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From the Halls of CHS to the Oscar Red Carpet
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16 COVER STORY
Matt Shumway: From the Halls of CHS to an Oscar Nomination With February being the month of the Academy Awards presentations, we feature in our cover story Carmel native Matt Shumway. In a few short years Shumway has garnered an Oscar nomination and an outstanding reputation in Hollywood in the area of film animation. If you saw Star Wars: The Last Jedi, then you have seen Shumway’s work. As a part of this story, Shumway shares what it was like to live a dream and walk the red carpet as an Oscar nominee. Cover Story Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photo // Submitted
10 Honoring Captain John Moriarty 12 Business Spotlight: Monavation 20 Asherwood Estate: A Gift for the Ages 22 Valentine’s Day Survey 24 Lights! Places! Magic! 26 Palladium Performer Spotlight: Batten Down the Hatches Storm Large
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FEBRUARY WRITERS / Janelle Morison, Neil Lucas
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Ready to beat the winter blues? Celebrate winter with friends and family at the Festival of Ice at Center Green, featuring special events, special offers, food vendors and skating sessions every Wednesday through Sunday, until March 11. Visit the website for more information on BOGO nights, kids events, live DJs, movie nights, a Ground Hog Day celebration, the USA Olympic Pride Weekend, Valentine’s Day, Family 4-pack nights, and much more! Enjoy great music, great food, and lots of fireside festivities.
The Art of Ice - Carving Competitions February 17 & 18
Events begin at 1 p.m. both days and include a family interactive zone and ice skating. SATURDAY Art of Ice Design Competition
Watch and learn as the Midwest’s top professional ice carvers start from scratch to create breathtaking sculptures out of basic blocks of ice. Get up close and personal, ask questions, take “frosty selfies” or just hang out and be amazed at these true culinary artists as they show off their talents.
Hot Chili Cook-off
Sample the best varieties of chili recipes from the famous “fire station chefs” of the Carmel Fire Department as they go head-to-head for your vote for the Festival of Ice champion chili!
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SUNDAY Art of Ice Carve-off Competition
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H o n o r i n g
Captain John Moriarty Writer // Janelle Morrison Photography // Courtesy of Richard Viehe (CFD Retiree)
Last month, the Carmel Fire Department (CFD) and the City of Carmel held an incredibly moving retirement ceremony for one of their own, Captain John Moriarty. Moriarty served as a firefighter for the department for 36 years and served for 35 as the department’s mascot, “Sparky.” He began his career with CFD in 1981 as a firefighter, worked his way up the ranks and ended his career as House Captain of Station 44.
hose who attended the ceremony January 11 at CFD headquarters heard from the leadership of CFD, firefighters who worked alongside him, Moriarty’s son, Timothy, and from Kevin Bower, the father of Erin Bower Patterson whose life Moriarty helped save on April 17, 1989. Patterson was only 5 years old when a makeshift bomb exploded in a Kmart at Castleton Square Mall. The explosion left Patterson severely maimed and claimed her left hand and left eye. Bower, Patterson’s father, is the executive vice president and COO of Pacers Sports & Entertainment and was one of the speakers at Moriarty’s ceremony. He surprised Moriarty with the news that a framed personalized Pacer jersey was
being fabricated and would be presented to Moriarty upon its completion as a small gesture of the Bower family’s gratitude for his heroism and his years of service. It was an emotional moment for everyone in attendance when Moriarty and Patterson embraced. It was the first time that they had seen each other since that horrific day 29 years ago. “We were honored to receive an invitation,” Bower said. “We’re so grateful for you [Moriarty] being there 29 years ago. We are so very grateful.” Other special guests included neighboring area fire departments’ “Sparky”
mascots who lined up with Moriarty one final time. Chief of Carmel Fire Department David Haboush shared Moriarty’s many achievements throughout his career as well as what impact he has made on the entire department over the decades. “Words that I use to describe him [Moriarty] are loyal, dedicated, competent and committed,” he said. “John loved serving as ‘Sparky,’ serving as the department historian, and most importantly, he loves this community. His passion could be seen every day by ensuring that his firefighters were safe, healthy, knowledgeable and
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ready to respond to any 911 emergency. He and his crews brought a whole other level of customer service, setting the bar high and set an example for all of us in the department to follow.” Timothy (Tim), Moriarty’s oldest son, addressed the audience and shared a story that his father had never been told prior to that day. “Since I was a child, I have always loved the smell of a campfire,” Tim said. “I love the smell of a campfire in the woods, the backyard, anywhere. When I was in fourth grade, my class took a field trip to Conner Prairie, and my teacher, Sister Mary Margaret, saw me hanging out by the campfire and asked me if I was hanging out by it because it was warm. I told her no. Then she asked if it was because I liked the light of the fire. I said no. She asked if there was anything else about it that I liked. I told her that sometimes my dad had to leave in the middle of the night and I knew where he was going, and nothing scared me more. Every time my dad came home the next morning, he would kiss us, even if we were still sleeping in our beds. The smell
of smoke would still be on him because he hadn’t showered yet. That smell would tell me that he was home.” Tim addressed the firefighters who were lined up behind the seated audience. “For 36 years, you are the reason that he got home to us.” Father and son embraced, tearful, after those remarks. John stepped up to the podium next.
