Melissa Hall

Melissa Hall My name is Melissa Hall and I've been reviewing theater in the Midwest since 2006. I live in Indianapolis, Indiana and enjoy our city's thriving local arts scene. When I'm not at the theatre I can usually be found at home with my husband, daughter and dog. I love to travel and read and by day I'm the director of communications for a state association. I am a member of the American Theatre Critics Association. I love having the chance to let people know about the shows that are currently being produced around town. I believe a night out at the theatre is always a unique experience, whether you love Shakespeare or My Fair Lady.


MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
LAST 30 DAYS

BWW Review: THE LION KING Wows at Broadway Across AmericaBWW Review: THE LION KING Wows at Broadway Across America
Posted: Sep. 18, 2018


LAST 365 DAYS

BWW Review: MAMMA MIA! at Beef & Boards Dinner TheatreBWW Review: MAMMA MIA! at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre
Posted: Feb. 6, 2018


BWW Review: MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET Brings History to Life at Beef & Boards Dinner TheatreBWW Review: MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET Brings History to Life at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre
Posted: Jul. 24, 2018


BWW Review: A RAISIN IN THE SUN at Indiana Repertory TheatreBWW Review: A RAISIN IN THE SUN at Indiana Repertory Theatre
Posted: Jan. 16, 2018


BWW Review: SILENT SKY Shines Bright at Summit Performance IndianapolisBWW Review: SILENT SKY Shines Bright at Summit Performance Indianapolis
Posted: Jul. 2, 2018


BWW Review: THE ORIGINALIST Opens the Door to Dialogue at the Indiana Repertory TheatreBWW Review: THE ORIGINALIST Opens the Door to Dialogue at the Indiana Repertory Theatre
Posted: Oct. 23, 2017


BWW Review: FORBIDDEN BROADWAY opens the new District TheatreBWW Review: FORBIDDEN BROADWAY opens the new District Theatre
Posted: Jul. 10, 2018


BWW Review: HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH at Zach And Zack ProductionsBWW Review: HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH at Zach And Zack Productions
Posted: Jan. 5, 2018


BWW Review: THE LION KING Wows at Broadway Across AmericaBWW Review: THE LION KING Wows at Broadway Across America
September 18, 2018

The Lion King is one of the epic Broadway shows that everyone should see at least once in their life. It's also one of the few stage productions based on a Disney movie that actually works. They never make the mistake of many movie-to-stage adaptations: sacrificing the heart of the story for the spectacle. It is a huge production. From Pride Rock to an elephant graveyard, the sets are so creative.

BWW Review: CRY IT OUT at Phoenix TheatreBWW Review: CRY IT OUT at Phoenix Theatre
August 7, 2018

Six week after giving birth I braved the outside world with my daughter for the first time completely on my own. We went to a breastfeeding support group at a local hospital. I was completely overwhelmed, sleep-deprived and somehow managed to get lost in the winding corridors. The adventure ended with me in tears in an elevator. I don't often share personal details here, but the Phoenix Theatre's production of Cry It Out hit close to home for me.

BWW Review: MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET Brings History to Life at Beef & Boards Dinner TheatreBWW Review: MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET Brings History to Life at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre
July 24, 2018

In 1956 Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, and Carl Perkins spent one evening jamming together at Sun Studios. The group was referred to as the 'Million Dollar Quartet' and the recording became famous. Years later a musical was made to commemorate that famous night and the show is on stage now at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre.

BWW Review: FORBIDDEN BROADWAY opens the new District TheatreBWW Review: FORBIDDEN BROADWAY opens the new District Theatre
July 10, 2018

When the Theatre on the Square closed the Indy theatre community couldn't help but worry and speculate about what would happen next. It breathed a collective sigh of relief when the building was saved. Now named The District Theatre, the Mass Ave space opens its doors with the musical Forbidden Broadway.

