Gibbons-Brown (this is her 9th production in Fort Wayne) says she is asked all the time why they do The Nutcracker every year. “The answer is, of course, that it’s a community holiday tradition,” she says. “Not just in our community, but in communities all around the US.”
2007-11-01 Assuming you’re elected…
We asked Republican Mayoral candidate Matt Kelty and Democratic Mayoral candidate Tom Henry five questions on what they would do if they were elected. Here are their answers.
2007-11-01 Fort Wayne horror writer David Russell finds a home in e-publishing
David Russell remembers very clearly the day he decided to get serious about being a writer. A fan of the horror and sci-fi genres (he counts Stephen King, early Anne Rice, and Harlan Ellison among his favorites), Russell had written stories for as long as he could remember, but it wasn’t until he had graduated Wayne High school and found himself in the army that he realized that that was what he really wanted to do.
2007-11-01 It’s not easy being green
“Love will make you do things you’d normally thought you wouldn’t do, and that’s all in this play,” says actor Dwight Wilson, one of the stars of the Civic Theatre’s production of Little Shop of Horrors. “The underlying story of this play is that everything has a cost and a consequence. What are you willing to sacrifice or do to get what you want?”
2007-10-22 Original monster
“My catch phrase: it’s not your grandmother’s Frankenstein. It’s your great great great grandmother’s Frankenstein,” laughs director Brad Beauchamp, describing Playing With Fire (After Frankenstein), the play that makes its debut on Saturday, October 27 for the first of five shows at the University of Saint Francis.
2007-10-22 Fort Wayne Fright Night
On Saturday night, October 27, the streets of downtown Fort Wayne will be swarming with ghosts, goblins, witches… and probably a few pirates, princesses, dinosaurs, and Jedi. But don’t worry: they’ll all be the friendly type.
2007-10-22 Sam Talarico: the exit interview
This year, Sam Talarico Jr., a two-term At-Large Fort Wayne City Council member, got an e-mail from someone who told him they were looking forward to reading his obituary soon. Talarico didn’t know how seriously to take the e-mail, but just to be safe, he forwarded it to the Chief of Police. “I would not call that a death threat, but it was a little alarming,” he says. “I forwarded it on because I didn’t know what that meant. I didn’t know if they were wishing me some natural death, or…”
2007-10-08 “The Start of Something New” for Fort Wayne Youtheatre
Two or three years ago, Fort Wayne Youtheatre was having a little problem. Some of the classics like The Velveteen Rabbit and Snow White that the organization had relied on through much of its seven decades of existence weren’t drawing the crowds like they used to. Not that the actors were playing to half-empty houses by any means, but interest in those plays seemed to have tapered off. “Those shows just weren’t selling out like they had been in the past,” says Harvey Cocks, Youtheatre’s executive director.
2007-10-08 The Marquee Quest
For one night only, citizens of Fort Wayne will have the opportunity to witness Paul Helmke, Melissa Long, Lee Kelso and a gaggle of other area luminaries engage in nefarious backstabbing, professional jealousy, and murder…
2007-09-24 Fort Wayne Ballet's Director's Choice delivers variety
The Fort Wayne Ballet launches its 51st season with “Director’s Choice,” an eclectic program that offers something a little different. It begins with the tried and true — Act II of “Swan Lake” — and from there takes off in a few directions you might not expect, touching on Hungarian folk dancing, jazz, Christina Aguilera… and dodge ball, to name a few.
2007-09-24 The Seven Wonders of Fort Wayne
A couple months ago, we decided to come up with a list of the seven wonders of Fort Wayne. Basically, we sat around the office and talked to friends and said things like “the Sunbeam bread sign. What’s up with that?” But just to make our selection process sound a little more scientific, we came up with a few guidelines.
2007-09-24 Newsflash! Drawing famous comic book heroes is hard work!
Don Kramer has had a succession of jobs that struggling comic book artists dream about. A well-respected up-and-coming artist in the comic book world, Kramer’s current gig is with comic powerhouse DC, where he’s been the artist on one of their most iconic characters — Batman. He’s worked on DC’s JSA and the mini-series Dr. Fate, and right now he’s working on Detective Comics with writer Paul Dini, whose credits include the animated series Batman Beyond and an episode of Lost. Before DC, Kramer was at Marvel where he did a story on the Thing.
2007-09-07 The crafty side of honest Abe
I’m a big fan of all our modern conveniences — radio, television, the inter-web, air conditioning, cars, telephones, not to mention penicillin and anesthesia. But if there’s one thing we should figure out how to resurrect from the U.S.A. of yesteryear it’s political conventions, where the party officials get together to choose their nominee for president.
2007-09-07 Fan clubbed
The last time I talked to actor Robert Scrimm, he was preparing for Stones In His Pockets, a full length play with a two-person cast. Now, several months later he’s preparing for the Civic Theater’s production of Misery, another full length play with a two person cast. “I’m a glutton for punishment, apparently” he says. That would be especially true in this case…
2007-09-07 Henry speaks
Mayoral hopeful Tom Henry says that early in his campaign, his staff considered creating a contest based on the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” game. For those of you who are unfamiliar, “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”challenges you to hook up any actor or actress with actor Kevin Bacon in six steps — actor X was with actor Y in this movie, who was with that actor in this other movie, who starred with so-and-so in movie Z, who was with Kevin Bacon in whatever. In the Tom Henry version, you would need to “know” the Democratic Party’s candidate through a similar chain of friends and acquaintances. “But we were going to make you do it three steps,” Henry laughs.
2007-08-19 "Crazy Entrepreneurs" help spur downtown development
There’s a section of downtown Fort Wayne which, on any given weekday afternoon around lunchtime, can make you think you’re experiencing that vibrant downtown atmosphere a lot of people seem to want here.
2007-08-19 Hard times for the Kelty Campaign
At 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, August 15, Mayoral candidate Tom Henry held a press conference at a residence on South Anthony Boulevard. The prospect of the Democratic nominee for mayor finally doing some active campaigning probably would have gotten the media out anyway. The conference was very well attended, and the occasion was to announce Henry’s call for an initiation of a citywide safe house program. But not surprisingly, no one seemed to want to ask Tom Henry about that…
2007-08-06 This elephant never forgets… how to rock
If there’s one thing more unusual than a conservative politician addressing a basement full of indie music fans, it’s said politician making good on a campaign promise. That’s what a cynic might say, at least, but in this case, the cynic would have to eat his words.
2007-07-23 Messed up Marvin
Marvin is a mess. The protagonist of the musical "Falsettoland," which begins its four-date run at the Plymouth Congregational Church on Friday, July 27, Marvin has a wife, Trina, and a 10-year-old son Jason. But in the first act he tells us that he’s realized he’s gay, and leaves his family for another man.
2007-07-23 Who are these Libertarians anyway?
Over four months ago, Mike Sylvester, a local CPA and former chair of the Libertarian Party of Allen County, sent a list of 58 questions about Harrison Square to the Mayor’s office.
2007-07-09 Ways to Be Wicked
People have always been able to count on the Seven Deadly Sins to deliver an evening of quality entertainment. Back in the 16th century, the Seven Deadlies were a prime subject for the traveling morality plays, and even into the early parts of the last century, depictions of the wickedness of men and the suffering that would ensue livened up many a carnival show. The ostensible purpose of those portrayals was to deliver a stern cautionary tale to the audience of what would happen if one succumbed to temptation in any of its forms; punishment would usually take the form of boils, madness, or eternal damnation.
2007-06-18 How to build the perfect superhero
Superman, Spiderman, Extra-perceptive Olfaction man… They all started in someone’s imagination, and if in the mind of every child resides a superhero, a faster, braver, stronger version of themselves just waiting to don a flashy outfit and go leaping across cityscapes to battle evil doers, then Dominick Manco is here to help the kids bring that superhero out — or at least get it down on paper.
2007-06-18 Todd Harrold and Dan Mowan deliver Further From Yesterday
Music fans who have caught a performance by drummer/vocalist (and radio show host) Todd Harrold or have heard one of his albums know what to look forward to — a sort of R&B/jazz fusion with soulful vocals. His latest album, a collaboration with guitarist Dan Mowan called Further From Yesterday, is a bit of a departure…
2007-06-18 New brass at the Brass Rail
John Commorato Jr. a spoken word and multimedia artist, doesn’t shy away from challenging or difficult subject matter in his work. Working under the moniker Art Attack, Commorato has created two films — "------: Prelude to a Bad Tattoo" and "Valentine" — that had their debuts at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. He’s curated underground art shows and lent a hand to countless projects, and has been a tireless promoter of Fort Wayne’s underground arts scene. Now you can add “business owner” to that list…
2007-06-18 Troubled waters
Fort Wayne’s very own Maumee River, which starts here at the confluence of the St. Joseph and St Mary’s rivers, goes on to make quite a name for itself once it gets out of town. It’s not only the largest tributary to the Great Lakes, but also the largest watershed on the Great Lakes, stretching even up into parts of Northern Michigan; over 6,300 miles drains into the Maumee, and it’s estimated nearly two million people live in and rely on the Maumee River watershed. It’s also been the subject of three documentaries: The Fate of a River (1965); The Fate of a River 2 (2000)…
2007-06-18 Renaissance Pointe
Out of all the misunderstood plans for redeveloping downtown Fort Wayne that have been given the green light in the past year or so, none has been so misunderstood as the Renaissance Pointe development project. And considering how misunderstood, or half-understood, most downtown redevelopment plans have been, that’s really saying something.
2007-06-05 Good rockin’ with The Bel Airs
Back in high school, a few months after I got my driver’s license, I saw a rockabilly band called The Bel Airs tear up the stage at a place called the Blue Mountain Café downtown on the Landing. This was the mid-80s, when revisionist history insists we were all listening to The Cure and Joy Division and U2. But you didn’t hear that stuff on Fort Wayne radio in those days (well, maybe a little U2), and honestly, I don’t think I would have “got it” even if I did. The rockabilly though… I got it. To my un-jaded ears, this was real rock n’ roll, not the turgid stuff that was already being called “classic,” and The Bel Airs smoking through a collection of choice rockabilly tunes proved an effective antidote not only to “classic rock,” but whatever Phil Collins song was being played 74 times a day.