He shared several heartfelt acknowledgments of appreciation and gratitude for his fellow firefighters and for the CFD leadership. He also shared tender memories of his parents, siblings, wife and their children over the years and how they stood by his side supporting his career. “My family has always taught me to be thankful for everything that the Lord has blessed me with,” Moriarty expressed. “I would like to say thank you to our Mayor Jim Brainard and all former mayors of the city of Carmel, all past and present council members of the city of Carmel, all past and present clerk treasurers of the city of Carmel and all past and present township trustees and board members.” He concluded, “I would also like to thank the Carmel Fire Department, Chief David Haboush and all former chiefs for giving me the opportunity and chance of a lifetime. To all my fellow firefighters, those here on earth and those that have gone before us, I say thank you for all of your friendship, loyalty, kindness and love throughout my entire career. That being said, you are truly my second family.”
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MaidMe by MonaVation: A Business Built on Family and Trust “The most important thing in the world is family and love.” – John Wooden Writer // Janelle Morrison
he thought expressed in the quote above is by the legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden. Wooden’s sentiments about family are shared by La-Tisha Pirtle, owner of MaidMe by MonaVation, a residential cleaning service. Not surprisingly, Pirtle’s company name, MonaVation, is a tribute to her mother, Mona Plummer. While Pirtle is actively involved in the management of MonaVation, the imprint of her mother is indelibly etched into the fiber of the business. Mona may only be 4’11” tall, but she is a strongwilled giant of a personality. Along with Pirtle’s father, Mona has operated a family-owned general contracting/restoration business in the Indianapolis area for many years. She decided to get involved in the restoration business after tiring of working at a bank. When we say “operated,” we mean she is out on the job site nearly every day, supervising the workers and actually working on the jobs. You are as likely to see her at a job on a ladder with a putty trowel in her hand as in the office on the phone. The grit, determination and work ethic that is so obviously present in Mona has been passed on to Pirtle and her brother, the next generation at MonaVation. In 2014, Pirtle and her husband Michael returned to the U.S. after spending a couple years
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in Germany while Michael served in the U.S. Air Force. Near the end of the couple’s stay in Germany, Pirtle planned how she could utilize her degree in management from Indiana University upon her return to the U.S. Mona suggested they get involved in the family business. After going to job sites with her parents at an early age where she saw how hard they worked and seeing them return home each day dirty and smelling of smoke after working on fire restoration jobs, Pirtle admits that earlier in her life, she had little interest in joining her mother in the family business. However, as she had aged a bit and started her own family, Pirtle’s appreciation of the benefits of being able to work every day in her family’s business grew. Upon their return from Germany, Pirtle and her husband committed to joining the family business and are now expanding the services MonaVation offered to include residential house cleaning. Already a business with 25 employees, it is Pirtle’s plan to keep expanding the business her family created in order to fulfill her dream of taking it to another level. As mentioned earlier, the family business concentrated on fire, flood and contents restoration, commercial janitorial and pre/post-construction cleanup for years.
Pirtle is taking the family’s years of cleaning experience in disaster recovery and commercial janitorial work and incorporating it into providing dependable residential cleaning service in the Indianapolis area. MaidMe by MonaVation was launched in 2016 by Pirtle and Michael. MaidMe by MonaVation is owned and operated by women who are mothers themselves that fully understand and appreciate the demands of other working women and have tried to apply that knowledge in creating the cleaning services offered by MaidMe. Pirtle recognizes that trust is a critically important aspect in choosing a residential cleaning service. According to Pirtle, they have learned much about protecting the trust of their clients from their experiences in the restoration business. Pirtle explained that when a person’s home is hit with a fire or other disaster, the homeowner has just suffered a traumatic experience and can be at their most vulnerable. It is in those vulnerable times of their customers that MonaVation has worked hard to develop a trusting reputation by stepping up and delivering for their clients in a time of need. Given the example provided by her mother, it is not surprising to know that Pirtle is truly a
hands-on owner when it comes to MaidMe’s clients. This is not a franchise or corporate structure with layers of management. When you visit the offices of MaidMe, you will likely find Pirtle, along with one or both of her young children, working hard to improve the services offered by MaidMe. Pirtle’s dedication to customer service and satisfaction is evidenced when she stated, “There is not a single customer that I have that can’t pick up the phone and call my cell phone number day or night.” It is often said you are only as good as your employees. Naturally, when hiring MaidMe employees, an extensive background check is done. Additionally, before an employee is hired, they must meet the ultimate test, an interview with Mona. She relies on her years of experience to screen potential employees and also takes the opportunity to emphasize what is expected from employees and how important it is for them to do a great job that reflects positively on MaidMe by MonaVation. Again, anyone who has met Mona or sat in on one of her interviews will quickly understand that hiring dedicated and hardworking employees is not an aspect of the business that is taken lightly by MaidMe. Lastly, MaidMe uses only high-quality and environmentally-friendly products in their cleaning services. Certainly, they will use whatever cleaning products the customer demands, but generally they try to incorporate lots of essential oils and naturally derived fresheners along with other tried and true solutions. In summary, Pirtle stated, “I have grown very passionate about what we are doing. I believe that no matter what you do, there is a certain level of pride you must take in it. We are always looking for the next way to impress our customers and show them how we can better serve them.” If you are looking for a trusted family-oriented home cleaning professional to help make your house sparkle, call La-Tisha Pirtle and the folks at MaidMe by MonaVation soon.
