whatzup2nite • Tuesday, September 2

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Things To Do

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National Shows

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Music & Comedy

KT & the Swingset Quartet — Blues at Latch String, Fort Wayne, 9 p.m., no cover, 483-5526

Karaoke & DJs

Fort Wayne

4D's — Karaoke w/Michael Campbell, 9 p.m.

Stage & Dance

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Art & Artifacts

America’s Spirit: Evolution of a National Style — Collection drawn from FWMoA’s permanent collection chronicling American art from 1765-1900, Tuesday-Sunday thru Jan. 25, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $5-$7 (members, free), 422-6467

Beyond the Classroom — Works by regional members of the Art Education Association of Indiana, Tuesday-Sunday thru Sept. 2, Betty Fishman Gallery, Artlink Contemporary Art Gallery, Fort Wayne, 424-7195

Caitlin Crowley & Alex Hall— Medium format film photography and whimsical paintings, Monday-Friday thru Sept. 30 (artist reception 6-9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26), Northside Galleries, Fort Wayne, 483-6624

Members Show — Works from over 200 artist members, Tuesday-Sunday thru Sept. 2, Artlink Contemporary Art Gallery, Fort Wayne, 424-7195

The Next Generation — Works by high school and college art students, daily thru Oct. 5, Clark Gallery, Honeywell Center, Wabash, 563-1102

Featured Events

Fort Wayne Dance Collective — Workshops and classes for movement, dance, yoga and more offered by Fort Wayne Dance Collective, Fort Wayne, fees vary, 424-6574

IPFW Community Arts AcademyArt, dance, music and theatre classes for grades pre-K through 12 offered by IPFW College of Visual and Performing Arts, fees vary, 481-6977,

Sweetwater Academy of Music — Private lessons for a variety of instruments available from professional instructors, ongoing weekly lessons, Sweetwater Sound, Fort Wayne, $100 per month, 432-8176 ext. 1961,


The Beach Boys

Fun, Fun, Fun in the Fort

It’s been more than 10 years since anyone in Fort Wayne has been able to yell “surf’s up” without tiny waves of irony breaking over their ankles. In the first place, there’s no surf to be up. (If only everybody had an ocean.) In the second place it’s been that long since The Beach Boys last played Fort Wayne. And if you’re going to yell “surf’s up” around here, you might as well wait for The Beach Boys to come back.

The wait is over. Let the yelling begin. The Beach Boys bring their 50 Years of Fun Fun Fun tour to the Foellinger Theater on Wednesday, September 3 at 7:30 pm.

But if you plan to attend the show and are inclined to shout “surf’s up” at some point, be aware that your outburst may be interpreted as a request for The Beach Boys song “Surf’s Up” rather than a stab at humor and that the likelihood of the Beach Boys playing “Surf’s Up” are zero. “Surf’s Up” does not figure in the Beach Boys set list these days. To hear “Surf’s Up,” wait for Brian Wilson and Jeff Beck to tour together again.

But don’t be sad. What you will hear from Mike Love, Bruce Johnston and the rest of the current Beach Boys touring band is what you probably want to hear anyway, namely the hits that have come to represent summer and all things surf, sand, cars and girls. It’s those hits – “Fun, Fun, Fun,” “Surfin’ U.S.A.,” “Little Deuce Coupe,” “Help Me Rhonda,” “California Girls,” “Kokomo,” etc. – that everyone wants to hear. It’s those hits, and Love’s recognition of their power, that have kept The Beach Boys on the road every year since they formed in 1961. And it’s those hits that made The Beach Boys the America’s best rock band.

That’s quite a statement. But when you look at the numbers, it’s hard to refute. Thirty-six Top 40 hits, four Billboard Hot 100 Chart toppers, more than 100 million records sold worldwide. Their songs have been covered by everyone from the Meat Puppets to Gene Clark.

On the rock n’ roll innovation front, The Beach Boys and the Beatles led the way for nearly all other aspiring bands in the mid 1960s. But while the Beatles had the songwriting skills of Paul McCartney and John Lennon and the production prowess of George Martin, The Beach Boys were kept aloft by the immense talents of Brian Wilson alone. Wilson wrote and arranged the songs, hired top-line session musicians to play them and then handled all of the production work himself.