2007-06-05 Cookies, comics, and chords
How many times have you heard someone say they would love to have a job doing something they love? And I mean something they really love. Not just something they find interesting, challenging, or exciting — though of course, something you love probably involves all of those things, to some extent. But I mean something they really have a passion for.
2007-05-21 Party Crasher?
In the early evening of Tuesday, May 8, supporters of Nelson Peters’ campaign for the Republican nomination for mayor of Fort Wayne packed the Park Place Grill. Anticipation was high; practically everyone there, including many G.O.P. area heavyweights, thought that Peters would not only win the Republican nomination, but that they were welcoming the next mayor of Fort Wayne.
2007-05-08 On the Waterfront
The cheers in favor of Harrison Square have barely died down (or the blood hasn’t stopped boiling, for those of you on the other side of the issue), yet the city is already in the preliminary stages of another possible area for downtown development.
2007-04-24 He’s 19. Get over it.
“Everyone is talking about what they don’t have and what they don’t got,” says Ivan Hood, the 19-year-old candidate for the Republican nomination for Mayor of Fort Wayne. “People should stop complaining and just go out and try to get it.”
2007-04-24 Mass audience
Every few years Dale Tucker, the musical director and organist for the First Wayne Street United Methodist Church, leads the church choir on a European tour, performing at various big cathedrals and small town churches in several countries…
2007-04-24 Arf for Art's Sake
Larry Wardlaw has been Master of Ceremonies for countless events over the years. He’s M.C.’d the Junior Achievement annual meeting, functions for IPFW, several mayoral events… name an awards ceremony or recognition banquet held in the Grand Wayne Center and Wardlaw says he’s probably done a stint behind the podium as M.C. at one time or another.
2007-04-10 Indiana Dance Festival
During the weekend of April 13, one of the most exciting places to be for contemporary dance in the Midwest is Fort Wayne, when nationally-recognized dance companies and dance professionals converge on the city for the Indiana Dance Festival.
2007-04-10 Arrogance a plus for "Stones In His Pockets"
Chris Colcord has some choice words for the two actors he’s directing in Stones In His Pockets. “They’re kind of arrogant,” he says.
2007-04-10 "Alexander, Who’s Not (6x) Going to Move"
Last year, Fort Wayne Youtheatre’s production of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day was the most successful production in Youtheatre’s entire 73 year history…
2007-03-20 “Grenades,” “scoobies,” and the sport of Disc Golf
The past several years have seen what were once considered “slacker” sports like snowboarding, skateboarding, and many others go legit, attracting widespread media coverage and some very lucrative sponsorship deals. Fort Wayne resident Brent Koontz is hoping that disc golf will be the next sport to join their ranks.
2007-03-20 Leader of the Opposition
As dangerous firebrands go, Evert Mol doesn’t really fit the stereotype. A retired chemical engineer who volunteers at Elmhurst High School and Indian Village Elementary School several days a week, Mol is one of the last people you can imagine perched on the proverbial soapbox. Yet his measured and reasonable criticism of Fort Wayne Community Schools’ $500 million building project has put him in the spotlight as one of the leaders of a remonstrance against the project, and earned him a ban from FWCS buildings.
2007-03-20 St. Francis launches another venue for theater in Fort Wayne
The University of St. Francis has always received high praise for its fine arts program, which is responsible for launching some of the Fort Wayne area’s best artists. Now, the Creative Arts school is trying to “get something going” among their drama and performing arts community with a production of Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park at the Gunderson Theater in Achatz Hall.
2007-03-07 From the bargain bin to the belle of the ball
When the Fort Wayne Ballet first launched as an incorporated not-for-profit organization in 1956, its premier full-evening ballet was Cinderella. And to celebrate its 50th anniversary, the Fort Wayne Ballet is performing Cinderella over a two weekend run starting March 16 .
2007-03-07 Low rent, high traffic, and downtown charm
The scene is a Thursday afternoon in February. The place is an echoing room in the former YWCA complex on Wells street.
2007-02-21 Inside the mind of Matt Kelty
When Mayor Graham Richard announced last fall that he would not be seeking a third term, there were high hopes that an open field might lead to an exciting campaign year, with perhaps a nail-biting finish akin to the first Richard/Buskirk match-up in 1999.
2007-02-06 Fantasy worlds collide in Fort Wayne Youtheatre’s "Dorothy Meets Alice"
Pity poor Judson, the young hero of "Dorothy Meets Alice, or the Wizard of Wonderland." As if dealing with one bizarre world isn’t headache enough, he has to deal with two.
2007-02-06 “198-years-old? You don’t look a day over 195!”
One of the first things visitors see when they walk through the exhibit at the Lincoln Museum in downtown Fort Wayne is an image of the capitol dome in Washington D.C. as it was when Abraham Lincoln began his term as the 16th president of the United States. An ambitious new project to replace the Capitol’s first dome had begun in the mid 1850s, though by the time Lincoln took office, it was still unfinished. But as visitors leave the exhibit at the Lincoln Museum, there’s another image, this one of the completed dome.
2007-01-23 Room for Dreams?
“Room for Dreams.” That phrase — just three simple words — is what the Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Fort Wayne/Allen County Economic Development Alliance, and a host of interested organizations and business is banking on to sell Fort Wayne to the rest of the world.
2007-01-10 Smoked out
When Fort Wayne passed its first smoking ordinance back in 1998 — the ordinance that launched a zillion (I’m exaggerating) closed off, designated smoking sections in restaurants all across town — the issue of secondhand smoke wasn’t the bugbear it is today. No one doubted that inhaling massive amounts of secondhand cigarette smoke full of nicotine was bad for you, but it was thought that for non-smokers, limited exposure to secondhand smoke meant the risk of developing a smoking related disease was minimal.
2006-12-05 Family Play Time
Family plays a big part in Youtheatre’s production of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, both on and off the stage. Based on Barbara Robinson’s funny and very popular children’s book, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever tells the story of the six wild Herdman children “crashing” the town’s usually prime-and-proper Christmas pageant. Rude and obnoxious, the Herdmans are the kind of people who think it would be really cool to rewrite the nativity story as a Kill Bill-style payback epic against Herod entitled “Revenge at Bethlehem.”
2006-12-05 Older neighborhood makes good
Fort Wayne devotes a lot of time, energy, and (consultant) money to thinking of ways to reinvigorate some of our older neighborhoods. City leaders travel to other towns to see what, for example, a baseball stadium did for downtown Dayton, Ohio, or how loft development helped create a thriving residential community in… well, name your mid-sized Midwest city.
2006-11-21 Everything you’ve always wanted to know about ballet dancers but were afraid to ask
It’s Christmas, and if you’re a ballet dancer, that means one thing: The Nutcracker. With the Fort Wayne Ballet on the verge of launching its 2006 performance of the holiday classic, we thought it might be interesting to do something a little different.
2006-11-08 Big family time
Anyone who remembers the plot of Big, the 1988 box office hit starring Tom Hanks, can recall that one of the story’s themes is the seemingly huge gulf that separates the world of children and adults, kids and parents. So there’s a little bit of irony in the fact that the Civic Theater’s production of Big: the Musical has so many family members in the cast.
2006-10-23 Sold Down the River?
In the last half-decade or so, communities across the state have been waking up to previously overlooked natural attractions practically right under their collective noses — the rivers.
2006-10-09 Luck of the canallers
Harvey Cocks, executive director of Fort Wayne Youtheatre, pauses for a moment and laughs before launching into a synopsis of Sugar Water Sunday, the musical which opens Youtheatre’s 73rd season on October 14th.
2006-09-18 Fort Wayne Ballet celebrates 50 years of history
The Fort Wayne Ballet marks a milestone when it kicks off its 2006-2007 year — during the weekend of September 29, two “Director’s Choice” gala performances and a special children’s matinee mark the 50th anniversary of the ballet.
2006-09-18 Silent is Golden
Two classic films accompanied by live music hit Fort Wayne. The Devil Music Ensemble, a Boston-based avant garde trio, accompany the silent film classic "Dr. Jekyll & Mr Hyde" at Cinema Center, and while Buster Keaton's "The General" gets the live soundtrack treatment from the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and Dennis James.
2006-09-04 Fantasy author Terry Brooks visits Mitchell Books
Visit the fantasy/sci-fi section of your local bookstore and take a look at all those multi-volume epics and cycles and series and chronicles. They all owe a huge debt to fantasy novelist Terry Brooks.
2006-09-04 Midwest Murder Ballad
“I wonder about these smart kids growing up in the middle of nowhere, reading on their own, no one to talk ideas with,” says John Commorato Jr, trying to explain the confused “average guy” narrator of his new film Valentine, an hour long film which opens at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art on Saturday, September 16. “I’ve never been scared by the Jasons (of the Friday the 13th franchise) of the world and those things. To me, that’s not really that scary, but the guy sitting next to you… It’s always ‘Mr X came in with a machine gun after 30 years. I had lunch with him yesterday.’ Those interviews with the neighbors: ‘He seemed like such a nice guy…’ That’s scary.”
2006-09-04 Speakin’ and writin’ proper, like
What’s wrong with this sentence: “You should of checked the tire pressure on you’re car.” Or this one: “It’s bark is worse than it’s bite.” Or this: “We’ll go to the game irregardless of the weather.” If you couldn’t find any mistakes, then you should check out Let It Slide?
2006-08-21 Acclaimed Australian rocker shows off his singer/songwriter skills in rare Fort Wayne show
On Wednesday, August 23rd, Fort Wayne music fans are in for a rare treat when two of Australia’s most acclaimed modern singer-songwriters — Tex Perkins and Tim Rogers — drop by Columbia Street West for an acoustic show.
2006-08-08 The Firehouse Theater hopes to be become the venue for fun, new theater
You might not think it, but with a little modification an old firehouse makes the perfect venue for a theater. All the essentials are there — the big front room where the trucks used to park is certainly big enough for an auditorium, while the small rooms in the back that were once sleeping quarters make great dressing rooms. The costumes can be stored upstairs, while the basement can be turned into a workshop for sets and prop construction…
2006-08-08 Custom rides
Stepping into Jason Roberts’ shop Revolution Cycles at 1122 Broadway is a bit like stepping back a couple decades, maybe more. It’s packed with the kind of bikes they just don’t make much anymore, like old tandems and Schwinns, from the days when helmets weren’t required and a gear change was the exception rather than the rule.