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THIS MONTHâ€™S HELPING HANDS AWARD WINNER: RANJPUTHRAN PUTHRAN AGENCY RANJ AGENCY For more information about nominations or Ranj Puthran Insurance Agency, call 317-844-4683 or visit 815 W. Carmel Dr., Carmel
Linda Withrow helped create Hamilton County Kids Coats in 2004 and is now its Executive Director. The purpose of Kids Coats (https://kidscoats.org/) is to collect donations of warm coats, hats, boots and gloves all year long, then distribute them to families in need on two giveaway weekends in November. Since 2004, Linda has devoted thousands of hours to the administration and working of Kids Coats and driven tens of thousands of miles around Hamilton County to make it happen at five different sites. In addition, she has convinced someone go to Facebook.com/Ranjputhranhelpinghands hundreds of volunteers to devote many more thousands of hours to the endeavor, and many or email@example.com of them say they get as much from volunteering as the Kids Coats clients do. She has never been paid a penny for any of this work and would gladly do it all over again! So, for all this, congratulations on being our Helping Hands Award winner this month.
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to Oscar Red Carpet F r o m
t h e
H a l l s
C H S
Writer // Janelle Morrison Photography // Submitted
The halls of Carmel High School (CHS) whisper their stories about the incredible students who once walked those halls and went on to leave their imprint on the world. One such story takes us back to 1997 when a young trumpet player and ambitious animator, Matthew (Matt) Shumway, was preparing to launch his career.
In high school, Shumway was a member of the Carmel Marching Band. He was presented with The Richard Saucedo Distinguished Alumni Award in 2017, a prestigious award presented to a Carmel Marching alumnus who graduated more than 10 years ago and has demonstrated the concepts of the pursuit of excellence, dedication and commitment in their work, community and life. Shumway was unable to attend due to a prior obligation, but his parents, Gary and Karen Shumway of Carmel, accepted the award on his behalf. The award was presented by Michael Pote, Director of Bands, who was one of Shumway’s former teachers and band directors. “Matt was obviously talented in relation to the graphic arts, and you could tell that
was going to be his path,” Pote said. “He had a love for that and had already invested a lot of time in setting himself up to be prepared for that.” Pote recalled that Shumway designed “spirit” shirts for his section, a long-standing tradition among the band students
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and their respective sections. For one of those years, Shumway designed a caricature of Pote. “For a couple of years, Matt was obviously the designated artist for his section’s shirt,” he chuckled. “One year, the design was literally a caricature of me and some funny or rather annoying things
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that I would say. He was able to use one skill for the benefit of the other. Matt’s strength was bringing his other strengths to the benefit of the entire group.”
As proud mothers often do, Karen spoke about her son’s achievements, both professionally and personally. “All three of our kids are very ‘artsy,’ Matthew being the most talented as far as his art goes,” Karen said. “It wasn’t too hard to be supportive of that. It was a surprise when Matt was awarded the Alumni Award. I have to tell you that award that they gave him is beautiful. He displays it in his house along with his Annie Awards and other things from the Oscars. Matt was so excited to get that award from CHS. We are very proud of his accomplishments, both professional and personally. He is married to his wife, Amy, and has a beautiful little girl, Lyla. [They] live in San Francisco. It’s pretty hard not to be proud of everything he has done.” Shumway emphasized that he always had the support of his parents. “My parents have been 100 percent supportive of me,” he said. “I never felt any resistance for wanting to do this, and I know I’m lucky because not everybody has that support.”
The Award Winning and Academy Nominated Artist
always been special to Shumway who had spend a lot of time in his youth practicing drawing the famous Hoosier cat. “I wanted to get into animation ever since the fourth grade,” Shumway said. “Drawing was something that I’ve always enjoyed doing. I started drawing Garfield because he was a simple character that I could figure out how to do. I fell in love with the Disney movies in the 1990s and was fascinated that you could take a drawing and make it move and come to life.” Over the course of 10 years, Shumway worked his way up the ranks while honing his craft. He worked on many films during these years, including “The Chronicles of Narnia,” “Night at the Museum” and “The Incredible Hulk.” As an animation supervisor, Shumway is responsible for leading the team of animators in creating the performance and motion of the digital characters. Working closely with all departments and the client, Shumway is also responsible for the development and building of the characters. In 2007, Shumway was part of the supervisory team behind the Academy
Award-winning “The Golden Compass.” Various talking animals, including monkeys, cats, ferrets, birds, dogs and wolves, were among the characters he supervised on the show. For his work on the 2004 film, “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” Shumway received an Annie Award nomination for his animation on Aslan, the great lion. In 2012, Shumway was an Animation Supervisor on the highly acclaimed “Life of Pi.” His team led the development and animation of the film’s central character Richard Parker, the Bengal tiger. Shumway worked on the development of the other animals in the film as well, including the orangutan, zebra, hyena and the cast of meerkats. His work on the tiger earned him a 2013 Annie Award. In 2013, Shumway’s reputation for a strong work ethic and brilliant artistry landed him an opportunity to work at Industrial Light & Magic – the famed studio of Star Wars – where he contributed to “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and “Jurassic World.” The supervisory animation work that earned Shumway and his team an Acad-
Drawing was something that I’ve always enjoyed doing. I started drawing Garfield because he was a simple character that I could figure out how to do...”