The history of the Beach Boys is well known. Brothers Brian, Carl and Dennis Wilson, their cousin Mike Love and Brian’s high school classmate Al Jardine formed the band in 1961 and later that year released a regional single, “Surfin’.” With the help of the Wilson brothers’ father, Murray, they got a record deal with Capitol Records. Their first album, Surfin’ Safari, came out in 1962. Their upbeat, carefree songs and intricate harmonies struck a chord with teenagers and helped ignite the surf rock craze. By the end of 1963 they had three full albums to their credit and Brian had taken over the production from Capitol’s own staff.

Throughout 1963 and 1964 the group toured non-stop, a schedule that proved too much for Brian, who decided to withdraw from the touring band and concentrate on songwriting and producing. Another friend, Bruce Johnston, was hired to take Brian’s place. With the band on the road, Brian spent his time in the studio writing and directing the top session players in Los Angeles to record the music. When the rest of the band returned, they would add vocal tracks. The freedom allowed Brian to explore his considerable talents to create the most innovative and complex pop music ever made.

Inspired by the Beatles’ Rubber Soul, Brian began work on Pet Sounds, considered by many to be one of the most influential rock albums ever made. Critics raved, but fans took a much less enthralled view. After hits like “California Girls,” “Help Me Rhonda” and “I Get Around,” songs such as “Caroline No” and “I Know There’s an Answer” proved to be a bit too introspective for average listeners. But Pet Sounds did give us songs like “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” “Sloop John B” and “God Only Knows,” staples of the current Beach Boys setlist. The Pet Sounds sessions also produced “Good Vibrations.” Though not released on the album, “Good Vibrations” marked a turning point in Brian’s production methods. Rather recording the song in a linear fashion, Brian took what he called “snippets” of songs and pasted them together. Though intricate and complex, the song is the most frequently played song in The Beach Boys’ repertoire.

While Brian was turning toward more deeply personal songwriting and increasingly convoluted production, the rest of the band felt the change in direction was not a good one. When the band returned from a tour of Europe in 1967, they were greeted with Brian’s latest project, the infamous SMiLE. Though the work was highly anticipated by critics and represented Brian’s most personal vision to date, he decided to shelve the record because of his bandmates’ reaction to it. (SMiLE was eventually released in 2011, though Brian, with the help of many others, finished the record and performed it live in 2004 with his own band.) The fallout from SMiLE pushed Brian more and more toward the mental and emotional problems that forced him into isolation for many years.

The 70s and 80s saw The Beach Boys continuing to tour, sometimes with Brian but most often without him. They continued to write and release albums and even scored some hits, namely with the songs “Kokomo” and “Do it Again.” In 1983 Dennis Wilson drowned after diving off a boat in Marina del Ray in Los Angeles. Carl Wilson died in 1998 from lung cancer.

In 2012 the remaining members, including Brian and David Marks, who had performed with the band off and on almost from its inception, recorded and released That’s Why God Made Radio, their 29th studio album, and embarked on a 50th Anniversary Tour. But the reunion was short lived, and soon Love and Johnston were back on their own with their version of the Beach Boys. (Jardine had left some years earlier.)

Throughout the convoluted and tragic journey of the Beach Boys, it was Mike Love who saw the value in keeping the surfing, girls and cars hits alive. He recognized the overwhelming power of nostalgia to keep audiences coming back for more good vibrations and fun, fun, fun. Brian Wilson followed his vision and his musical genius. Mike Love followed his desire to entertain.  

Mark Hunter

Charles Shepard

Bullish on the Region

Before his arrival in Fort Wayne in 2003, when he assumed the executive director position at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Charles Shepard had a choice to make about where he wanted to set down roots. Originally from Maine, he finished graduate school intent on becoming an art professor before deciding to broaden that ambition.

“I realized I could be a professor, but I could also run a university art museum, which I did at the University of Michigan, University of Maine, Ohio University and Connecticut College, where I specialized in starting a museum or repairing one that was in trouble. But I struggled with the notion of wanting to work more for the community. I was fortunate in that some of those universities allowed me to work with the community, but in a university system, that comes first and the community comes second.”

Determined to make a mark in a community beyond university guidelines, Shepard was sought out by headhunters looking to fill positions in a variety of exciting locations, including New York, Los Angeles, England and Puerto Rico. But another option existed, one in Fort Wayne, and it was that opportunity which spoke to his ambition to build a top notch museum in a community. Why Fort Wayne?