2006-08-08 Fort Wayne: City of Poets?
Justin Robinson is trying to bring a different kind of entertainment to the land of the monster truck rally and the professional wrestling bout. That different kind of entertainment? Poetry. This past summer, Robinson has been the organizer and curator of the Summit City Poetry Slams, events full of poetry readings, music, and performance. The first one took place at the Kachmann gallery in late May, and featured poets Robin Lucas (known as Michele Michelle for performances), E. Scott Smiley, and Curtis Crissler, among others.
2006-07-24 Behind the scenes at Seussical
With Seussical the Musical, the Fort Wayne Civic Theatre does what anyone who has ever read Horton Hears A Who or The Cat In the Hat or The Grinch Who Stole Christmas would probably consider impossible — bring the bizarre, goofy world of Dr. Seuss to life on stage.
2006-07-24 Behind the scenes at Seussical
With Seussical the Musical, the Fort Wayne Civic Theatre does what anyone who has ever read Horton Hears A Who or The Cat In the Hat or The Grinch Who Stole Christmas would probably consider impossible — bring the bizarre, goofy world of Dr. Seuss to life on stage.
2006-07-10 Colcordia
“It’s going to a little bit of a love letter to the artists I know in (Fort Wayne), who stay and work in the city,” says Chris Colcord, describing one of the pieces he’ll perform as part of his one-man show at the Firefly on July 20: “It’s going to be about being an artist and doing your stuff, even though no one may be listening and no one’s going to care.”
2006-07-10 The Auburn-Garrett drive in
In the great daylight savings debate, one of the sited benefits of coordinating with the eastern standard time zone in our section of Indiana was that more daylight hours would be good for business. We don’t like change much, and the thin sliver of sunlight that can still be seen past 9:30 pm is still making us uneasy (“it’s still light after nine o’clock?! Next thing ya know, they’ll give women the vote!”), so we’ll have to wait until the data is tallied and the figures are added up to find out whether or not more daylight has had a significant impact on local businesses. But that extra hour of daylight has definitely hindered one area of business in particular…
2006-06-20 Filling station at Lafayette and Washington Streets in Ft. Wayne in the 1930s
The work of Jacobs and other Fort Wayne entrepreneurs went largely unnoticed in the car business because their work was under the hood. Sylvanus Bowser became the first local entrepreneur to a step out of the shadows through the importance of his invention: the first modern gasoline dispenser.
2006-06-20 The Blueprint Plus plan
It might surprise your average citizen of Fort Wayne to find out that while bar room and café debates rage over how, or why, we should revitalize downtown, a combined effort by city officials, community leaders, and concerned citizens is actually taking steps to turn some of these grand ideas into reality — or at least making some real, concrete plans to put downtown on the right path.
2006-06-05 Shannon White, new Executive Director of the TRF, has big plans for Fort Wayne’s flagship festival
It’s a bright and sunny morning in mid-May, and members of the local media have gathered in the Fort Wayne City Commerce building to hear a major announcement from the Three Rivers Festival. Near the front of the room stands “the Admiral,” a recently revived TRF mascot bobbing and waving amiably at the attendees. The Admiral, in fact, supplies practically the only sound in the room — the steady whirr of a small fan providing fresh air to the poor TRF employee inside the costume, preventing her from passing out.
2006-05-18 The rally on the other side of Clinton Street
For over three years, on the first Saturday of every month, demonstrators gather on the Allen County Courthouse Green in downtown Fort Wayne to protest the war in Iraq.
2006-05-22 The Fort Wayne Blogosphere
Last March, the impending sale of newspaper publishing giant Knight-Ridder to the McClatchy Company left 12 of the company’s newspapers out in the cold in search of a new publisher. One of those being resold by the McClatchy Company was Fort Wayne’s The News-Sentinel.
2006-05-22 Street paving in Fort Wayne in 1890s
Paving with brick made it easy for early automobile drivers on downtown streets, but many Fort Wayne neighborhoods remained unpaved.
2006-05-08 Wayne Knitting Mills 1930
Women continued to make up a significant part of the workforce at the Wayne Knitting Mills in 1930.
2006-05-08 Howard Dean, D.N.C. Chairman and former presidential ticket contender, weighs in on Indiana’s “voter I.D.” law
A new Indiana law requires you to produce a government-issued photo ID in order to cast your vote. This new law is ostensibly to prevent voter fraud, but it’s been a very contentious issue, with Indiana Democrats claiming it’s one of the toughest voter laws in the country, and a big problem for people who don’t drive and don’t have convenient access to a BMV branch — a sizeable number, considering there are fewer BMV branches across the state than ever before.
2006-05-08 Lions and Tigers and Bears… in Albion
About 45 minutes North of Fort Wayne, there’s a little neighborhood in Albion where the residents can look out their back windows during the warmer months and see two camels lounging in the grass just a few hundred yards away, with a miniature horse grazing next to them, and an ostrich named Ginger strutting close by. If they listen closely, they also might hear a lion bellowing in the not-to-far distance, competing with the ear-rending squawks and shrieks of a gaggle of Amazon parrots.
2006-04-24 “Jungle” Jack Hanna visits Fort Wayne
There might not be a lot of competition for the title of “World’s Most Famous Zoo Director,” but Jack Hanna has certainly nabbed the honor. The Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Columbus, Ohio, Hanna has been a tireless advocate for wildlife education, with over two decades of media appearances to his credit.
2006-04-24 Game time
It’s an election year in Fort Wayne, and everywhere you go, you can see campaign signs from candidates for public office, begging for your attention in the upcoming primaries. But right now, there are probably few public figures in Fort Wayne that come to a job under more scrutiny and with more expectations than Dan Carmody.
2006-04-24 Workers at International Harvester during World War II.
Workers at International Harvester produced components for military vehicles during World War II.
2006-04-10 The Motherlode Group opens at Artlink with its first show in two years
When a handful of artists got together several years ago and decided to put together an art show focusing on local female artists, they had two things clearly in mind. The first was that a show featuring all female artists from the area was an interesting and highly-promotable concept, not one they had seen here before. The second was the idea that art openings shouldn’t be boring. Oh, and they also had a name for the show: Motherlode, which means the richest, most abundant vein of valuable material in a particular region.
2006-04-10 Harmar School rubber drive, 1940s
A group of children collect rubber in a drive at Harmar School during WWII.
2006-04-10 Alexander… closes Youtheatre’s season honoring a legacy of the Fort Wayne stage
Youtheatre’s production of "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" — adapted from Judith Viorst’s book about the eponymous five-year-old hero navigating a day packed with indifferent pets, misplaced chewing gum, lunch bags with no dessert, and other childhood dramas — wraps up the theater’s 72nd season with a special tribute to the family who was instrumental in starting this Fort Wayne institution.
2006-03-20 Betrayal, tragedy… and a wedding
It starts with a devastating betrayal, follows that up with a tragic suicide, and finally ends the way all fairy tales should… with a “happily ever after” wedding.
2006-03-20 The Fort Wayne Derby Girls
Like glitter balls, platform shoes, and Tab, girls roller derby is typically remembered as a 70s phenomenon. That decade is seen as a Golden Age of the sport, where Amazons on roller skates clashed with each other — shoving, pushing, body-checking — all while careening around a banked track at dangerous speeds.
2006-03-06 Big cable vs. big telephone
Down in Indianapolis, state law makers and lobbying interests are hurling accusations of lying, obfuscation, and public deception at each other. The cause of all this discord isn’t a Democratic walkout or a Republican monopoly. It isn’t about time zones or the sale of the toll road or legalizing electronic gambling. No, what’s stirring up all this heat are two pieces of legislation dealing with telecommunications deregulation.
2006-02-20 IPFW’s Comedy of Errors presents Shakespeare as burlesque
Larry Life is a man on a mission. To hear him tell it, the Artistic Director of IPFW’s Theater Department is on a crusade to save Shakespeare from the academics and “purists” who are seemingly intent on draining all the life and vitality out of the Bard.
2006-02-20 FWDC’s Homegrown Rhythms spotlights unique collaborations between local dancers and musicians
One weekend afternoon in early February, while a group of dancers and musicians was rehearsing a piece for the Fort Wayne Dance Collective’s 2006 edition of the Homegrown Rhythms show, the lights abruptly went out and plunged the rehearsal space into near darkness.
2006-02-06 Branding Fort Wayne
300 – 400 people in Allen County received something in mail during the first week of January that probably provoked discussion and quite a few laughs. Under the title “The Destination Brand Initiative Strategy Vision Survey,” recipients were asked questions about Fort Wayne such as…
2006-02-06 “Curiouser and curiouser”
Tessa Yandell’s favorite line in Youtheatre’s production of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland isn’t even spoken by her character. The Northrop freshman plays Alice, but it’s Jon-Mark Sabel as the Cheshire Cat (Sabel also plays the Knave of Hearts) who gets to utter what Yandell thinks is the best line. “It’s ‘You’re mad. I’m mad. We’re all mad,’” Yandell says. “I just love that line.”
2006-01-23 So, you want to run for public office…
Every first-time candidate for public office dreams of conducting a clear and incisive campaign, winning people over to their favorite issues by using their eloquence and reason, and securing a landslide victory by inspiring an unprecedented number of voters to head to the polls.
2006-01-23 Fort Wayne: CSI
In the mid 70s, the movie All the President’s Men triggered an avalanche of applications to the nation’s journalism schools. A decade later, Top Gun inspired young men to sign up for the Air Force in the hopes of becoming a pilot and, if they were really lucky, picking up a goofy nickname…
2006-01-06 The family ties that bind
Thom Hofrichter, Artistic Director of the First Presbyterian Theater, is concerned that theater-goers might be put off by the theater’s production of Eleemosynary, the award-winning play by Lee Blessing.
2005-12-12 In Youtheatre’s Best Christmas Pageant Ever, the “bad guys” have all the fun
If you want evidence that The Best Christmas Pageant Ever isn’t your typical Christmas story filled with holiday cheer and treacle, look no further than what Erin Kucker, who plays one of the baby angels, has to say when asked what her favorite line is. “I get to say: ‘I heard they wrote this really terrible word on the back of Courtney Brown’s favorite turtle, and now she can’t take it to the 4-H pet show.’”