Shumway began college at Savannah College of Art and Design, but in 2000, he transferred to ArtCenter College of Design near Los Angeles. He graduated with Distinction three years later. After graduation, Rhythm & Hues Studios, one of the top visual effects companies at the time, offered Shumway a job. His first job at the studio was doing Digital Matte Painting for “X2: X-Men United.” Following that projects, Shumway was given the opportunity to transfer to the Animation Department to be an animator on “Garfield: The Movie.” Garfield had
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emy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects was on “The Revenant.” Fans of the movie may recall the famous scene where the bear attacks Leonardo DiCaprio. This was the work of Shumway and his team. That work also led to several awards, including the Annie Award, the highest award in animation, and the Visual Effects Society Award for Best Character Animation. While Shumway and his team did not win the Oscar, the experience and thrill of walking the red carpet, not once
but multiple times to “make the most of the experience,” will be one that Shumway will cherish for the rest of his days. “‘The Revenant’ turned into such an interesting project,” Shumway said. “I got to go on set and see Leonardo DiCaprio act in person. The whole experience was a great education for me. My team and I were incredibly lucky to be considered and accepted for an Academy Award nomination, and that, I have to say, was quite an exciting moment when you hear your name on TV as being nominated. That was pretty cool. My wife, Amy, and I kind of lost our minds, and then we made pancakes. It was super surreal. You get invited to a lot of the Oscar-related parties and events. It is as fun as it sounds.” When asked about walking the red carpet at the 88th Academy Awards, Shumway described the incredible scene. “It is insanity on the red carpet,” Shumway exclaimed. “TV doesn’t do it justice as to how
crazy it is. We did a couple of interviews, which was fun. It was so chaotic. My wife and I milked it; we went all the way down the line and ran back up to do it all over again. I didn’t know if I would ever be able to do it again, and we had fun with it.” After “The Revenant,” Shumway was approached to work on the then-untitled Hans Solo film as the overall animation supervisor. As a result, Shumway and his team were also asked to work on parts of, including the epic Battle of Crait at the close of “The Last Jedi,” which was released last December. “I was asked to be part of the ‘Solo’ movie, which we’re deep into right now, to be an overall animation supervisor. I’ll keep an eye on all of the animation throughout the movie, which is daunting but pretty awesome at the same time.” Loyal fans of the Star Wars series and of Shumway can see his work in the film that is being released this coming Memorial Day.
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A s h e r w o o d
E s t a t e :
A Gift for the Ages Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Submitted
Last month’s announcement that the 107-acre Asherwood estate, formerly the home of Mrs. Bren Simon and her late husband Mel Simon, had been gifted to the Great American Songbook Foundation (GASF) sent shockwaves throughout the city and enthralled GASF fans.
ast month’s announcement that the 107-acre Asherwood estate, formerly the home of Mrs. Bren Simon and her late husband Mel Simon, had been gifted to the Great American Songbook Foundation (GASF) sent shockwaves throughout the city and enthralled GASF fans. Mrs. Simon gifted the renowned estate, including the personal property contained within (valued at more than $30 million), to the Foundation, which will leverage the donation toward its goal of creating a freestanding Great American Songbook Hall of Fame Museum. Founded in 2007 by five-time GRAMMY® Award nominee Michael Feinstein, the Foundation seeks to inspire and educate by celebrating the Great American Songbook – the timeless standards of pop, jazz, Broadway and Hollywood.
Headquartered at The Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, the Foundation advances this rich legacy by curating physical artifacts of its creators, performers and publishers; operating a multimedia exhibit gallery; overseeing the Songbook Hall of Fame; offering programs for the public and research opportunities for scholars and artists; and providing educational opportunities for student musicians, including the annual Songbook Academy® summer intensive. The Foundation is a Cultural Affiliate of the Los Angeles-based GRAMMY® Museum. The Asherwood property includes a fully furnished 50,000-sq. ft. main house, an 8,000-sq. ft. clubhouse, a 6,000-sq. ft. guesthouse, several other structures and two golf courses. The estate is managed by a staff of nine individuals, five salaried and four hourly staff members. All nine staff members have been hired by and
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are employees of The Center for the Performing Arts and Great American Songbook Foundation. According to The Center’s CEO and President Jeff McDermott, “We are making great efforts to integrate the estate’s staff into our team. We’re going to be holding several meetings, committee and board meetings, from both organizations and will be utilizing Asherwood estate and the main house as much as we can for those purposes. It allows our staff here and board members to get to know the property and facility and start to make it feel like our home.” Bren Simon offered a statement on her years at the renowned estate: “During my time at Asherwood, my fondest memories were when we welcomed guests into our home and hosted events to support causes we care deeply about,” Simon said. “I am so pleased that Asherwood is now transitioning into a place that will support the Great American Songbook Foundation and be seen and used by the Foundation, its guests and the public at large. I can think of no finer use than for Asherwood to become an asset to the Songbook Foundation and to support the mission of celebrating American music.” The Songbook Archives and Library, with over 100,000 items, is second only to the Library of Congress as a repository of documents, recordings and other artifacts from the 20th-century heyday of the Great American Songbook. The holdings include personal papers and other pieces from legendary performers and songwriters, including Meredith Willson (“The Music Man”), Johnny Burke (“Swinging on a Star”), Gus Kahn (“It Had to Be You”) and Hy Zaret (“Unchained Melody”). The collections, which attract musicians and researchers from around the world, are currently stored at a facility near the Palladium concert hall where the Foundation maintains its offices and a public exhibit space. Last July, the Great American Songbook Foundation was named a Cultural Affiliate of the Los Angeles-based GRAMMY® Museum. Cultural Affiliates collaborate on exhibitions, educational