“For me it was an interesting combination of things. It was a new-ish museum, having been built in 1984. The museum dated back 57 years, but the building itself was young for an institution, so there was this almost brand new building downtown, in the heart of the city. And I studied the situation that they had here. At that point they were focused on an audience that was self-identified. In other words, we liked the people who liked us instead of focusing on the people who don’t know you. I wanted to fix that.”

In his 11 years with the museum (Shepard celebrated his anniversary on July 1), he has grown the collection dramatically. While he inherited a museum which had 1,300 objects in its collection after almost six decades, the seventh decade saw 1,800 more items added. Instead of two galleries, a recent expansion now provides nine galleries in addition to more meeting rooms, more storage space and an expanded gift shop. The additional pieces have also allowed Shepard to completely shift the way the museum has been doing business.

“We no longer look to book ‘pre-fab’ shows, preferring instead to tap into our own collection and just borrowing things to add to an exhibit. Before the renovation, we would look through rental exhibit catalogs and bring in shows that were visiting Chicago or Wisconsin. Now we’ve become the one who rents our shows to other museums. Our recent Afro show is now in Seattle. It may take us another two to three years to get the word out that we have exhibits to share. It’s just a light under the basket, but we’ll let that light come out from under the basket.”

Shepard is also proud of the increasing numbers of people who visit the museum and especially touts the geographic and demographic diversity. Upon his arrival he began to target people who lived within a 90-minute drive, tapping into the largeness of the overall northeastern Indiana community and bringing in shows which attract a more racially diverse audience as well. He’s found working within the confines of a city the size of Fort Wayne a refreshing change from other larger metropolitan areas.

“Anybody can get involved and make something happen. You don’t have to be a special person to sit down and talk to the mayor. A lot of cities are structured very differently, and you have to be there for 20, 25 years before you can do anything. The professor in me knew I wanted to go somewhere where people would pay attention. People talk about New York, Los Angeles, Boston and think the people all know about art and theater. But, of course, they don’t. People here don’t try to do that. They aren’t pretentious. It makes it easier to do things.”

Having accomplished a lot in just a decade on the job, you might wonder if Shepard is looking for greener pastures, considering another place to repair and grow a museum. But he says he sees another 10 to 20 years of growth possible for the Fort Wayne Museum of Art and has a lot of plans for how to make it even better.

“Right now we have about 3,500 objects, but I’d like to take it to 10,000 to 12,000 in the future. I’d also like to take the museum’s endowment to $10 to $12 million to make the future more secure. I also want to generate a sculpture collection that would bring scholars here to publish about the collection and have shows that feature the sculptures.”

Shepard says the recent series of glass exhibits have brought international audiences to the city. Those visitors not only benefit the museum and help grow its reputation, but it has helped generate good publicity for the city.

“People who come for these exhibits will stay an extra three days just to spend time in the city. They’ll take in a ballgame or enjoy the restaurants, and no one has ever had anything but good to say about those times they spend in Fort Wayne. Plus, we can bring in these artists and show Fort Wayne these influences while returning the favor and showing them our city.”

All of this growth and innovation – in a downtown area which has grown tremendously in his short tenure with the museum – has validated Shepard’s choice of Fort Wayne over cities that might have been higher on a director’s list of possible choices. But Shepard reiterates what he sees as the city’s greatest strength.

“There’s a real can-do environment here. I’m bullish on downtown and bullish on the region. If you say you want to do something, you’re going to be able to do it. Other places have so many obstacles. I grew up in Maine and had someone complain to me that even if you live in Maine for 30 years, you can’t run for city council because people think you’re an out-of-towner. But it’s not like that here.”

Michele DeVinney

William Andrews

Born Performer

William Andrews would have been a viral YouTube sensation if YouTube had been around when he was a toddler.

“When I was two my mom started to encourage me to perform,” he says. “The first performance I did was at my third birthday party where I sang ‘Do You Think I’m Sexy?’ by Rod Stewart. My family really pushed me to sing in front of anyone, and it didn’t take much.”

His true performance skills were cultivated in church. 

“I grew up singing almost every Sunday,” he says, “but it clicked for me in sixth grade when I did Bye, Bye, Birdie at Blackhawk Middle School. I had one line: ‘He’s coming, he’s coming! Conrad Birdie is coming!’”

Like many in theater, he inherited the performance gene. 

“My grandma was the yodeling champion of the county fair in 1943,” he says. “My mom and aunt did shows when they were young. When they were 10, they devised their own flying [effect] for Peter Pan. They hung a rope over a tree and jumped. In high school my mom was in a rock band called Andy and The Impacts. She was lead vocalist and faked playing the guitar. They mainly played gigs on my grandma’s porch for the other kids in the neighborhood.”