2005-12-12 Fair game
For years, Cherry Masters and other electronic gaming devices in Indiana bars and clubs existed in a weird legal netherworld.
2005-11-28 The tough road through the “Land of Sweets”
For ballet dancers, The Nutcracker is packed with plenty of great parts, but it’s Clara, the young girl who travels through the “Land of Sweets” in the classic holiday ballet, who takes center stage. I’m told by one dancer that any girl who really “gets into” ballet dreams of playing Clara someday.
2005-11-28 Holiday 6 Folds…
The story has all the makings of a Hollywood thriller. You have the powerful heavy using strong-arm tactics and intimidation, an unsuspecting populace subjected to a cynical experiment, and a “little guy” struggling to hold on to years of hard work in the face of corporate greed.
2005-11-14 The snake with a song in his heart
The road to fulfilling your dreams is a long and winding one. You could almost say it’s serpentine, especially if you’re a snake. That’s the message in Sid the Serpent Who Wanted to Sing, a colorful children’s opera presented by IPFW’s Opera Ensemble.
2005-11-14 “Brain Gain” program hopes to make Allen County a little more appealing for recent graduates in high-tech fields
With “Brain Drain” seemingly the ultimate buzz phrase these days, City Councilman-at-Large Dr. John Crawford (R) is stewarding a program to make the prospect of staying in Allen County just a little sweeter for recent graduates educated and employed in specific high-tech fields. Crawford rounded up other City Council members and a handful of interested contributors to establish the “Brain Gain” educational loan repayment program.
2005-11-14 Fixing the Festival
Mountain ranges may crumble into dust. Glaciers melt, the continents shift, civilizations rise, fall and rise again… and through it all, the question of what to do about Fort Wayne’s Three Rivers Festival remains.
2005-10-31 Friends of the Parks and the Fort Wayne Parks Department launch the 2005 Great tree Canopy Comeback
Fort Wayne: City of Churches, All-American City… Apparently, there’s a good reason why, say, “City of Trees” isn’t on that list. Not yet, at least. A Cultural Landscape Report commissioned by Friends of the Parks and the Cultural Landscape Committee of the Fort Wayne park board several years ago found that three of Fort Wayne’s major parks — Lakeside, Memorial, and Swinney — had lost nearly 50% of their tree canopy since 1949.
2005-10-31 Artlink offers retrospective of local artist and teacher George W. McCullough
The Fort Wayne art world lost a great painter and a great teacher when George W. McCullough died on October 15 of this year at the age of 82. The Artlink gallery was already preparing a retrospective of McCullough’s work at the time of McCullough’s death. The retrospective opens with a reception from 7 – 9pm on November 11th, and features 53 pieces from George W, McCollough, mostly paintings, drawings, and etchings.
2005-10-31 "Just a Bunch of Potters" gather for annual showcase
The name says it all — Just A Bunch of Potters. After all, what else are you going to call yourselves when you’re essentially a dozen or so artists who work in the medium of clay, get together every few weeks to hang out and talk pottery, and once a year put on a holiday show to display your work?
2005-10-31 The Southeast Community Arts Project
On October 20th, community leaders, artists, and other citizens of Fort Wayne came together at what was billed as a Town Hall Meeting for the Arts, sponsored by Arts United of Fort Wayne and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
2005-10-17 ARCH tour unveils haunted Fort Wayne
If you were looking for the archetypical ghost story, you couldn’t do better than Fort Wayne’s very own “Lady In White.”
2005-10-17 Down among the “Peaceniks”
The two Iraqis tied up Kindy and two of his male co-workers, and had the women sit over on a couch. “He said, ‘I don’t want to kill you people. I like you people. But there are two guys out in the street with automatic weapons. If we don’t carry it out, they’ll see that it’s done.’”
2005-10-03 Saxophone legend Boots Randolph comes to Fort Wayne
The lists of artists saxophonist Boots Randolph has recorded with reads like a “Hit Parade” of pop music from the 50s and early 60s — Brenda Lee, Roy Orbison, Chet Atkins, and some guy named Elvis Presley, among others. If his resume doesn’t ring any bells… well, ask a saxophone player; they’ll tell you who Boots Randolph is.
2005-10-03 Award-winning thriller Keep Your Distance premiers at Cinema Center Tech
No one can say Stu Pollard isn’t persistent. When the Louisville-based independent film-maker’s first feature, Nice Guys Sleep Alone, was released, Pollard realized that the biggest challenge wasn’t necessarily raising money, shooting the film, or post-production work; it was getting the thing seen.
2005-10-03 Indiana’s Most Wanted
On any given day, there are literally thousands of active warrants in Allen County. The charges range from public intoxication and missed court dates to domestic battery and armed robbery. Local law enforcement relies on the general public’s help to track down, arrest, or clear up these thousands of suspects. But until recently, only a handful of “Allen County’s Most Wanted” ever made it in front of the public eye, via some local papers and Crime Stoppers spots on television.
2005-09-20 Charity Scams
It wasn’t even 24 hours after the Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans and the levees broke when the vultures came out.
2005-09-20 Bunheads go bad
I learned a new phrase while writing this article about the Fort Wayne Ballet’s 2005 edition of Blue Jean Night…
2005-09-05 Fort Wayne Kid’s Marathon helps kids go the distance
Confucius said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. The same holds true of a 26.2 mile run, except most people probably find a thousand mile walk a lot less intimidating than running a marathon.
2005-09-05 Just compensation
In November of 2004, Diana Kruse was raking leaves in the front yard of her 11-acre farm property on Rothman Road in Northeast Fort Wayne when she was approached by a representative from Fort Wayne’s Water Resources Program. The property next to her had been sold, and a housing development was going in. The city needed 1/3 of an acre off the front of her property to put in a sewer and water line.
2005-08-22 Fort Wayne-based acoustic guitar virtuoso Kevin Hiatt releases 2nd CD
Fort Wayne-based guitarist and composer Kevin Hiatt sometimes says that he makes music for “guitar geekheads.”
2005-08-22 The ACPL’s One Community, One Story project unleashes a monster
A traveling exhibit stopping at the Fort Wayne Allen County Public Library during September shows how questions about the limits of science and medicine didn’t start with the current debate over stem cell research. It’s been going on for a long, long time.
2005-08-22 The Skyline Challenge
What does commercial space flight have in common with the revitalization of downtown Fort Wayne?
2005-08-08 Butch Black takes on trouble in Circle City!
Crooked detectives, desperate criminals, greedy underworld bosses… and a disgraced cop on the edge! All this and the women who love them in Butch Black: the M.E.A.N. Man, a locally-made movie premiering at Cinema Center Tech on Saturday, August 20 at Cinema Center Tech on the Indiana Tech campus.
2005-08-08 Art Attack at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art
Fort Wayne artist John Commorato has built a reputation for work that, to simplify a great deal, could be described as non-traditional.
2005-07-25 Harper brings his special blend of roots rock to Columbia Street
Mix up some blues, rock, and folk, and back it up with a strong Stax-style rhythm section, and you’ve got the perfect description of Harper. When the Australian musician stops by Columbia Street West on Wednesday, July 27th, Fort Wayne will have a chance to check out this award-winning harmonica player doing what he does best — performing in front of a crowd. He even plays the didgeridoo, the native Australian wind instrument. Harper has toured extensively in the U.S., Europe, and Australia, and released several acclaimed albums as a solo act and with his former band Blue Devil. The Columbia Street gig comes in the middle of a U.S. tour that lasts through November, with a touring band made up of Fort Wayne musicians — bassist Lee Lewis, guitarist Tyler Mac, and drummer Ken Garr — that Harper originally hooked up with when he played a gig at the late, great Hot Spot on Fairfield several years ago. We had a chance to talk to Harper about his latest album, Down to the Rhythm.
2005-07-25 Foreign exchange
Say you’re from Seoul, South Korea. Or Paris, France. Or Reading, England. And say you’re about to visit the United States of America for the very first time. Where would you go if you wanted an accurate glimpse of average American everyday life? Would you go to one of the nation’s cultural and historical hubs — New York, Washington D.C. Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago…
2005-07-11 Radio eclectic
On Sunday nights, from 9 pm until midnight, WBOI 89.1 FM gets a little freaky. That’s when the Burnt Toast Show unleashes a slew of cutting-edge jazz, R&B, and “jam-band” music.
2005-07-11 The Boys & Girls Club and Holiday 6 join for Mad Hot Ballroom premier
Holiday 6 Theaters has teamed with the Boys & Girls Club of Fort Wayne for a special event centered around the Fort Wayne opening of Mad Hot Ballroom, the acclaimed documentary by Marilyn Areglo and Amy Sewell.
2005-07-11 Belle of the ball
Fort Wayne’s Civic Theater presents its take on one of Broadway’s modern classics Beauty and the Beast begins its run on July 22. It’s a live-action stage version of Disney’s Academy Award winning animated feature, and features all the songs by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman that made the film so memorable, as well as several new songs that Menken and the seemingly ubiquitous (when it comes to blockbuster musicals, at least) Tim Rice penned for the stage.
2005-07-11 Green City
Forget what your well-meaning parents may have told you: looks do count, at least when it comes to city planning. When it comes to attracting businesses to an area, low cost-of-living and economic incentive can only get you so far when you’re faced with neglected bike trials, traffic thoroughfares with nothing but concrete and rust-colored noise barriers to look at, and ozone levels at non-attainment with the EPA’s standards.
2005-06-27 Fort Wayne’s answer to School of Rock
For decades, there have been a few tried and true rehearsal spots that rock n’ roll bands have turned to in times of need — the garage, the basement, even the living room, if your family or housemates are especially understanding, or at least absent during practice time. But any musician knows that for band practice, these spaces are hardly ideal. They present all kinds of problems, including (but not limited to) acoustics, inadequate electrical outlets, and shouts of “turn it down!” from the neighbors.