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initiatives, research programs, internship opportunities, technical support and more. The GRAMMY® Museum is among the entities providing expertise and assistance to the Songbook Foundation in its museum planning. The Foundation staff and board began the work to evaluate the many possibilities for the use of the donated property, starting with a comprehensive feasibility study that will be steered by an appointed oversight committee. McDermott spoke with us about the purpose of the oversight committee and the process of evaluating the best use of the gifted estate by the Foundation. “The oversight committee will be appointed by the chairs of both boards, Melissa Stapleton Barnes and Eric Payne,” he said. “The staff has made some suggestions as to who we think would make well-suited members of this committee. We are blessed to have people from both boards with great business,
financial, legal and arts acumen who will help guide this process.” In terms of whether or not a Great American Songbook Hall of Fame Museum will take up residence at Asherwood for certain, McDermott stated, “It is certainly a possible use of the property, and there are many other possible uses of the property. Certainly, it has always been a dream and goal and is actually a part of our 2020 strategic plan for the Foundation to have a free-standing interactive Great American Songbook Hall of Fame Museum. Mrs. Simon’s generous gift has shot us forward years towards our ability to establish that goal. We are doing our due diligence, hiring consultants and looking at the possible uses of the property in a variety of ways, including a possible site of that museum. It is very fair to say that no decisions have been made yet, but we won’t let dust settle too long as we will be reviewing all of the options that this asset gives us.”
Chris Lewis, Executive Director of the Great American Songbook Foundation, emphasized that the gift of the estate is a “game-changer” for the organization. “It comes with great accountability,” he emphasized. “We will proceed very deliberately and strategically to maximize its value as Mrs. Simon intended. We also recognize the interests of the residents and property owners in the area, and their input will be very important.” Lewis continued, “My mantra is the possibilities are endless. There is so much potential, from the Great American Songbook Academy to the archives. Making the announcement was the first big step, and now we are working to figure out how to best utilize this property. We feel that this gift gives us opportunities that are beyond our comprehension, and we are really excited.” To learn more about the Great American Songbook Collection, visit TheSongbook.org.
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D s ’ e n i t alen Survey
Writer // Janelle Morrison
While Valentine’s Day is not an official public holiday, you would be wise to not pass up paying homage to your sweetheart that day or risk being in the proverbial dog house. The late Charles Schulz once said, “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” These were wise words indeed. We asked a few of Carmel’s familiar faces what some of their favorite Valentine’s Day treats, meals and/or memories are. We hope that you enjoy this playful survey of those responses.
Ranj Puthran, Insurance Agent at Allstate Q
How old were you or what grade were you in when you had your first crush?
Chris Lewis, Executive Director at Great American Songbook Foundation
“I was in fifth grade. Her name was Crispin Corrado. I remember she had a cute birthmark on her cheek and was very smart.”
In your opinion, what is the most romantic song of all time? A
Jim (Jimmy) Inskeep, Athletics Director at Carmel High School Q
What is your favorite Valentine’s Day candy that you least like to share? A
“I keep a close watch
on any KitKat bar and mark “This is an easy one for me. Hands
it in the refrigerator with a
down, the most romantic song of all
Sharpie. That’s a close second
time is ‘The Nearness of You’ by Hoagy
to any sugar hearts box with
Carmichael and Ned Washington. I
the Valentine’s Day slogans
mean, come on! Could there be more
stamped on them.”
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Joyce Winner, Carmel resident and Co-founder of the Centennial Society How did your husband Jim propose to you? Did you have an inkling that he was going to, or was it a total surprise? Q
“We went to a very romantic dinner … it was a
Friday night. It seemed like the logical place to me for a proposal. No such thing. The next day, I was in the kitchen washing dishes, and he came up behind me and popped the question! I pulled my hands out of soapy water to have him
Amy Orcutt von Eiff, Executive Chef and Owner at A Cut Above Catering
place the ring on my finger! I NEVER expected that! Had I known his romantic propensity to kitchens ... I would have spent MUCH more time there!”
Q Chocolates, flowers or jewelry? A
“When I was younger, my
favorites were chocolates, flowers and jewelry, but now, being married for 13 years, my favorite gifts to receive for Valentine’s Day have become more personal and
Lauren Taylor, President and Owner at Holder Mattress Co. Q What is the most memorable/thoughtful gift you have received (to date) from your husband in honor of the holiday?
meaningful to our relationship. It’s not about how much money he
“The day after our first date, Rich sent me a beautiful
spends; it’s how he creates the whole
bouquet of my favorite flowers from McNamara. I remember
Valentine’s experience and making
thinking at the time that he ‘got the good flowers.’ He chose a
it memorable, knowing he took the
local florist with an impeccable reputation, and I was impressed.
time to make it special, even if it’s
Over the years, he has spoiled me with jewelry and fine dining
just cooking together in the kitchen
for Valentine’s Day, but it’s still that McNamara bouquet that
or going to a movie!”
each year brings me right back to the moment I fell for him.”