As a sixth grader at Blackhawk Middle School, he auditioned for the role of Mr. Bumble in their production of Oliver!, directed by Elaine Nichol. 

“Sadly I didn’t get the role because before my voice changed I had major pitch problems,” he says. “I was cast in the ensemble, and I thought I had died and gone to heaven because for the first time in my life I met other kids who did what I loved to do.”

Not getting the role he wanted was a minor setback. He recognized his limitations and began taking voice lessons with Dr. Joseph Myers, head of the IPFW vocal department at the time. Andrews’ vocal prowess improved and, most importantly, his confidence grew. He started getting bigger roles.

He also grew as an actor. 

“I used to just paint on my show choir smile and go for it,” he says of his acting method. “Now I have to feel it from the heart to mean it.” This more careful consideration of emotion onstage led to several award nominations and an Anthony Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Play for Biloxi Blues at the Civic in 1998.

Andrews and his partner Justin Cooper moved to Indianapolis in 2005, but returned to Fort Wayne in 2007. Andrews was cast in a show at the Fort Wayne Civic Theatre, and two days later, Justin’s job transferred him back to Indianapolis.

Back in Indy, Andrews made a name for himself in the Indianapolis theater scene, both as an actor and as a director, working for a variety of theaters, including Theatre on the Square, Footlite Musicals, The Artist Studio, Buck Creek Players and Meyers Dinner Theatre.

“It was a shock when I moved to Indy because I started getting good parts right away,” he says. “I was given a chance to grow and hone my skills.”

In 2010 he had his first foray into directing with Crazy for You at Footlite Musicals. He soon amassed over 20 award nominations, and many of his cast members won acting awards for their productions.

“Directing is a lot of hard work,” he says. “In acting you only need to worry about yourself, but in directing you have 20 to 40 people to worry about.”

He has been called a tough director, even by the professional actors who have worked for him, but he believes this is because of his high expectations based on his years as an actor.

Though an award-winning actor, Andrews feels he is stronger as a director. 

“It’s easy for me to read a script as a director and know exactly what I want,” he says. “As an actor, I need direction.”

When he directed his first show in Indianapolis, several key crew members unexpectedly left the production for personal reasons. “Justin jumped right in,” he says. “He is now an award-winning scenic designer, set decorator, and light and sound designer in his own right.”

The couple returned from Indianapolis this February to care for Andrews’ terminally ill mother, Diana. He took a hiatus from theater, but when he learned that Jake Wilhelm was making his directing debut with Violet at Arena Dinner Theatre, he decided to audition. The musical centers around a young woman (played by Darby Bixler) with a severe facial scar who goes on a physical and spiritual journey, seeking healing, and Andrews portrayed the televangelist Violet believes to be her salvation.

It’s was a role he considers to be his most challenging. “[The Preacher] has a scar just like Violet, but it’s on his soul, not on the outside,” he says. “I have walked a fine line between being real and making fun of him, but I have had a great director who trusted my instincts.”

His instincts came from a place of familiarity. 

“I used childhood memories of growing up Pentecostal to play this role,” he says. “I have experienced many people just like this preacher in real life.”

Andrews appreciates being welcomed back to the Arena after so many years away. “The cast and staff have been super sweet,” he says. “We have had a wonderful time putting the show together, and it shows in the final product.”

Violet was the 112th production he has been a part of, including acting, directing, designing and crewing, and he shows no signs of slowing down. But whether he’ll remain in Fort Wayne or return to Indianapolis – and when – remains to be seen.

“When I moved back to Fort Wayne in February, I was only planning on staying six weeks,” he says. “All I can say is I am here for now and living day by day.”

Jen Poiry-Prough

J.L. Nave

Conducting Phil Inc.

  Now in his ninth season as executive director of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, J.L. Nave has overseen much change and growth, not terribly surprising at any thriving orchestra or established arts organization. It’s a career he hadn’t anticipated as he was growing up in Nashville, Tennessee, the heart of country music and Southern charm, but his willingness to adapt and his openness to change have served him well both in his own career and in his professional capacity.

Although he says he enjoys a wide range of music, his own musical background wasn’t exactly steeped in the country sounds of Nashville. However, his job during high school and as he went to college in nearby Belmont University was the iconic Opryland theme park where he developed a deep and abiding respect for the performers who were legends of that genre.

