whatzup2nite • Tuesday, July 22

Things To Do

Click header for complete Things To Do calendar

National Shows

Click header for complete On the Road calendar

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

The Sound of Music — Rodgers & Hammerstein’s classic musical about the Trapp Family Singers, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, July 22-25; 1:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 26; 6 p.m. Sunday, July 27, Different Stages at the New Huntington Theatre, Huntington, $29-$75 thru box office, 454-0603


Click header for complete Movie times

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, 2015, 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

Donald Martiny: Freeing the Gesture — Abstract expressionism, Tuesday-Sunday thru Aug. 25, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $5-$7 (members, free), 422-6467

F.A.M.E. Exhibition — Works by young northeast Indiana children, daily thru Sept. 1, First Presbyterian Art Gallery, First Presbyterian Church, Fort Wayne, 426-7421

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

Michael Fraley — Egg tempera paintings, daily thru July 30, Firefly Coffee House, Fort Wayne, 373-0505

Summer of Glass — Glass works by Peter Bremers and International Glass Invitational winners, Tuesday-Sunday thru Aug. 31, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $5-$7 (members, free), 422-6467

Ventures in Creativity — Various works of art presented by The Fort Wayne Artists Guild and University of Saint Francis School of Creative Arts, Monday-Saturday thru August 15, John P. Weatherhead Gallery, Rolland Arts Center, University of St. Francis, Fort Wayne, 399-7999

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,


Botanical Roots Feat.
JD Wilkes & The Dirt Daubers
w/Old And Dirty

7:30 p.m. Friday, July 25
1100 S. Calhoun St., Fort Wayne
Tix: $6 d.o.s.,
Children under 12 free with adult

Botanical Roots Feat.
JD Wilkes & The Dirt Daubers
w/Old And Dirty

High-Octane Kentucky Blues

When a dedicated artist takes up the pen or the brush or a musical instrument and puts every ounce of commitment, he or she has into it, we’re impressed. Sometimes, moved. But JD Wilkes of the Dirt Daubers (and founding member of The Legendary Shack Shakers) isn’t satisfied with simply chasing the muse down one path. No, this howlin’ harmonica player/banjoist/singer from Paducah, Kentucky is also an accomplished artist, a filmmaker and even a published author. Oh, and he’s a Kentucky Colonel, too (look it up). You can watch this tireless Renaissance man and his band put on an entertaining, high-energy show when they hit the Botanical Conservatory on July 25. 

When asked to describe his current combo, Wilkes offers a simple answer: “Basically, the Dirt Daubers is a band I’m in with my wife.” That would be Jessica Wilkes, who plays bass and shares singing duties with JD, whose musical credo is, “Whatever we’re into, that’s what we play.” 

The talented quartet began as an acoustic-based, rootsy band but has upped the ante with its most recent release, Wild Moon. “We’ve gotten more rockabilly and, more recently, more rock n’ roll,” he says. Much of that same blues/country/swamp-rock DNA is shared with the Shack Shakers, a supercharged punkabilly juggernaut that’s been tearing up stages since the mid 1990s. After a two-year hiatus, the Shack Shakers will be hitting the road and working on new music this fall. In the meantime, Wilkes is enjoying the freedom the Dirt Daubers allow him.

What can the Summit City crowd expect at this show? 

“You’ll hear lots of the new record plus some Shack Shakers tunes and some covers. And you might hear some of the old-time Dirt Daubers songs with banjo. It’s a hodgepodge, you know? I have musical ADD, is what it boils down to,” Wilkes says. “Jessica will play bass while I’m singing, and when she’s singing, I’ll play bass. We like to switch it up and keep it interesting.” 

Wilkes’ artistic inclinations started early and branched from art to music from there. “Early on, I was into art, drawing pictures and cartoons. I still do cartoons and satirical caricatures – comic books, things like that. It’s my first love,” he says. “Then I discovered music going into my teenage years. I gravitated more toward blues – Chicago blues, country blues, that sort of thing. So I learned harmonica, and it gave me an outlet. But I was always drawing; I was always one of those kids drawing in the corner. I’ve always had those things going for me.” 