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Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // JJ Kaplan and Submitted
The Actors Theatre of Indiana (ATI) Theatre Immersion Experience is well into the first of four experiences offered between January and June of this year. ATI’s Theatre Immersion Experience is a one-of-a-kind program for students ages 14-18 who are interested in pursuing a career in theater. Editors note: You may remember in our December issue we ran a story announcing the ATI Immersion program. This is a follow up on that story.
he program is designed to give young performing artists the chance to broaden, deepen and develop their talents in a uniquely “hands-on” way. After the production opens, students will receive 40 hours of customized instruction taught by Broadway and theater professionals. The 40-hour curriculum is designed to engage, inspire, educate and develop their talents. It will include instruction in audition techniques, dance and movement, character study, body and breath awareness, script analysis, vocal techniques, confidence training, preparation for college acceptance as well as Master Classes taught by professional guest artists and cast members in the Main Stage Production they are following. ATI’s Co-founder and Artistic Director Don Farrell believes fervently in the power of theater to engage, inspire, educate and entertain. “It brings us together as a community,” Farrell said. “It tells us where we have been, who we are and what we can become. The skills and lessons learned through our ATI Theatre Immersion Experience will benefit students no matter what their interests or aspirations are. With the emphasis on arts education on the decline, it is up to small arts organizations to help in the development of our young students’ minds. It is not just about helping students navigate towards a career in the theater, although that is the goal of many of our students. But today, arts education is a big part of building
a 21st-century creative mind. It’s just as important for students to be culturally literate as well as math and science literate. I hope our students will leave our program feeling empowered, their skills broadened, their creativity stimulated and maybe even find opportunities to move to new and sometimes unexpected directions.” ATI’s Director of Education MaryJayne (MJ) Waddell is enjoying watching how fast the students are learning and growing in just a matter of weeks. “The students are currently observing the actors and crew, under Michael’s direction, rehearsing the production of ‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,’” Waddell said. “The students have quickly gone from ‘stand here’ to understanding how everything is developing. The students are learning to understand the roles of all of the departments, how everybody has to be committed and what it really takes to produce a show. The show has life coming into it now, and the students are a part of it.” A Hoosier native, Michael Blatt is guest directing “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” and working with Waddell and the Immersion students. Blatt is a director, actor and teacher who lives in New York City. “I grew up in Indianapolis and went to North Central High School,” Blatt said. “I went to New York to be an actor and have lived there ever since. This is my first time coming back, and it’s really special for me to be here and work professionally here. I was in Junior Civic [Theatre], so it’s a special homecoming for me. What I hope that the students take from this experience is that theater is all about collaboration. Movies
are a different animal. It’s much more of an individual process. But theater, it takes everyone, and it’s just not about one person. That’s what’s great about theater – you’re never in it alone. Each department brings something to the vision, and when we bring it all together and collaborate, it becomes something magical.”
MEET THE STUDENT ACTORS Ethan Maluccio, Zionsville, IN
Maluccio is a 15-year-old sophomore at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School. He discovered theater two years ago and immediately fell head over heels in love with it. “I’ve become addicted with finding new musicals to listen to and learn more about this amazing industry. ATI is allowing me to take a closer look at the production of a professional show and hopefully how I can put myself up on that stage someday. I am hoping to gain a deeper knowledge of the industry and improve my acting and singing.”
Yakob Engel, Avon, IN
Engel is 16 years old and has been acting for four years. He first took an interest in theater when he saw a high school production of “Singing in the Rain.” Engel’s performance experience includes many stage shows and an international choir that toured Germany and France. “I signed up for the class because I thought it was a good opportunity, and I hope to learn some skills in acting that will help me do it professionally.”
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Jack Ducat, Carmel, IN
Ducat is a freshman at Carmel High School. He had his first experience in theater in fourth grade and has loved every minute of it. Ducat has been involved in productions and classes with Beef and Boards, Carmel High School and many more. He would like to go to college for musical theater and hopes to pursue it as a career. “I’d love to become a working actor when I grow up, and I thought this would be an awesome way to learn and work on my craft.”
Isabella Bonanno, Carmel, IN
Bonanno has been involved in theater practically her whole life. She has a passion for performing and loves to be on stage. Some of her roles include Chava in “Fiddler on the Roof,” Hunyak in “Chicago,” Sherry Johnson in “The Laramie Project” and is currently preparing for Brebeuf Jesuit’s production of “The King and I.” “I thought this was a good way to build my skills and confidence and to learn new skills. I think that there’s always room to grow in musical theater.”
Renuka Bajpai, Carmel, IN
Bajpai is currently student council vice president and a freshman at Riverside High School. She is a soprano who sings western classical, Broadway and contemporary R&B. She has performed several voice solos on stage, including performing Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing” live as a guest teen singer on Carmel High School radio. Bajpai has also participated in several musical theater productions. “I’ve never heard of any other theater doing a program where kids are observing professionals, and I hope that I can learn different skills from the professional actors that will show me what I can do better.”
Brooke Paganelli, Indianapolis, IN
Paganelli has been doing theater since her first show at the age of 5. She loves many different types of things, too many to name. Her love for music is apparent as she plays five instruments and sings competitively. In her spare time, Paganelli likes to read, paint and laugh at
jokes that aren’t really that funny. “I signed up for this program so that I, in general, can be a better actor and a better observer while learning a lot.”