“My primary responsibilities were in guest services,” says Nave, “but during my years there I had the chance to work with a number of country artists that were out there on a regular basis. What I found was that they were all just good people. It’s the opposite of what you sometimes hear or experience with pop and rock performers. Country artists were just humble, appreciative people. It was really refreshing. I may not have necessarily been a big fan of all of their music, but I had a huge respect for their talent and their graciousness.”

Growing up in a musical family helped form Nave’s musical interests from the beginning, and he began singing at the age of two. Both parents belonged to the church choir, and his mother was a music educator. He had access to a piano at home and began playing the trumpet in the fifth grade, the handbells in sixth grade. A photo of a young J.L. playing handbells hangs from Nave’s office wall, and he admits that, while he hasn’t touched his trumpet in 15 years, he does still play handbells and will occasionally sing with the Philharmonic Chorus.

Given his background, a degree in conducting was a natural, but as he moved toward graduate work at the University of Alabama, he began to question whether he wanted to pursue that vocation enough to invest the time and work required. He now has great appreciation for what people like Andrew Constantine, the Philharmonic’s musical director, do to reach that point in their career.

“I think about what Andrew and the 200-plus applicants for the music director position have done, and I realize now it was something I just wasn’t willing to do. But I couldn’t get away from music, and I began hearing about a degree in arts administration. I, like many people, had never given any thought to what it takes behind the scenes just to get to the point of putting a performance on the stage. People who have had the opportunity to peek behind the curtain, to see what it takes to put on one concert, realize how many elements there are to it.”

Earning degrees in arts and business administration from the University of Cincinnati, Nave says now that he’s never looked back, that he loves what he does. And since his arrival in Fort Wayne in 2006, he says he has loved the diversity of the job, not to mention many of the other perks.

“I get to go to 60 or 70 performances a year, and I get paid for doing it. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

There are challenges, of course, but many of those come from the very variety that he enjoys about the job.

“I am the touch point for all aspects of the organization, and there are six parts to Fort Wayne Philharmonic Inc., or as we like to call it, Phil Inc. There’s the orchestra, the staff, the board of directors, the Friends of the Philharmonic, the chorus and the youth orchestra. There are 400 people under that umbrella. Most of the interests of all of those parts align, but sometimes they don’t. It’s my job to keep them all moving forward and in the same direction.”

He concedes that his job is made easier by the team atmosphere of those under that umbrella and points to the recent contract negotiations which could have gotten unpleasant but didn’t.

We ended up much better off than many of our colleagues where there have been work stoppages. As difficult as those negotiations were, our players kept playing. I have to give them huge credit because it wasn’t easy for them either. But we were all focused on helping to keep the Fort Wayne Philharmonic here in northeast Indiana for many years to come. We all have a common direction and a common commitment.

“You know, they say laws and sausages are the two things you don’t want to know how they’re made. Maybe orchestra management is the third thing on that list. It can be messy, but what’s important is that we all get there together.”

Since his arrival, he has overseen the change in musical leadership with the search that brought Constantine to the city. He has also been there as Constantine has hired a new associate director, Sameer Patel, a search which began again with Patel’s recent departure after a three-year tenure with the orchestra. Those kinds of changes bode well for the orchestra, oddly enough, since they demonstrate the demand for the talented conductors which have come to our area.

“It’s really our job to make sure that those assistant and associate conductors don’t get stuck, that they stay on a good professional career path. Sameer was guest conducting a great deal and was in great demand, which reflects very well on our orchestra.”

Nave is satisfied not only with his professional duties but with the area he now calls home. Having lived in larger metropolitan areas, he has a great appreciation for the small town aspects of Fort Wayne while enjoying the great number of advantages the city has to offer.

“I always say that there are a lot of Southern qualities to this area. People here are friendly and willing to help. They’re polite and a little more relaxed than people are in larger cities. I like not having a two-hour commute, and the infrastructure is here to make life easier. Synchronized lights were a huge thing for me when I came here. It may not sound like a big deal, but it’s definitely a quality of life issue. And we have the orchestra, Cinema Center, the zoo, the ballet, numerous theater companies, the Botanical Conservatory. You’re lucky if you find one or two of those in a community this size. The culture and recreation here is incredible. You have access to big city type activities without the hassle.”

Michele DeVinney


Fort Wayne Dance Collective



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all for One

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