2005-06-13 Area high school students unleash the “Demon Barber of Fleet Street” on Fort Wayne
Theater is a cut-throat business. Just ask any actor. And Fort Wayne audiences can see just how wicked things can get on stage when the Summer Music Theater, an organization made up of area high school students, serves up Sweeney Todd, Stephen Sondheim’s popular take on the legend of the “Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” on June 24th and 25th.
2006-06-13 The original Original
Owning a restaurant, bar, or club is a risky business, and why some succeed where others fail is a mystery. Take the Landing, that red-bricked street in downtown Fort Wayne that stretches between Calhoun and Harrison. Cities all over the country have similar streets with red bricks or cobblestones, old-style lamp-posts and restored buildings. They buff up the old bricks, fix the peeling plaster, and turn them into tourist and entertainment centers. At first glance, the Landing seems ripe for the same treatment. But whatever the original intent for the area might have been, the only entertainment establishment in the area that has consistently remained is Columbia Street West.
2005-05-30 Rugby tournaments, an army of bagpipes, and 20’ logs thrown end-over-end…
On June 11th, Fort Wayne will play host to its own patch of historic Scotland when the 19th annual Indiana Highland Games take place at Concordia Theological Seminary. Except at the Indiana Highland Games, the clans are friendly, the rugby competition and heavy athletics are all in fun, and the haggis is optional. Oh, and you can also take a balloon ride and eat hamburgers and hotdogs.
2005-05-30 Artlink gets new Executive Director
Deb Washler remembers her first encounter with Betty Fishman, Executive Director of Artlink. Washler was an art student at Saint Francis, and she had dropped off her first piece for the annual Artlink member’s show. “Betty called me at home and said ‘You need to come back in.’” Washler says. “So, she takes me to the back room, and proceeds to take my whole piece apart, instructing me the whole time. She puts it back together, looks at me and says ‘can you do it right the next time?’”
2005-05-16 Fort Wayne's German chorus hosts the 55th annual Saengerfest
Fans of traditional German music from choral to folk will have plenty to cheer about when the Fort Wayne Meannerchor/Damenchor hosts the 55th District Saengerfest. An event which comes to Fort Wayne every ten years, the 55th District Saengerfest features a free concert at the Scottish Rite Auditorium on May 21. 300 singers from 12 German choirs (including a choir from Gera, Germany, Fort Wayne’s sister city) take the stage for an evening of music.
2005-05-16 A Freak goes to Holland
Fort Wayne audiences might know Matt Cashdollar as a member of the Freak Brothers, a consistent crowd favorite around town with a very enthusiastic following. But the Freak Brothers is just one of several musical projects Cashdollar is involved with.
2005-05-16 Bikes-And-Boards appeals to serious cyclists and skate boarders
When Jerry Seifert retired from IBM a few years ago, the idea of “sitting around” didn’t really appeal to him.
2005-05-16 Brain drain — more than a clever catch phrase
The phrase “brain drain” has popped up so often recently on editorial pages and in mission statements that merely seeing the phrase again might try the patience of even the most dedicated civic cheerleader.
2005-05-16 Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana aims to foster the area’s next generation of leaders
In 2004, “brain drain” was on the minds of the Northeast Indiana Corporate Council. A regional group of CEO’s whose stated mission is to promote the common business interests, growth, opportunity, and general economic welfare for businesses in the region, the NICC were examining ways they could support Indiana’s Graduate Retention Program, an effort funded by the Lily Endowment to combat Indiana’s “brain drain” with internship programs and other ways of getting college students and recent graduates interested in opportunities in the area.
2005-03-21 Java & Jazz Café seeks to offer live entertainment seven nights a week
A new restaurant/music venue in the Avant-Garde Gallery on 1301 West Lafayette street hopes to become the premier spot for local jazz lovers and fans of live entertainment.
2005-03-21 Student film award-winners showcased at Saint Francis’ 29th annual Student Art Exhibition
Animation isn’t easy. The process is painstakingly slow. Hours of work can go into a five second sequence, and the number of details that have to be taken into account can boggle the mind.
2005-03-21 Fort Wayne TV Takeover — the Sequel
When Fort Wayne tuned into WISE 33 for the early evening news cast on March 8th to see Linda Jackson anchoring the news all by her lonesome in front of a 21 Alive logo, viewers reacted as though they had been jolted from a peaceful slumber by a slap in the face. Why was Linda Jackson, who has channel 33 practically written all over her, broadcasting from 21? What happened to WISE 33?
2005-03-21 Pass the mic
At first glance, the succession of men and women waiting to take the stage at the Firefly coffee house on Wednesday’s open mic night might seem like character actors right out of central casting. Most of them seem young, a little scruffy, and deadly serious, armed with battered guitar cases and an insular attitude — exactly the kind of people I was told populate open mic nights in the area. For anyone out in the crowd, it looks like they’re in for an evening of acoustic earnestness…
2005-03-07 Fort Wayne Ballet’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream offers different interpretation of classic comedy
When the Fort Wayne Ballet’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream hits the stage on March 19th and 20th, Fort Wayne audiences will have the opportunity to see a completely different interpretation of this classic story of mistaken identity and the sometimes ridiculous entanglements of love.
2005-03-07 The Fort Wayne Reader talks to one of the world’s biggest — and most unlikely — pop stars
At a glance, you might mistake Josh Groban for another twentysomething waif of the American Idol variety. That’s until he opens his mouth to sing. His massive voice seems as though it should be coming from someone twice his width, while there’s a discipline to his delivery that should be coming from someone twice his age. He seems a natural for Broadway, maybe even opera (though he doesn’t like being compared to an opera singer), but over the last couple of years, Groban has instead become perhaps the least likely pop star around.
2005-03-11 WPTA/WISE 33 merger: Read the original FWR story from May, 2004
The Fort Wayne Reader wrote about the WPTA/WISE 33 story in issue #10 last May…
2005-02-21 Local musicians and choreographers create Homegrown Rhythms
The basic idea behind the Fort Wayne Dance Collective’s Homegrown Rhythms production is simple: match local musicians and composers with local dancers and choreographers, and let them create an original piece of work. “We haven’t done anything like this before,” says Liz Monnier, artistic director of the Fort Wayne Dance Collective (www.fwdc.org). “This is the first time we’ve tried to collaborate with musicians.”
2005-02-21 Shakespeare, but without all the chat
According to the play The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), if the Bard were alive today, he’d be in Hollywood working on Titus Andronicus III: Lavinia’s Revenge.
2005-02-21 Fort Wayne to Indy in 28 minutes?!
Imagine this: you’re a student living downtown with a 10:30 am class out at IPFW. So, you walk a few blocks to a central terminal in the city center, and hop on a “people mover” that carries you out to campus. After your classes, the same conveyance takes you to work, or a shopping center, or back home again.
2005-02-07 Accentuate the positive…
Last issue, we gathered a few of the gripes people had about Fort Wayne, and explored them a little further. We talked about lack of all-ages concert venues, the fact that it takes forever for non-mainstream movies to get here, and the old fort just sitting there, among other things. We’ve also heard a few new gripes since then.
2005-02-07 Fort Wayne Women’s Bureau brings back The Vagina Monologues
If the purpose of a title is to grab attention, then The Vagina Monologues could be seen as a huge success. Since Eve Ensler’s series of monologues and dialogues about women opened in 1996, it’s had its fair share of controversy, most of it focused on the title.
2005-02-07 Ambitious Project Inspire snares national prize from among 19,000 entries
Ideas happen. Or sometimes, they almost don’t. Janette Luu, an anchor at channel 21, was unaware of Visa’s Ideas Happen contest until a friend pointed it out to her. Ideas Happen is a nationwide contest that awards $25,000 dollars to 12 winners in the categories of Entrepreneur, Community, and Self-Expression. As the deadline was closing in, Luu submitted her idea, Project Inspire. It was chosen from over 19,000 entries to become one of the winners in the Self-Expression category.
2005-02-07 Photographer Stephen Marc visits the Fort Wayne Museum of Art
Last issue, we did a story on photographer Stephen Marc’s Walking In the Footsteps exhibit at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. Just hours after we went to press, I got a call from Marc’s publicist, asking if I wanted to interview him. When you get a chance to talk to an award-winning photographer with over two decades of work to his credit, you say yes.
2005-02-07 Love leaves a mark
They say true love lasts forever, and perhaps there’s no greater proof of your eternal devotion — to your spouse, to your significant other, heck, to your favorite make of automobile — than displaying a permanent reminder of it on your skin. Grade A Tattoos is giving people a unique opportunity to show their affection with Heart for Heart’s Day on February 14th. “We’re going to open at 12:01 a.m. and we’re going to be tattooing for the next 24 hours,” says Jackie Gould, co-owner of Grade A.
2005-01-24 Powerful Walking In the Footsteps evokes the spirit of the Underground Railroad
Unraveling the history of the Underground Railroad — the clandestine network of early roads and hideaways used by escaped African-American slaves heading North in a bid for freedom during the early 1800s — is a daunting task. Since everyone involved, from the fugitives to the people who helped them along the way, was defying the laws of the time, documentation is scarce and fragmented. Some important sites have no structure to mark them. We know, for instance, that the Ohio River marked the boundary between the “free” and “slave” states, and that freedom-seekers used various shallow points to cross it, but few records exist to tell the complete story.
2005-01-24 “Do you know what really drives me nuts about this city…?”
Bad things about Fort Wayne: some have suggested that that’s all the Fort Wayne Reader talks about. It’s not true. We’re city boosters here at the Fort Wayne Reader. Critical and (occasionally) sarcastic boosters, maybe, but just because we don’t think that we’re living in the best of all possible worlds doesn’t mean we can’t see Fort Wayne has many good things going for it, or could have many good things going for it.
2005-01-24 Life during wartime
Alan Furst writes spy novels set in Europe amid the chaos of World War II, but in describing his brand of espionage story, it’s always easier to say what it’s not. Furst’s characters are never hardened warriors or trained intelligence agents, and they’re never involved in sensational plots, like thwarting an assassination of Winston Churchill or stealing the plans for a Nazi atom bomb. His characters are ordinary people fulfilling their duty in an extraordinary time, operating on the war’s fringes.