Azara Armstrong, Indianapolis, IN
Armstrong attends North Central High School and is in 11th grade. She is an avid reader and writer. Armstrong is best known for playing the Inspector in “Jekyll and Hyde.” She is profoundly grateful for director MJ Waddell for allowing her to enjoy this wonderful experience.
Georgiana Stern, Indianapolis, IN
She stole the show in her first grade talent show, and from there, she sang and acted her way into many roles in the community. She is a permanent fixture in Herron High School’s theater department as well as Claude McNeal productions where she understudied Olive in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” in their summer program. Stern is a devotee of musical theater and hopes to attend CCM in the fall of 2020.
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BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES
STORM LARGE IS COMING TO CARMEL
Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Laura Domela – All Rights Reserved
Storm Large: musician, actor, playwright, author is coming to Carmel. Storm and her band Le Bonheur astound audiences with their electrifying take on jazz and Broadway standards, rock-goddess anthems and gorgeous original tunes.
torm gained national ply Le Bonheur and released on prominence in 2006 Pink Martini’s Heinz Records, as a finalist on the the recording is a collection of PALLADIUM CBS show Rock Star: tortured and titillating love PERFORMER SPOTLIGHT Supernova. She spent the 90s songs. Last summer, she joined singing in clubs throughout San Michael Feinstein as special Francisco. Storm made her debut guest on the Jazz at Lincoln Center as guest vocalist with the band Pink Popular Song series, as well as with Liza Martini in April 2011, singing four sold-out Minnelli, Joel Grey, and the Pasadena concerts with the National Symphony Pops. We interviewed Storm Large and Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washasked her about her friendship with Miington, DC. In the fall of 2014, Storm chael Feinstein and what audiences & Le Bonheur released a record decan expect when they go to see her signed to capture their sublime and and her band. subversive interpretations of the Note: This program contains American Songbook. Entitled simmature content. PALLADIUM: FEBRUARY 16
Have you performed at the Palladium or in the city of Carmel before? Yes. I performed there with Michael Feinstein in 2016. (During the 2016 Songbook Celebration gala, she led the entire house in a sing-along to AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long.”) Last summer, you performed with Michael Feinstein, and Liza Minnelli, Joel Grey and the Pasadena Pops. Describe what that was like, performing with legends such as these? It was ridiculous! I was clenching my butt cheeks trying not to make a fool out of myself in front of Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey while I was singing a song that Liza made famous. She and Michael [Feinstein] are very close friends and he and I are good friends but she had only heard about me as a person and not as a performer so the mutual connection between us helped. She could not have been nicer! She was absolutely gracious and lovely and super real. For a legend she was just a real person and really kind. You mentioned that you and Michael Feinstein are close friends. Having two completely different backgrounds and performance styles, is this friendship a classic case of the odd couple? Michael and I couldn’t be more different. We’re very different breeds of artists but I have a lot of personal as well as professional love for him. He is so good. Watching him play piano at a cocktail party is just jaw dropping. He is a lovely human being, obviously one of the most talented singers/performers and is unbelievably generous and kind. I am kind of this rock and roll sex-thug from nowhere. I absolutely love him and I feel his love and friendship for me on and off of stage. Have you always had an affinity for the Great American Songbook or have you just recently developed an appreciation for it? There are some songs that I find fantastic but I grew up listening to punk rock and rock and roll. When I got into college people wanted me to do musical theatre and I thought musical theatre was bull**** and I hated it. I thought it was hammy, dumb, safe and antiseptic. I felt that that’s not
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what love and passion is. That’s not what pain is. I thought of it as some shined up bull for people to make sense of messy life. I have a new appreciation for the Great American Songbook in the sense of the crafting of it. It’s just a different vernacular from a different time. With this new appreciation, how do you interpret the American Standards and how has that changed the way that you perform a song from the Songbook? I’ve learned that it doesn’t mean that because your grandparents loved the song that the song doesn’t denote difficult, painful or beautiful feelings. The way my music director, James Beaton, came up with “Under My Skin”, which is one of the most popular American standards out there by Cole Porter, he approached it musically was so interesting to me. It sort of reinvigorated and reopened my eyes to the fact that these people lived, died, loved, had sex, fell apart, failed and were terrified. It put blood in the veins of these things that once seemed so cold to me.
I still don’t’ go all-in for musical theatre all of the time, but I defiantly have more respect for it now than I ever did.
