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by Ken Klingenmeier

Happy New Year, everyone!

It’s finally January and we are just days away from a theatrical world premiere here in Indianapolis! On Friday January 27th, IndyFringe Basile Theatre will be the site of the much anticipated opening night for Calder, The Musical. Written and directed by Dustin Klein and Tom Alvarez, and presented by Marianne Glick and Mike Woods, this portrait of American artist Alexander Calder had a preview at the IndyFringe Festival last summer and had the honor of being the #1 Best Selling Show for 2016 IndyFringe.

The preview has since been expanded into a full length offering featuring Logan Moore in the role of Calder. You may have seen the 2014 Butler grad when he appeared in the Calder preview or in ATI’s productions of The Fantasticks, as El Gallo, and The 39 Steps as Richard Hannay.

Others in the cast include: “Christa Fleming-Runion as The Muse, Kate Schuman as Louisa Calder, Ian Gamble and Teddy Rayhill alternating as young Alexander Calder, Jordan Pecar and Piper Murphy alternating as Peggy Calder, Jake McDuffee as Stirling Calder/Piet Mondrian, Danielle Carnagua as Nanette Calder. The ensemble includes Leslie Gaudreau as Gertrude Stein, Gabby Thurman Niehaus as Zelda Fitzgerald , Tiana Williams as Josephine Bakerand Jenna McGregor Jarvis, Mark Whetstone and Matt Rohrer in various supporting roles.” ¹

The show “traces the life of Calder and brings his art to life on stage through a theatrical experience of drama, music, dance, and visual art. Narrated by an unlikely muse, the show chronicles his beginnings as a young boy through nearly eighty years of artistic creation. The story opens in 1976 at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City at the opening of Calder’s Universe, a major retrospective of his career and is followed by flashbacks to major turning points in Calder’s life. The evolution of his whimsical creations beginning in his childhood workshop, to the streets of Paris, to his movable wire circus of the 1920s and 30s, new loves and paths to follow on ship journeys, hardships as a struggling artist and creation of his mobiles and stabiles and more—are all explored. Amid the dark influences, ongoing conflicts and times of the 20th century, audiences will be transported to Calder’s imaginative world where art has the ability to bridge ideas of peace, hope, and harmony.” ¹ This show marks Klein and Alvarez’ first musical theatre collaboration.


Composer Dustin Klein (right) and lyricist Tom Alvarez

Dustin Klein composed the music for the show. He has worked as an actor, musical director and producer, and currently serves as the chairman of the Department of the Arts at The Orchard School in Indianapolis, where for the last 15 years he has been the choir director and drama teacher.

Tom Alvarez provided the lyrics for the show. He is familiar to many for his regular appearances on IndyStyle on Wish TV – Channel 8. Alvarez has over 40 years experience as a free-lance journalist covering productions of theatre, dance and music. He produced the Emmy-winning documentary James Dean And Me, which aired nationally on the TLC network.

Performance dates and times are: Friday Jan 27, 7:30 p.m., Saturday Jan 28, 7:30 p.m., Sunday Jan 29th, 2 p.m., Friday Feb 3, 7:30 p.m., Saturday Feb 4, 7:30 p.m., Sunday Feb 4, 2 p.m. Friday Feb 10, 7:45 p.m., Saturday Feb 11, 7:30 p.m., and Sunday Feb 12, 2 p.m.

Tickets are priced at: $20 for adults, $15 for seniors/students and $12 for children under age 12.

IndyFringe Theatre is located at 719 E St Clair Street, Indianapolis in the Mass Ave District.

You can go online to buy tickets at Calder tickets . For other ticket information, call 317-522-8099

Mrs. K and I are so looking forward to seeing this original production by our friends, Dustin and Tom. I know they have worked very hard on the show and when I last talked with them about it – they both gave me the feeling they have put together something very special.


      1 – from the Calder press release

  • – Photos from Klein/Alvarez