BWW Review: SILENT SKY Shines Bright at Summit Performance IndianapolisBWW Review: SILENT SKY Shines Bright at Summit Performance Indianapolis
July 2, 2018

There's a new theatre company in town and its inaugural production is not to be missed. Summit Performance Indianapolis, co-founded by Lauren Briggeman and Georgeanna Smith Wade, opened Silent Sky at the Phoenix Theatre this past weekend. The play by Lauren Gunderson tells the true story of the astronomer Henrietta Leavitt who worked at the Harvard Observatory in the early 1900s. It is an astonishing piece of theatre.

BWW Review: DOGFIGHT at EclipseBWW Review: DOGFIGHT at Eclipse
June 8, 2018

Here's the premise, it's 1963 and the night before three soldiers are about to be shipped off to Vietnam. They've decided to hold a dogfight, a marine tradition where each guy tries to find the ugliest date possible. The winner takes the pot and the girl is never the wiser. Eddie Birdlace (Patrick Dinnsen) meets Rose, a waitress who he decides will work in a pinch, unfortunately she's more than he bargained for.

BWW Review: History Unfolds in THE PILL at Phoenix TheatreBWW Review: History Unfolds in THE PILL at Phoenix Theatre
May 22, 2018

'Womanhood shouldn't always mean motherhood.' The line from Tom Horan's new play about the invention of the birth control pill is sure to start some interesting conversations. Horan is the Phoenix Theatre's playwright-in-residence and this is the world premiere of The Pill. The show is performed by an all-female quintet of characters, including the infamous Margaret Sanger.

BWW Review: THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD Provides a Chance to Choose Your Own Ending!BWW Review: THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD Provides a Chance to Choose Your Own Ending!
May 2, 2018

What do you do when an author dies before his work is finished? You make it into a 'choose your own adventure' musical of course! Audience goers get the rare experience of choosing not only the murderer, but also which lovers end up together and who plays the detective in the Actors Theatre of Indiana's production of The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Charles Dickens never had the chance to let readers know how he would've wrapped up the novel, but now we can all try our hand at solving the mystery.

BWW Review: NOISES OFF at Indiana Repertory TheatreBWW Review: NOISES OFF at Indiana Repertory Theatre
May 1, 2018

Indiana Repertory Theater closes its season with the slamming of the door, or rather many slamming doors, in Noises Off. I'll admit that farces don't tend to tickle my funny bone, but this one is an exception to the rule. It rises above the general stereotype of mistaken identities and slapstick (though there is plenty of both) by adding another brilliant layer. It is a play within a play, three acts and two intermissions packed with nonstop humor.

BWW Review: AND THEN THERE WERE NONE Thrills at Booth Tarkington Civic TheatreBWW Review: AND THEN THERE WERE NONE Thrills at Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre
March 29, 2018

When the play you're about to see is a murder mystery called "And Then There Were None", you know there will be a body count. The deliciously dark Agatha Christie novel comes to life on the stage in the Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre's current production. Unlike most of its shows, this one is held in the smaller, more intimate Studio Theater, a great fit for the chilly drama.

BWW Review: APPOGGIATURA Explores Love and Grief in Venice at the Indiana Repertory TheatreBWW Review: APPOGGIATURA Explores Love and Grief in Venice at the Indiana Repertory Theatre
March 19, 2018

Music and plot are so closely intertwined in Appoggiatura, that you can't mention one without the other. Even the title reflects this, it means: a grace note performed before a note of the melody and falling on the beat. The play, part of a trilogy written by playwright-in-residence James Still, follows three travelers on a sojourn through lovely Venice. On their journey they wander the canals finding pieces of their hearts as they go. The city feels like one of the main characters in the story. As one actor notes, 'Venice is as old and broken as the rest of us.'.

BWW Review: MAMMA MIA! at Beef & Boards Dinner TheatreBWW Review: MAMMA MIA! at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre
February 6, 2018

One bride, one mom, and three potential dads all on one Greek island; the premise of Mama Mia! might seem silly, but its playful absurdity provides the right framework for a musical built around ABBA songs. Beef & Board Dinner Theatre's current production captures that spirit and runs with it.

