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: AND THEN THERE WERE NONE Thrills at Booth Tarkington Civic TheatreBWW Review: AND THEN THERE WERE NONE Thrills at Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre
Posted: Mar. 29, 2018


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
Posted: Mar. 19, 2018


LAST 365 DAYS

BWW Review: THREE SISTERS at American Players TheatreBWW Review: THREE SISTERS at American Players Theatre
Posted: Aug. 16, 2017


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


BWW Review: Ensemble Casts Impresses in RING OF FIRE at Beef & Boards Dinner TheatreBWW Review: Ensemble Casts Impresses in RING OF FIRE at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre
Posted: Jul. 10, 2017


BWW Review: Original Musical J. EYRE Packs a Power PunchBWW Review: Original Musical J. EYRE Packs a Power Punch
Posted: Jul. 24, 2017


BWW Review: THE GOLEM OF HAVANA at Phoenix TheatreBWW Review: THE GOLEM OF HAVANA at Phoenix Theatre
Posted: Jun. 27, 2017


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: THE GREAT BIKE RACE at Theatre On The SquareBWW Review: THE GREAT BIKE RACE at Theatre On The Square
Posted: Jun. 13, 2017


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.

BWW Review: THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME at Indiana Repertory TheatreBWW Review: THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME at Indiana Repertory Theatre
October 4, 2017

The Indiana Repertory Theatre opened its season with The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. It's a murder mystery, but not in the traditional sense. The murdered party is a dog and the 'detective' is a teenage boy named Christopher, whose developmental disabilities allow him to see the world through a unique lens. The show is at once emotionally exhausting and energetic. There's humor strategically placed in almost every scene to help break the tension.

BWW Review: THREE SISTERS at American Players TheatreBWW Review: THREE SISTERS at American Players Theatre
August 16, 2017

Humans yearn for what we do not have. It is the trademark of our species. We seem to never be satisfied, always longing for more, better, bigger. Though this play is set a century ago in Russia, it could not be more relevant to our current culture.

BWW Review: Original Musical J. EYRE Packs a Power PunchBWW Review: Original Musical J. EYRE Packs a Power Punch
July 24, 2017

There's something unique happening in Fountain Square right now. In Grove Haus, an old church being used as a performance space, EclecticPond is presenting an original piece, written, composed, and directed by Indiana's own Paige Scott.

BWW Review: Ensemble Casts Impresses in RING OF FIRE at Beef & Boards Dinner TheatreBWW Review: Ensemble Casts Impresses in RING OF FIRE at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre
July 10, 2017

The infamous 'Man in Black' certainly has the legions of fans that merit a musical about his life, but you don't have to be a big Johnny Cash fan to love Ring of Fire. The show, onstage now at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre, walks audiences through his life song by song; starting with his childhood in Arkansas all the way through the Grand Ole Opry days and then his struggle with substance abuse.

BWW Review: Matt Anderson Slays as RICHARD III at IndyFringe TheatreBWW Review: Matt Anderson Slays as RICHARD III at IndyFringe Theatre
July 5, 2017

From the moment Matt Anderson takes the stage, his seething and scheming Richard III demands your full attention. It's a role that would be easy to over act, but instead Anderson's portrayal is raw and visceral. He has frequently popped up in supporting roles over the years, but this play gives him a chance to stretch his wings and show what he can do. He is mesmerizing as the simpering villain.

BWW Review: THE GOLEM OF HAVANA at Phoenix TheatreBWW Review: THE GOLEM OF HAVANA at Phoenix Theatre
June 27, 2017

The Golem of Havana is set in the 1950s as the people of Cuba waver on the brink of the revolution. A young Jewish girl named Rebecca is growing up in her father's tailor shop, oblivious to the turmoil around her. She writes stories of a superhero, the golem; the fabled protector she's grown up hearing stories of from her European mother. When their maid's son, a rebel fighter, turns up the family must make a decision that will determine their future in this volatile world.

BWW Review: THE GREAT BIKE RACE at Theatre On The SquareBWW Review: THE GREAT BIKE RACE at Theatre On The Square
June 13, 2017

And they're off! The 2014 IndyFringe Festival favorite is back in a full-length format. The Great Bike Race tells the store of the second running of the Tour de France in the most hilarious way possible. It was vicious, with cyclist cheating their way to the finish line, willing to sabotage anyone who crossed their path.

BWW Review: Touring KINKY BOOTS Charms at Clowes Memorial HallBWW Review: Touring KINKY BOOTS Charms at Clowes Memorial Hall
May 17, 2017

Kinky Boots is the story of Charlie, a young man who inherits his father's failing shoe factory in England. In a last ditch effort to keep the business going, he joins forces with a drag queen named Lola to create a line of high-heeled boots. The story, based on real events, is fun but it also carries a serious message about accepting those who are different.

BWW Review: DIAL 'M' FOR MURDER is a Slow Burning Thriller at the IRTBWW Review: DIAL 'M' FOR MURDER is a Slow Burning Thriller at the IRT
May 10, 2017

It's thriller season at the Indiana Repertory Theatre this month. Dial 'M' for Murder is currently on the mainstage and suspense is the name of the game.



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