2005-01-10 IPFW’s Community Arts Academy offers a chance to explore your creative side
Since its inception a few years ago, the Community Arts Academy at IPFW has provided area students in grades pre-Kindergarten through high school (and a few adults, too) with a fun and affordable way to explore their interest in drama, art, music, and dance, and an excellent opportunity to work with some of the area’s finest teachers in the arts.
2005-01-10 The battle for the baton
Anyone familiar with NBC’s The Apprentice knows the scenario: a demanding job position, and a handful of eager young contestants willing to eat broken glass by the spoonful in order to win the approval of the boss and land the gig.
2005-01-10 The Hoosier Gazette satirizes Indiana life
Shortly after the presidential election, as the media debated what exactly was meant by “moral values,” a news story began making the rounds that seemed to typify, for some people, the blue state/red state divide. The story went that Congressman John Hostettler, representative for the 8th district of Indiana, wanted to change the name of the “I-69” interstate on the grounds that the name was too risqué. “Every time I have been out in the public with an ‘I-69’ button on my lapel, teenagers point and snicker at it…” the story has Hostettler saying. “I believe it is time to change the name of the highway. It is the moral thing to do.”
2005-01-10 Essentials V.8: X102 unleashes its annual compilation of local bands
I have to admit, when X102 began releasing its Essentials compilation CD of local bands playing original music years ago (though the station wasn’t X102 then, and I think they were called the Edge), I thought it was a gimmick that would peter out pretty quickly. Not that the quality of music was bad, or that I doubted the sincerity of the people involved, but I just thought… well, I can’t remember what I thought, and it doesn’t really matter since apparently — with the eighth Essentials CD just hitting the streets — I was totally, completely, utterly wrong. The release of a new Essentials CD is a highly-anticipated event among many local rock fans, and the X102 Sunday night local music show that serves as its on-air equivalent is still going strong.
2005-01-10 Battlestar Galactica: Who would have thought this show had legs?
Early in 2003, the Sci-Fi Channel announced that its re-make of the late 70s cult TV show Battlestar Galactica would be a little different from the show fans of a certain age might remember. The heart of the show would be there, but the interstellar shoot ‘em ups would be toned down in favor of a more realistic approach to space travel, more 2001 than Star Wars. The re-make would focus on the survival aspects of the story, with more of an emphasis of what it means to be the last members of an entire race. And Starbuck would be a woman. For a show that wasn’t around very long, Battlestar Galactica garnered a surprising number of fans, and their protest came fast and furious. Writer/producer Ronald Moore took all the flak – or feldergarb, but it takes stronger stuff than that to faze the man who killed Captain Kirk.
2005-01-10 Loving and Hating the Fort Wayne Reader
“When are you guys going to do a letters page?” We can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard that over the past year. The answer has always been “soon.” Or, more accurately, “when we can catch up.” Well, we never really did catch up. So, seeing as this issue marks the one year anniversary of the Fort Wayne Reader, we thought now would be a time to sort through some of the responses we’ve had.
2004-12-06 Wolf & Dessauer offers a poignant glimpse of a bygone era
Once upon a time, downtown Fort Wayne wasn’t the near-desert it is these days. Right up through the 60s, it was a bustling center of commerce, where people could take a trolley to work, shop, have a meal, or see a movie or a show. To many long-time area residents, one of the centers of downtown life, especially during the holiday season, was a department store called Wolf & Dessauer, that closed 35 years ago this Christmas.
2004-12-06 Godzilla gets his gold star at 50
It was fifty years ago that Godzilla rose from the ashes of a nuclear test to wreak destruction and terror upon the world.
2004-12-06 Outgunned
We’ve heard a lot about a “divided nation” recently, about how on certain issues, US citizens differ distinctly along political ideologies, with little common ground. There are a few hot button issues where the contrast is at its most striking, and one of the hottest is gun control.
2004-11-22 Warbird Digest devoted to the aircraft of World War II
The P-51 Mustang. The F4U Corsair. The B-17 Flying Fortress… The technological marvels of their day, World War II-era aircraft hold a special significance for a huge, international movement of people who study, restore, and fly these unique machines. For Tim Savage, editor and publisher of a new, Fort Wayne-based magazine called Warbird Digest, this restoration movement is a way to keep history alive.
2004-11-22 Domestic violence expert to speak at YWCA’s Circle of Women fundraiser
On December 2nd, the Circle of Women fundraiser for the YWCA will feature Mike McCarty, a former police detective in Nashville, Tennessee and now at the Public Training Institute in Danville, Indiana, where he conducts seminars and workshops on responding to domestic violence.
2004-11-22 A Faith For Grown-ups wants baby boomers to look at Catholicism with “adult eyes”
“Basically, I like to call this my ‘cocktail-party book,’” says Bob Lockwood, referring to Faith For Grown-ups: A Midlife Conversation About What Really Matters, recently published by Loyola Press. Not that he necessarily goes to a lot of cocktail parties, but Lockwood says the book was inspired by countless conversations he has had with Catholic baby boomers who had “drifted away” from the faith.
2004-11-22 Cinema Center’s ORNAMENT not your usual silent art auction
Cinema Center presents an interesting and fun twist on the standard silent art auction with Ornament, a fund-raiser for the organization on Sunday, December 2nd.
2004-11-24 Author Bob Lockwood to speak at Mitchell Books November 27th
Bob Lockwood, the author of A Faith for Grown-ups: A midlife Conversation About What Really Matters, will appear at Mitchell Books on Saturday, November 27th, at noon.
2004-11-24 Cinema Center's ORNAMENTS takes place Sunday, December 5th
Cinema Center presents a unique take on the typical art autction with Ornamnet, a fund-raiser for the organization.
2004-08-11 ACPL scores high marks on national library ranking
The Allen County Public Library system has a lot to cheer about these days — a massive, multi-million dollar renovation project well underway, and just last month, the Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings (HAPLR) index ranked us 5th in the entire nation among library systems in our population category.
2004-11-08 PETA urges investigation of wildebeest breakout
The season was over at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, and staffers were trying to herd the five wildebeests who inhabit the 14-acre African veldt exhibit into their winter quarters. They were having a bad time of it. Baiting the animals with food wasn’t working, and a wildebeest isn’t the kind of animal you can rush. The five wildebeests became grouped near the access gate in the 10’ perimeter fence surrounding the enclosure. “They did not run and hit that gate head on at full speed,” says Mark Weldon, General Curator at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, dismissing one of the stories he’s heard about the incident. “They just all five pressed up against the gate and it popped open.” And the wildebeests wandered out into the city of Fort Wayne.
2004-11-08 Underfunded. Understaffed. Overlooked.
Everyday at the Center for Nonviolence, John Beams runs up against evidence of why our society has its priorities all messed up. The case in point: our leaders have spent 200 billion dollars removing the leader of one country as part of a war on terrorism, when the prevention and treatment of domestic violence in America goes woefully under-funded and even ignored by most politicians. “It’s hard to live with these kind of priorities,” Beams says when I ask about the hardest part of the work at the Center for Nonviolence. “It’s hard to live in a world where rhetoric can redirect resources. You can pump up the fear of people so that they’ll pour billions of dollars into something where you don’t even have to do an outcome study to see if it’s effective. If the Center for Nonviolence gets $20,000 from a funder, we have to keep copious records on whether we’re helping people with that money. If not, we don’t get it.”
2004-10-25 Special showcase highlights IPFW’S Visual Communication and Design computer arts
Over a dozen animated works, created by students and alumni of IPFW’s Visual Communication and Design Department, will be highlighted at a special showcase at Cinema Center on November 7. The free showcase demonstrates a wide range of what the VCD has to offer in the field of animated computer arts, with pieces featuring 3-D modeling, photography, film, video editing, and more.
2004-10-25 War, history, and baseball
Neal Conan, host of NPR’s news call-in show “Talk of the Nation” (weekdays at 2 p.m. on WBOI 89.1 FM), will visit Fort Wayne for Northeast Indiana Public Radio’s Annual Greeting on Friday, November 5. Conan has over 25 years of experience as a journalist and a host of distinguished awards. He was a correspondent in the first Gulf War (where he and several other journalists were captured by the Iraqi army), won a George Foster Peabody award for his part in NPR’s coverage of 9/11 and a duPont award for his coverage of the current war in Iraq. The breadth of topics Conan covers on “Talk of the Nation” is enormous, from current politics, science, and education, to two of Conan’s personal passions — history and baseball. For his visit to Fort Wayne, Conan says he’ll be talking about broadcasting and the importance of public radio, and since his visit comes just a few days after the election, he’ll probably be speaking about current events, too (“Who knows? The election may not be over yet,” he says. “It could go in to extra innings.”) The Fort Wayne Reader had a chance to ask Neal Conan about his 25 years in journalism.
2004-10-25 Investigating the spirit world
Live in Fort Wayne long enough, and you’ll hear plenty of people complain about how they feel trapped, stuck, unable to move on… You don’t know the half of it. According to Betsy Cox, Fort Wayne and the surrounding areas are boiling over with all kinds of people who haven’t moved on yet. She calls them ghosts.
2004-10-25 News Flash! Teenage pop singer not really singing
Singer Ashlee Simpson's extra vocal help was revealed during a performance on "Saturday Night Live.”
2004-10-25 Movie Reviews
Being Julia; Vera Drake; Tarnation; I Heart Huckabees; Shall We Dance; Team America; Friday Night Lights; and more...
2004-11-05 Star Wars Episode III trailer unleashed
Fans got a glimpse of the upcoming finale to George Lucas’ Star Wars prequel trilogy when the trailer to Revenge of the Sith made its internet and television debut Thursday.
2004-10-11 Fort Wayne artists offer original take on the Day of the Dead tradition
Through November 28th, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art is offering an exhibit that celebrates the Mexican Day of the Dead, a tradition which honors deceased loved ones and ancestors. During the Day of the Dead (November 1st and 2nd), the living invite their dead to join them in a festival of communion. In tribute of their love for the deceased, people create altars filled with photos, mementos, flowers and food offerings.
2004-10-11 80 years old and still terrifying
The advent of DVDs has acted as a kind of great equalizer as far as film goes. Every movie from Battleship Potemkin to Meatballs gets the reverential treatment, restored, refurbished, and packed with enough extras and commentary to constitute a mini-course on film. On one hand, we have instant access to some cinematic masterpieces. On the other, it has also robbed us of something. Watching a cinematic masterpiece at home with a bag of Cheetos can’t recreate what it was that first captured the imaginations of movie goers, or why the film is still considered important decades later.
