The Phoenix Theatre, in the Indianapolis cultural district Mass Ave, offers a more to Indianapolis theatre this weekend than just straight plays. Indianapolis music benefits from the Phoenix Theatre’s production of Pure Prine: The Music of John Prine, a folk opera told through Prine’s music. For just two weekends, May 7 through May 16, Pure Prine: The Music of John Prine takes over the stage of the Phoenix Theatre. Tickets to this Indianapolis event are $20.00 for all performances.
Pure Prine: The Music of John Prine is a unique Indianapolis performing arts offering. Spanning more than thirty years of John Prine’s career in the music industry, the show introduces six distinct characters. As these six come together in a smoke filled bar (the set of Yankee Tavern), they share tall tales, hidden desires and quite a few beers. Prine has been labeled everything form folk to country to rock and even alternative. But his, music defies such boundaries. In the end, his soulful songs are most simply described as heartfelt and human.
The play uses only Prine’s music to share stories. Without any dialogue, Prine’s incredible sounds become the only basis for communication on stage and with the audience. Don’t miss this folk opera that shares the masterworks of singer songwriter John Prine.
Born in 1946 in Maywood, Illinois, Prine has been an active recording artist and live performer since the 1970s. Prior to the onslaught of his successful musical career, Prine worked as a postman and served in the Army before making it big as a musician in Chicago. He made his debut in 1971 with a self title album. After being discovered by Kris Kristofferson, Prine was able to share his music with the world. His debut earned him many positive reviews, and he was often compared to Bob Dylan. Dylan himself showed up announced at one of Prine’s first gigs in New York City, backing him up anonymously on harmonica.
Though Prine’s second album was neither a critical or commercial success, it expressed the artist’s fondness for bluegrass and was reminiscent of Hank William’s work. His later albums continued to garner his success with songs like “Dear Abby,” “Grandpa was a Carpenter” and “Come Back to us Barbara Lewis Hare Krishna Beauregard.” Through the years Prine has produced music that was reflective of his era. By 1980, he had formed his own record label, Oh Boy Records.
In 1991, Prine released the Grammy Award winning album The Missing Years, which also marked his first collaboration with Heartbreakers bassist Howie Epstein. Through the nineties, Prine continued to produce music, recording duets with famous country vocalists including Lucinda Williams, Emmylou Harris, Dolores Keane and Iris DeMent.
John Prine has taken his place as one of the most influential singer songwriters of his generation. In a recent interview with the Huffington Post, Bob Dylan said that Prine was one of his favorite writers, stating, “Prine’s stuff is pure Proustain existentialism. Midwestern mind trips to the nth degree. And he writes beautiful songs. . . Nobody but Prine could write like that.” With more than twenty albums, John Prine’s body of work is rife with dramatic material.
Don’t miss Pure Prine: The Music of John Prine at the Phoenix Theatre for the next two weekends. After the show, enjoy any of the many Indianapolis restaurants or Indianapolis bars on Mass Ave or in Indianapolis downtown. Stay tuned to Indianapolis News, Events and Information on Fun City Finder.com for all the latest on fun things to do in Indianapolis. We cover Indianapolis arts to Indianapolis sports and everything in between. Get out in Indy and find some fun!
Pure Prine: The Music of John Prine
May 7 through May 16, 2010
The Phoenix Theatre
749 North Park Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46202