my father was dealing with that. I had two older brothers who were awesome at sports and I was just this lonely punk rock little kid. I would often end up going What can the audience anticipate to to my best friend’s house when no one experience when they attend your show was home and her mom would take care later this month at the Palladium? of me. Years later, her mom was dying of The show will be a lot of fapancreatic cancer and she vorite songs of mine that will called me and said if I could “THERE ARE hopefully become favorite help them. I cancelled everySOME SONGS songs of the audience. We’ll thing and lived on the dining THAT I FIND perform some that I’ve writroom floor for a few weeks FANTASTIC ten and some from the Great and did some of the secondBUT I GREW American Songbook. There’ll ary hospice care. I helped UP LISTENING keep her mom comfortable be some jokes and some stoTO PUNK ries from my life on the road. and to be there as she went ROCK AND Of course, I will absolutely through that transition. It wear a beautiful dress. was bad and it was painful ROCK AND and hard but there was some ROLL.” Will you be performing one insane magic that happened of your original songs and which one of during that time. There were some crazy your life experiences inspired you visions, moments and conversations to write it? and it was amazing. The lyrics are about There’s a song that we often play, it’s those experiences. called “Angels in Gas Stations”. I didn’t For information on the performance and tickets visit, have much parenting growing up bethecenterfortheperformingarts.org. cause my mother was mentally ill and
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ARTS CALENDAR F e b r u a r y
2 0 1 8
Sense and Sensibility By: Kate Hamill Based on the novel by Jane Austen
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Actors Theatre of Indiana
A playful new adaptation of Jane Austen’s beloved novel follows the fortunes (and misfortunes) of the Dashwood sisters— sensible Elinor and hypersensitive Marianne— after their father’s sudden death leaves them financially destitute and socially vulnerable. Set in gossipy late 18th-century England, with a fresh female voice, the play is full of humor, emotional depth, and bold theatricality. SENSE AND SENSIBILITY examines our reactions, both reasonable and ridiculous, to societal pressures. When reputation is everything, how do you follow your heart?
TARKINGTON FEBRUARY 2 – 17
Picture a world where an eclectic group of mid-pubescents vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. And then, 1 by 1… they candidly disclose hilarious and touching stories from their home lives while they trepidatiously spell their way through a minefield of difficult words! The Tony® Awardwinning, THE 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE is a riotous ride, complete with audience participation where… six spellers enter; one speller leaves! At least the losers get a juice box!
2018 Chinese New Year Spectacular 2018 Chinese New Year Spectacular features world-class artists from the Jiangxi Province Performing Arts Troupe, China with performances in acrobatic show, dances, singing, and traditional folk music!
PALLADIUM FEBRUARY 19 • 7PM
STUDIO THEATRE FEBRUARY 2 - 18
The Cat in the Hat *Inclusive Performances: Thursday, February 22 @ 10am & Saturday, February 24 @ 2pm Based on the book by Dr. Seuss Play originally produced by the National Theatre of Great Britain Adaptation by Katie Mitchell The Cat in the Hat is the perfect friend for a boring rainy afternoon. From games and mischief to Thing One and Thing Two, The Cat brings all sorts of trouble to this grey day— but will Sally and her brother be able to explain the mess to Mother? This Dr. Seuss classic leaps onto the stage with chaotic exuberance in this adaptation from the National Theatre in London.
TARKINGTON FEBRUARY 21 - MARCH 1 CARMEL MONTHLY
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Lonestar With traditional country roots and a pop-rock edge, Lonestar has logged several platinum-selling albums and 10 #1 country hits during its 20-plus years on the scene. Known for its songwriting, the band’s best-loved singles have included “No News,” “Come Crying To Me” and the crossover smash “Amazed,” which achieved the rare feat of topping the Billboard Hot 100 as well as the country charts. The current lineup features original members Richie McDonald (lead vocals and guitar), Michael Britt (lead guitar and vocals), Keech Rainwater (drums) and Dean Sams (keyboards and vocals). Their most recent album, Never Enders, comprises 10 original songs that bring their trademark sound into the contemporary arena.
PALLADIUM FEBRUARY 2 • 8PM
T H E
The Midtown Men
The Summit: the Manhattan Transfer Meets Take 6
Four stars from the original cast of Broadway’s Jersey Boys take their signature sound and chemistry on the road with a powerhouse seven-piece band, bringing your favorite 1960s hits to life. Tony® Award winner Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard and Tony® Award nominee J. Robert Spencer shared the stage for more than a thousand performances of the hit show inspired by the Four Seasons. Since then, they have released two albums and recorded a 90-minute live concert special for PBS.
With 20 Grammy® Awards between them, two great vocal ensembles have joined forces for a unique and thrilling musical collaboration, not only touring but also singing and performing together on stage. The Manhattan Transfer is celebrating its 45th anniversary in 2017 with a lineup comprising longtime members Janis Siegel (alto), Alan Paul (tenor) and Cheryl Bentyne (soprano), with newcomer Trist Curless (bass) replacing late founder Tim Hauser. Take 6, perhaps the world’s top a cappella group, is celebrating 25 years of performing and recording its multiplatinum-selling mix of gospel, jazz, R&B and pop.
PALLADIUM FEBRUARY 17 • 8PM
M U S I C A L
PALLADIUM FEBRUARY 23 • 8PM
Ronnie Milsap: A Legend In My Time Tour In March, Milsap released Summer Number Seventeen, his 31st album, which he describes as an homage to the music that inspired him. Hailed by USA Today, The Tennessean and NPR, the set pays homage to the influences that shaped Milsap’s singular brand of soul-steeped country. With 40 No. 1 hits and more than 35 million albums sold, Milsap remains one of country music’s most successful and beloved crossover artists. At 74, he continues to tour the country, playing his music for multiple generations of music lovers.
PALLADIUM MARCH 2 • 8PM
PH E N O M E N O N
March 13 - 18 · Old National Centre
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Matt Shumway: From the Halls of CHS to an Oscar Nomination With February being the month of the Academy Awards presentations, we feature in...
Published on Feb 1, 2018
Matt Shumway: From the Halls of CHS to an Oscar Nomination With February being the month of the Academy Awards presentations, we feature in...