Hendrick’s Live! Makes Its Debut In Spectacular Fashion

May 10, 2024

Courtesy of Phil Taylor. Used with permission.

Destined to become the jewel in the crown of Hendrick’s County is Hendricks Live!, the new performing arts center located on Main Street in Plainfield, Indiana, west of Indianapolis, that celebrated its gala opening Thursday, May 2, 2024.

Tad Robinson  – Courtesy of Phil Taylor. Used with permission.

Joining a crowd of 360 who filled the 600-seat state of the art facility, I was thoroughly impressed with the state-of-the-art proscenium theatre which featured a cavalcade of performing artists, both Hendricks County based and those from Indianapolis. With a career spanning seven decades, the star attraction of the evening was singer-songwriter-musician Judy Collins.

Hosted by affable WISH TV personality, Jeremey Jenkins, the program opened with dynamic spoken word artist Januarie York,  followed by the splendid Hendricks Symphony with its brass section playing Fanfare pour preceder “La Peri” by Paul Dukas, followed by the entire orchestra performing Overture to “A Midsummer’s Deam,” and Op. 21 “Ein Sommernactsraum” by Jacob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn. Following lengthy welcoming remarks by dignitaries that included Chris Petrelli, the center’s Executive Director, Act 1 proceeded with a charming performance by the Hendrick’s Civic Theatre with “Under the Sea,” an excerpt from their youth production of “The Little Mermaid.” Next on stage was comedian Dave Dugan who elicited laughter from the obviously tickled crowd that enjoyed his relatable jokes with universal appeal. Closing the first act were dancers from the local The Children’s Ballet that admirably performed three pieces

L-R Cody Miley & Julie Russell – Courtesy of Phil Taylor. Used with permission.

Act 2 consisted of world class performances that included the Tad Robinson Band which energized the crowd with two of vocalist Robinson’s original blues songs. Dugan then returned for another short set that was followed by cast members, Daniel Narducci, Heather Narducci (husband and wife) and Liz Culpepper), of Indianapolis Opera who performed songs from last weekend’s IO run of Sondheim’s musical, “A Little Night Music.” Theirs were stellar performance that sparkled. Next was Cody Miley and Julie Russel, gifted company members of Dance  Kaleidoscope who performed a moving pas de deux from an excerpt of “You + Me,” choreographed by Joshua Blake Carter, DK’s artistic director.

Closing the diverse variety show was iconic Judy Collins, remarkably, still in possession of her vocal powers and distinctive pure tone and range, who regaled the adoring crowd with “Both Sides Now”, “Send in the Clowns” and “Amazing Grace” — three of her most well-known songs.  After a standing ovation, Collins, who turned eighty-five on May 1, was serenaded by the audience singing “Happy Birthday,” as a birthday cake with lit candles was brought out by a stagehand prior to her exit.

The Children’s Ballet – Courtesy of Phil Taylor. Used with permission.

Thorough due diligence by Plainfield town leaders revealed that the community, keenly desired a center for the performing arts that would serve as an arts and entertainment center not only its own citizens but also for the entire county that includes Danville and Brownsville as well.  Based on what I witnessed on opening night, Hendrick’s Live! will surely enjoy a long and fruitful life as a showcase for the arts and entertainment and an effective economic driver for the entire West Central Indiana area it serves. It bodes well for overall arts education and appreciation for the arts for generations to come.

For tickets and information about Hendricks Live! 2024 season visit hendrickslive.org















photo: Josh Humble

About Tom

Journalist, producer, director, Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker, arts administrator, TV contributor, actor, model, writer and lyricist, Tom Alvarez has had an extensive career in media and the fine arts and continues to be an enthusiastic and devoted fan of both. His passion and unique background grant him insight, access and perspective to cover, promote and review the arts in Indianapolis, Central Indiana and beyond. Follow him on social media @tomalvarezartswriter and @tomalvarez1.

Alvarez has been writing about theatre, dance, music, cinema and visual arts for 40 years. His work has appeared in the Indianapolis Star, NUVO, Indianapolis Monthly, Arts Indiana, Unite Magazine, Dance Magazine, NOTE Magazine, and Examiner.com, among many other print and online platforms. A former contributor to Across Indiana on WFYI-TV, he currently has a regular performing arts segment on WISH-TV’s Life. Style. Live!

A principal of Klein & Alvarez Productions, LLC, Alvarez co-created “Calder, The Musical” and is the managing director of Magic Thread Cabaret. As an actor-model, he has appeared in numerous TV and print ads and is represented by the Helen Wells Agency and Heyman Talent Artists Agency.

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