by Ken Klingenmeier

Covid-19 has struck us all hard during these past few months. Among the pandemic’s many negative effects is the closings of performing arts companies and locales. Ever so slowly, the complicated process of producing shows for the public (with an eye on health and safety) has started to uncoil itself and a few community theatre companies have either produced a show (i.e. Center Stage Community Theatre in Lebanon IN) or have held (or planned) auditions to do so.

Indianapolis’ Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre leads the way for professional theatre’s return with their production of Beehive, a musical revue style show celebrating songs from the 60’s which is directed and choreographed by Ron Morgan, with musical direction by Terry Woods. Modifications of the normal B&B offering are a part of the popular venue’s reemergence.

From B&B’s press release:

“After developing a comprehensive responsible reopening plan, Beef & Boards has spent several weeks preparing to welcome audiences back. Those audiences will be smaller in size, and spaced farther apart. In lieu of its traditional buffet, Beef & Boards will offer plated meals from servers in protective gear. Guests’ temperatures will be taken as they arrive, and anyone meausring over 100.4 degres Farenheit will not be admitted into the theatre. Guests will be required to wear a mask to enter the theatre, in compliance with Mayor Hogsett’s mandate that requires masks in areas where the public gathers indoors.”

Furthermore, Mayor Hogsett’s latest instruction of July 9th requires that masks be worn at all times except while eating.

Additionally, the Beehive performers, Shelbi Berry, Tiffany Gilliam, Terica Marie, Amy Owens, Samantha Russell, and Christine Zavakos have been outfitted with clear face-covering shields, which offer protection for the audience and the cast during the performance.

Asked about the added protection, cast member Christine Zavakos said this: “I think the face shield’s are necessary given the state of the world. B&B is taking tons of precautions to keep everyone safe. It was an adjustment for sure, but I think everyone is on board to keep theatre alive in Indy. The audience forgets you’re wearing them after a while.”

Christine Zavakos sings “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow ” from “Beehive” at B&B Dinner Theatre

It all seems like a rather elegant solution to a rather unprecedented problem. The photos tell the tale; it really looks as if they are not any big distraction to the audience.

Amy Owens (right) sings “Then He Kissed Me”  from “Beehive” at B&B Dinner Theatre

Beehive continues at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre through August 9th – with their next show, Newsies, opening on August 13 and running through September 27th.

For tickets, call the box office at 317.872.9664 anytime between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays. For complete show schedule, visit beefandboards.com.

  • Photos by Julie Curry