Swingtime hits Oak Hill Mansion


By Karen Kennedy

On Aug. 1, Actors Theatre of Indiana and the Swingtime Orchestra from Anderson will present “Strike Up the Band!,” an evening of dinner, dancing and entertainment at Oak Hill Mansion at 7:30 p.m.

The event will feature a cast of singers from ATI, including founder and artistic director Don Farrell, co-founders Cindy Collins and Judy Fitzgerald and company members Katie Gentry and Tim Hunt. The 10-piece Swingtime Orchestra is led by Mike Jenkins and Ernie Coleson. The show will include the music of Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Rosemary Clooney and Judy Garland.

This cabaret-style show was created on the heels of the wildly successful Swingtime event offered outside of Hubbard and Cravens at the Carmel City Center in June. The organizers were hoping for 50 people. They were delighted and surprised when several hundred showed up, and enthusiastic swing dancers were cutting a rug on the City Center plaza.

“We knew then that there was a market for this kind of event,” Jim Reilly, ATI’s executive director, said. “So we’re making it bigger and better.”

The evening will start with cash bar cocktails on arrival, followed by a buffet-style dinner. Two sets of music will be presented after dinner, and dancing is encouraged.

“It’s like stepping back to a bygone era, where ladies could get dressed up and go out for a night of dinner and dancing,” Collins said.

ATI has been in Carmel since 2005. Through a sponsoring partnership with Pedcor, it has been able to adopt the old Woods Wire building in midtown as its new home. It now has offices, rehearsal space and a warehouse all under one roof.  ATI plans to do more performances at the City Center. The remainder of the 2013 season will include performances of “Always… Patsy Cline” in September, “An Evening with Sutton Foster” on Oct. 5 and “The Odd Couple” in November.

Tickets for “Strike Up the Band” are $45 and can be reserved at 669-7983. More information about ATI is available at www.actorstheatreofindiana.org.

Follow Karen on Twitter: @karenkcurrent or email her: karenk@youarecurrent.com