BWW Review: BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROL KING MUSICAL at Broadway Across AmericaBWW Review: BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROL KING MUSICAL at Broadway Across America
January 31, 2018

I think we all felt the earth move a little bit at Clowes Hall this week. Beautiful, the musical of Carol King's life, is on stage now. The singer/composer famous for hits like 'It's Too Late' and 'You've Got a Friend' had a incredible career and the musical chronicles her rise to stardom in the 1960s.

BWW Review: A RAISIN IN THE SUN at Indiana Repertory TheatreBWW Review: A RAISIN IN THE SUN at Indiana Repertory Theatre
January 16, 2018

A Raisin in the Sun, the seminal work of playwright Lorraine Hansberry, tells the story of Walter Lee Younger and his family. Their dreams and plans have been thwarted and yet a ray of hope remains in the form of a life insurance check which could provide a new future for all of them. The Indiana Repertory Theatre is producing the play just in time for Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Black History month.

BWW Review: HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH at Zach And Zack ProductionsBWW Review: HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH at Zach And Zack Productions
January 5, 2018

A rock musical, excellent vocals, intimate venue, what more can you ask for? Zach and Zack Productions newest offering, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, premiers at the Epilogue Playhouse tonight. The show hits all the right notes with a powerful lead performer, a perfect space, and audio and lighting that makes you truly believe you're in a punk rock bar.

BWW Review: GREATER TUNA at Beef & Boards Dinner TheatreBWW Review: GREATER TUNA at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre
January 2, 2018

Beef & Boards Dinner Theater kicks off its 45th season with Greater Tuna . The show is set in a small Texas town in the 1980s where a bevy of local rednecks live. Playing more than a dozen characters, Eddie Curry and Jeff Stockberger perform the entire show.

BWW Review: Phoenix Xmas Show Balances Salty and SweetBWW Review: Phoenix Xmas Show Balances Salty and Sweet
November 28, 2017

In May the Phoenix theater will hold its grand opening at its new location. That exciting fact makes this Xmas show particularly special. This year is the very last time audiences can see the holiday hit in the old church the Phoenix has called home for decades. There are years of new memories to be made on the new stage, but for those of us who have made A Very Phoenix Xmas part of our annual holiday tradition, there was something special about seeing this final show.

BWW Review: THE ORIGINALIST Opens the Door to Dialogue at the Indiana Repertory TheatreBWW Review: THE ORIGINALIST Opens the Door to Dialogue at the Indiana Repertory Theatre
October 23, 2017

'The middle takes guts. The middle is where you go to sit down with monsters.' The Indiana Repertory Theatre's current Upperstage production, The Originalist, explores that middle, introducing us to a fictional relationship between Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and a liberal law clerk. The play is about the absolutely essential nature of debate. Having the freedom to openly discuss political issues is something we often take for granted in our country as we get lost in the fight. We forget that the person you disagree with doesn't have to be the enemy.

BWW Review: CABARET POE at Q ArtistryBWW Review: CABARET POE at Q Artistry
October 16, 2017

When the Theatre on the Square closed its doors earlier this year, the perennial fall favorite Cabaret Poe needed to find a new home. The show settled into the fourth floor of Circle Centre Mall. It's an unexpected choice, but they make it work. All the best elements are still there, macabre humor, a trio of cynical performers who share the lead, and a delightful selection of Edgar Allan Poe's work. The result is a production that will apparently work in any performance space.

BWW Interview: Risa Brainin And Mickey Rowe of THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME at Indiana Repertory TheatreBWW Interview: Risa Brainin And Mickey Rowe of THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME at Indiana Repertory Theatre
October 4, 2017

The Indiana Repertory Theatre's current production, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time features a man with autism in the lead role for the first time in an American production. I spoke with the director and lead actor about their experience with the show.



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