2004-10-11 The Indiana way of voting
As of this writing, a new poll has just put President Bush and Senator Kerry neck-and-neck among voters. That’s today, of course. Last week, the President was enjoying a lead of several points…
2004-09-27 Death wears pointed shoes
The stories that form the basis of a lot of classical ballet have an element that is often overlooked — there’s a lot of death haunting all those fairy tales, legends and myths. Think of all those poor mice that meet their demise at the hands of the toy soldiers in The Nutcracker.
2004-09-27 IPFW’s Talking With… lets audiences get close to some unusual characters
Lila’s collection of lamps is so enormous is borders on the ridiculous. Homeless Anna Mae confesses that her one wish in life is to be able to live at McDonald’s. Big Eight has been a rodeo performer since she was nine. And Alain, a “plain Jane” cursed with an utterly unremarkable appearance, suddenly becomes interesting to people after her face is cut.
2004-09-27 The Prince & the Pauper kicks off Youtheatre’s 71st season
At first glance, Fort Wayne Youtheatre’s 2004 – 2005 season might seem to have a distinct theme running through it — The Prince and the Pauper, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Secret Garden. It may sound like a middle-school reading list, but Youtheatre director Harvey Cocks says it wasn’t intentional. “We came up with the season, and someone said, ‘hey, we’ve got kind of a literary season going on here,’” he says. “It just happened by accident.”
2004-09-27 There’s something in the water…
About ten years ago, an organization called the Environmental Working Group released a report that scared the heck out of Fort Wayne.
2004-09-13 Lincoln Museum exhibit explores the “lost” history of African-American baseball
Opening September 19 and running through January 7 at the Lincoln Museum, The National Pastime in Black and White: The Negro Baseball Leagues, 1867 – 1955 offers a world of integrated and segregated baseball years before Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers. It’s a world that, for the most part, has been lost to us, with inadequate records, a constantly shifting field of minor league teams, and racial segregation that denied many fantastic athletes their place in sports history.
2004-09-13 An "underground" update
If an underground scene can be said to have a main event, it might be the Art Attack series of shows. Organized by John Commorato Jr. and a musician/artist who goes by the name “Cornfed Johnson,” the Art Attack shows were an amalgamation of edgy, sometimes confrontational art work and punk rock. They rented “raw space” (rather than white-walled, perfectly lit galleries), solicited work from area artists, got a few local bands, charged a couple bucks, and had a show. “We’re not here to show the type of stuff that could make it into other exhibits,” says Commorato. “Oil paintings and traditional art is fine, but there’re more than enough venues for that.”
2004-09-13 Put those old records back on the shelf. Please.
I have a confession: I am totally, completely, and utterly fed up with “Layla,” the Derek and the Dominos’ classic rock staple from 1970. I used to like it. The song was already old enough to have a driver’s license by the time I got into it, and Clapton’s Midas touch was beginning to tarnish, but nevertheless I bought the album, and cranked the volume up whenever classic rock radio stopped playing Led Zeppelin and slipped “Layla” into the mix.
2004-09-13 The (still) missing link
During an election year, you might think an increasingly unpopular and costly war would be a liability to an incumbent administration. You might think, with the number of U.S. soldiers surpassing 1,000, kidnappings, daily attacks, and still no weapons of mass destruction found, that the last thing the Bush administration would want to do is mention the war in Iraq.
2004-09-13 Whistle Stop Toy Train Company
When Gary Ferris retired from Slater Steel last year, like most retirees he was looking forward to being able to spend a little more time on his hobbies. Except for Ferris, his hobby was already well on the road to becoming an established business in his own right.
2004-08-30 He’s worked with “The Mouse.” He’s worked with Spielberg. He’s worked with Singer.
With over 20 years in the entertainment industry, Terry Izumi has a resume that most young artists and designers can only dream about.
2004-08-30 Book dramatist brings literature to life
Barbara Rinella’s biography is clear enough. It says she’s a book dramatist whose popular one-woman shows have earned her rave reviews. Okay. Sounds good. But when I get the opportunity to interview Rinella about her upcoming performance in Fort Wayne, my first question isn’t hard to formulate, even for me: what the heck is a book dramatist, exactly?
2004-06-30 The Soundcheck Series kicks off with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Orchestra
The 2004/2005 season of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic marks the launch of an exciting new string of concerts — the Soundcheck Series, which pairs the Philharmonic with some big names from the worlds of jazz and pop.
2004-08-30 A middle-aged man and his dog
Now that their two grown children out of the house, Greg and Kate are looking forward to enjoying all the rewards of a comfortable middle-class life, with enough time, enough money, and enough energy to do all those things they had always meant to do. For Kate, she finally completes her Master’s degree and is looking forward to teaching Shakespeare.
2004-08-30 Building a Better Election
Remember waking up the morning after the 2000 presidential race, flipping on the news, and discovering that we still didn’t have a new president? As Americans prepare to return to the booths for the first presidential election since the 2000 rumble in Florida gave us the phrase “pregnant chad,” and neither candidate seems to be able to maintain a decisive lead, the possibility of a replay is on everybody’s mind.
2004-09-07 The Capitol Steps perform at IPFW
The Capitol Steps comedy troupe start the 2004/2005 Omnibus Lecture Series at IPFW with a performance on September 14th.
2004-09-10 The First Presbyterian Theater performs A.R. Gurney’s Sylvia
Popular play runs this weekend.
2004-09-09 Book dramatist Barbara Rinella presents
Book dramatist Barbara Rinella portrays a range of characters from literature and history in a program called "Celebrating Heros."
2004-09-09 Film-maker/designer Terry Izumi visits IPFW
Terry Izumi has a resume that most young artists and designers can only dream about.
2004-08-14 2nd annual NIPR Bikenic closes out the summer
Long-time Fort Wayne residents might remember the WBNI Annual Classic Bike Tour, a 15-year summer traditon featuring a scenic bike tour through the countryside. Though very popular, the Classic Bike Tour had to be retired in recent years because, says Karen Fraser of Northeast Indiana Public Radio, “it was no longer a scenic country road.” Increased traffic made the route risky, and organizing the tour became more time-consuming.
2004-08-14 Sweetwater’s 3rd annual GearFest is paradise for musicians
Mention the name “Sweetwater, Inc” to music professionals in top studios and on headlining tours from New York to Los Angeles and all spots in between, and you’ll probably be greeted with a nod of recognition and a smile. Mention the name Sweetwater to almost anyone from Fort Wayne, and you’ll get… well, Sweetwater president and founder Chuck Surack tells it best.
2004-08-14 Grabill gift shop offers tools for spiritual growth
A Nebraska native and wife of a Navy veteran, Marjorie Coe has been running the Catalpa Tree Shops in Grabill since 1986. Coe describes the Catalpa Tree Shops as a metaphysical bookshop and gift store, selling spiritual self-help books, CDs, cards, crystals, and other gifts. That’s one part of it. But on a larger scale, Coe sees what she does as provide people with a center for spiritual self-development.
2004-08-14 Massive renovation project restores luster to Scottish Rite Center
When visitors drop by the Scottish Rite Center as part of the West Central Home and Garden Tour on September 11th and 12th, they’ll be seeing the first phases of a restoration project that began about seven years ago. An organization called the 431 Foundation (named after the Scottish Rite Center’s address on West Berry) is driving the project to return some of the original luster and glamour to the building.
2004-08-19 Cancer Educational Seminar tonight: 8/19
Presented by the Goshen Center for Cancer Care.
2004-08-14 Eyes on the X Prize
The early days of the space race nearly half-a-century ago evoked images of a high-tech, off-world future that, we were assured, was just around the corner. Putting men in orbit and sending astronauts to the moon was just the beginning. By the 90s, we were going to have colonies on the moon. By the end of the century, men would be on Mars. Traveling by rocket was going to be as common as traveling by bus, or at least airplane.
2004-08-14 Oscar-friendly Meryl
Anytime Meryl Streep comes out with a new movie, it's a pretty good bet she'll be receiving a nod from Oscar. Already the winner of a record-breaking baker's dozen Academy Award nominations, and two golden statues, 55-year-old Streep is magnificent again in "The Manchurian Candidate."
2004-06-28 Area musician gives back to her influences with Hopefest
Good ideas can sometimes start in the weirdest places. For Megan King, an area musician who performs original blues and folk-inflected material, the idea for Hopefest began with a random encounter with her elementary school music teacher, Karilyn Metcalf, in a supermarket.
2004-06-28 Unique bookstore offers range of attractions
The sign out from may read Mitchell Books, but there’s a whole lot more on offer inside than shelves full of literature.
2004-06-28 Colonized by box stores
We hear it constantly: Fort Wayne is a growing city. In fact, we don’t need to be told. We see it everyday. Housing developments seem to pop up overnight like fresh crops; new construction projects are as much a staple of the summer months here as humidity, mosquitoes, and the Three River Festival; and enormous grocery stores cover what was formerly farmland.
2004-06-28 Keane
A British trio with an interesting line-up — drums, piano, and vocals — Keane stake claim to musical territory somewhere close to the atmospherics of Coldplay on their debut album.
2004-06-14 Area organizations give Allen County residents incentive to get on their bikes and ride
If there’s one thing Fort Wayne residents love more than their restaurants, it’s their cars. We drive everywhere — two miles to the store to pick up a loaf of bread, a mile to school to pick the kids up, half-a-mile to go to a friend’s house… This reliance on cars is one of the reasons traffic congestion and gas prices are favorite topics of conversation around town. It’s also one of the reason’s the Center for Disease Control ranks Fort Wayne in the top five of the country’s fattest cities.
2004-06-14 Is there more than corn in Indiana?
At around 10 pm on Thursday, April 8th 2004, several residents of Rochester, IN saw something they couldn’t explain. A large disc-shaped object, approximately 100’ long with two rows of bright, white/yellow lights, hovered about 40’ to 50’ feet off the ground. It made no noise at all, and after a short time, seemed to vanish without a trace.
0000-00-00 Bodily Funktions keeps the art of street dance alive
I suppose it’s a sign that you’re growing old when trends you had assumed passed with your youth become not just popular again, but respectable.
2004-05-31 Brett Moore's house of horrors
From the outside, it looks harmless enough: a big square garage-like structure tucked in the midst of an unassuming residential street somewhere near downtown Fort Wayne. Step inside, and there’s lots of light, lots of space… and what appears to be hideously deformed heads lining the wall from floor to ceiling. Everywhere you look, you’re met with bulging eyes, open wounds, discolored skin, and rotting teeth. And those are just the heads that look vaguely human. There are plenty of gargoyles, goblins, demons and werewolves leering from the walls and shelves, too.
2004-05-31 Come for the caber toss. Stay for the ceilidh.
You might expect a member of Fort Wayne’s Scottish Historical Society to bristle at being repeatedly asked about people in kilts hurtling tree trunks into the air. Not Mike Huth.
2004-05-31 The Guitar Summit assembles three local musicians for an evening of virtuosic guitar-playing
Ask any musician: one of the frustrating things about plying your craft in Fort Wayne is that there’s not much of an opportunity for audiences to just listen to you.
2004-05-31 Heartland Security
Considering how much time we spend thinking about terrorism, talking about terrorism, and theorizing about when and if terrorists will strike in the US, you’d expect more people would be aware of what we’re doing about terrorism on a local level. But most people in Fort Wayne don’t even know that Fort Wayne has its own Director of Homeland Security…
2004-05-17 “Lights On Broadway” marks grand finale of Embassy’s 75th anniversary
There are countless synonyms for “big,” and I think I heard most of them while talking to people planning the Embassy Centre’s upcoming “Lights On Broadway” revue.
2005-05-17 At Old Crown, it's all about the coffee
Step into Old Crown Coffee Roasters at 3410 North Anthony and the first thing you’ll notice are the bins: over a dozen bins filled with freshly-roasted coffee, bearing names as evocative as their aromas — everything from French-Kissed Kona to a particularly potent brand of bean labeled the 9th Degree of Darkness. Behind the bins, toward the back of the shop, a huge, metallic machine that looks vaguely like a big bass drum rattles and sizzles as it turns raw coffee beans into one of the many tasty offerings you’ll find behind the counter and in the bins.
2004-05-17 Julia Meek brings Folktales to the classroom
Julia Meek, the host and producer of Northeast Indiana Public Radio’s Folktales on WBOI (88.7 FM), has long wanted to add something to her popular program. “One thing that I’ve always found missing (on the radio show) is spoken word folktales that are not in my voice,” she says.
2004-05-17 Vera Bradley kicks off 11th annual Classic
Vera Bradley is probably one of the most well known entrepreneurial success stories to come out of Fort Wayne in the last two decades. The “handbag company” founded by Patricia Miller and Barbara Baekgaard in 1982 enjoys the kind of national — well, international — recognition and success every company dreams about.
2004-05-17 TV Takeover
Several weeks ago, something happened that could end up drastically narrowing your local news coverage, and nobody blinked an eye.
2004-05-03 Author and illustrator Claire Ewart conjures prehistoric skies in Fossil
You may not think that the rocks and stones littering the bottom of a dry river bed or scattered across a field hold much mystery, but to Fort Wayne-based children’s book author and illustrator Claire Ewart, those stones represent a world of wonders, a world she recreates with stunning vibrancy in her third picture book, Fossil.
2004-05-03 NIPR kicks off 16th annual Wine Tasting
With the 16th annual wine tasting at the Foellinger Botanical Gardens on May 14th, Northeast Indiana Public Radio pulls out all the stops to make sure this is the best time you’ll ever have at a fund-raising event.
0000-00-00 Hoffman Karate focuses on leadership
We’ve seen the movies: marital arts is all about flying fists, shattering wooden boards with your head, and plucking flies out of mid-air with chopsticks, right?
2004-05-03 Behind the camera on RV1
I was skeptical at first: a reality show about Republican gubernatorial candidate Mitch Daniels traveling through Indiana in RV1. First of all, it sounds too much like an infomercial; secondly, it sounds pretty gimmicky; and finally, I really doubted that anyone would put a camera on a politician during an unscripted, unorchestrated moment. But somehow, I got hooked. Sure, it’s a commercial, but all politics aside, RV-1: On the Road with Mitch Daniels makes for pretty interesting and entertaining viewing, and judging by its consistent ratings, lots of viewers think so, too.
2004-04-05 Youtheatre takes a risk with Keesha's House
In its 80 years of existence, the Fort Wayne Youtheatre has done just about every type of play imaginable — musicals, fantasies, original dramas, pageants… the list is practically endless. It’s the classics like Wizard of Oz and The Velveteen Rabbit that audiences flock to, but the organization has done some more dramatic fare, too. With Keesha’s House, Youtheatre expands its dramatic repertoire even further.
2004-04-05 The House is rockin'
When millions of MTV viewers first met Dee Snider back in the early 80s, he was decked out in smeared mascara and torn fishnet stockings, sporting impossible hair, and belting out “We’re Not Gonna Take It” as the lead singer of his band Twisted Sister. Little did we know then that Snider had something that many of his hair-sprayed glam-metal peers didn’t: a future in the music business.
2004-04-05 Portrait of the artist as a landscape. Or a robot.
“As I sit here and look around the room, I see a lot of eyes gazing at me from off the walls,” says Betty Fishman, executive director of Artlink. This isn’t a story of mental breakdown; Fishman is describing the self-portrait show currently running at Artlink, which runs until May 12 and features 115 self-portraits by local artists.
2004-04-05 Radio Blandwidth
The last time people got really loud about the death of radio was during the early days of MTV. While radio stations across the country were grudgingly admitting British bands with funny haircuts to their set lists, programmers and DJs claimed to see the writing on the wall with the first video aired on the new channel: “Video Killed the Radio Star.”
2004-04-05 Aerosmith
Blues purists won’t find much to like on Honkin’ On Bobo, Aerosmith’s long-awaited album of blues covers. But for Aerosmith fans, it might be the album they’ve been waiting for since Pump.
2004-02-16 Making Movies in Fort Wayne
Sometime in the 1990s, a new American success story was added to our pantheon of entrepreneurs, inventors, and captains of industry. This was the story of the independent film-maker, the passionate director/writer with an original vision who, against all odds, financed and made a film that went on to success and acclaim, all outside the Hollywood corporate monstrosity. Sure, it’s a myth, but one that’s proved very attractive to a huge generation of film-maker hopefuls.
2004-02-02 Walk on Mars
“It’s sort of like when you plan a trip cross-country,” says Jim Erickson. “You first plan out your route — you’ve got a map, you’re seeing where the cities are and where the gas stations might be, and you plan where you want to go. You get to your first stop, and it turns out there’s a detour. So you take the detour, and it happens there’s a really interesting tourist sight there, so you stop there for the day. You adjust back to the plan eventually, but in the meantime you’re sort of having fun along the way.”
2004-02-02 The Mother Lode Group Bursts Through the February Blues with “Do It In Red”
If an art opening conjures images of awkward conversations and bad wine, the kick-off of the “Do It In Red” show is bound to be an eye-opener. Over two-dozen women artists will be showing their work, which encompasses wide variety of pieces from sculpture to photography to paintings. The only thing the pieces have in common is the color red. “Red can be about passion, sex, death, anger, jellybeans, stop signs, whatever,” says Beth Callender, one of the organizers of the show. “It can be about a lot of those things, but whatever associations you have with it, red is a color that can’t be ignored.”
2004-01-28 Video Games
You probably think you can spot a video or computer game player a mile off. He’s male, for one. He’s also probably not old enough to get into a bar yet. That woman in her early 30s who lives down the street from you? That family man with a responsible job? No way.
2004-01-28 Building Fort Wayne’s Technological Future
Bill Westrick’s story is familiar to anyone who has tried starting their own company. A Fort Wayne native with experience in several technology-based companies in the area, Westrick and three other partners formed Photosphere, a software company that produces visualization and color-theory software for the home improvement and interior design industries. Westrick and his partners incorporated in early 2003, then set about trying to get equipment for the new business.
2004-01-12 The boy who would be Superman
Superman fans were still reeling over the smarmy cuteness of Lois & Clark when the WB announced its teenage Superman drama Smallville, reportedly about young Clark Kent’s days in high school and his slow discovery of his super powers. The WB’s reputation as purveyors of teen angst had some die-hard fans worried, but a few elements of the show’s premise suggested that Smallville might revitalize the whole Superman mythos: the creators promised that Clark Kent would discover one super power per season, the show’s tagline was “No Flights, No Tights,” and Clark would be friends with a young Lex Luthor who hadn’t yet found his calling as a criminal mastermind.
2001-12-20 After the election
By all accounts, Fort Wayne’s 2003 Mayoral Race should have been a nail-biter. After all, when the same candidates went up against each other in 1999, Republican Linda Buskirk lost to Democrat Graham Richard by a mere 129 votes. Analysts predicted another tight race for 2003, especially after the loss of many manufacturing jobs during Richard’s first term in office.
2004-01-12 Behind the gun
For anyone who enjoys the thrill of knowing the inside scoop, the Smoking Gun website is Mecca. Via copies of legal documents and official memos, the Smoking Gun offers a peek into a side of public figures and current events normally off-limits, from J-Lo’s insistence on an all-white dressing room to mug shots of legendary gangster Bugsy Siegel.
0000-00-00 Keeping Fort Wayne's thriving arts community strong
If you’ve ever enjoyed a Philharmonic performance or Youtheater production, or checked out a “hot buzz” independent film at the Cinema Center, just to name a few examples, you have Arts United to partially thank for that. The third oldest arts fund in the United States, Arts United is a private, non-profit organization that helps fund various arts organizations in Fort Wayne.
2008-10-20 Jet
This Australian four-piece has benefited from probably one of the best kinds of promotions a rock band can get these days: TV ad placement. It’s their “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” you can hear on Apple’s iPod commercial (it’s the “one, two, three. . .” song). Their credibility has taken some blows, but on Get Born, their debut album, Jet’s brand of greasy, beer-soaked rock n’ roll offers a pretty good argument for credibility being sometimes over-rated.
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