Before the blues fully grabbed him, a young Wilkes was mesmerized by a close cousin, musically. 

“The very first time I heard anything like that was when I heard a zydeco band,” he says. “We were in Louisiana for a while in the 80s. We actually lived right on Highway 61 for a long time. We went to Baton Rouge, to this part of town called Catfish Town, and I first heard this music. As a 12- or 13-year-old boy, I just couldn’t stand still, I was enjoying it so much ... I was dancing – convulsing – there. I didn’t know what had come over me.” Then came the fateful hook. “I remember, after we’d moved back to Kentucky, my dad was playing some Muddy Waters in the car,” Wilkes recalls. “It was the tune ‘Mean Red Spider,’ and I just loved it. I didn’t know what this music was. It was the 80s; you didn’t hear anything like that on the radio. My dad said, ‘Well, I’ve got a bunch of that stuff if you’re interested in it.’ 

“He was an old folkie beatnik from the 60s. He had Lightnin’ Hopkins, Muddy Waters, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee records in this collection that had been collecting dust.” 

This bounty of blues set Wilkes on his way, and soon he was immersed. 

“I started listening to these records and getting into it, and I got a harmonica and started learning how to play Like Paul Butterfield and Jon Mayall and Sonny Boy Williamson. I just kind of pieced it all together till I’d do it by heart. And play from the heart.” 

The seed was planted for what would eventually turn into the Legendary Shack Shakers and, eventually, the Dirt Daubers. But where did all that punk energy behind the Shack Shakers’ sound come from? Wilkes readily points out that western Kentucky wasn’t exactly a hotbed of cutting-edge youth culture. 

“I was never really into punk rock. I mean, the only thing ‘underground’ about me was my dad’s blues records. In western Kentucky at the time there was no real access to underground music other than a few local punk rock shows put on by the local bands. 

“When I got my first blues band together, I wasn’t old enough to play bars,” he says, “so we would play these punk rock shows at the Elks Lodge or the Moose Lodge or whatever – ‘critter clubs,’ they call ’em.

“Maybe I absorbed some of that energy from the local punk bands. I didn’t know what ‘punk’ was. I mean, I knew who the Sex Pistols were and all that, but I wasn’t involved in it. Only a few hip punk kids in the area knew about it.” 

But Wilkes had a wild card. 

“I always was a clown and I enjoyed performing in front of my friends and cracking them up. I had a physical, clownish style. So you mix that side of me with the music I was playing and put it in these punk rock environments, then you can see how it came together. It wasn’t put together with knowledge about the Clash or whatever. My sense of humor is more about Bugs Bunny or Ren & Stimpy cartoons and an appreciation for the Three Stooges. That was already in me, that was already my style, so that’s how I fit in alongside this punk stuff which I was getting secondhand. 

“I appreciated the way these guys would go for it,” he continues, “the meanness and the angst that’s in there. But my main objective was to crack people up and to use physical comedy as a way to exorcise my demons.” 

Wilkes and the Shack Shakers firmly established themselves with consistently raucous shows and several well-received albums, and their recent hiatus freed up the frontman to examine his surroundings further and to truly explore his roots. Whether it’s researching for a film or working on a book about the history of barn dances in Kentucky or getting to the heart of the music that inspired him, Wilkes has pursued his interests with a passion. 

“Yeah, that’s the curiosity in me. We’re very inspired by the folklore and Southern Gothic elements. I’m very interested in it. It can be kind of boring living in western Kentucky, but if you dig into the backstory of the area, it becomes interesting and worthwhile.” 

Though he’s not afraid to meld different musical elements together, Wilkes is fiercely protective of its sources. 

“It’s not enough that I just take this country music and just exploit it,” he explains. “I want to know where it comes from and interview the older generation who created it. Many ‘punk blues’ bands are just content to take elements of it and twist it around, in the way that some of these ‘sports bar blues’ bands take Chicago blues and ruin it by not knowing it from the inside out – by squaring it off and making it generic. I wouldn’t want to be responsible for that. I’m interested in the source material, the people that were there during the Depression that predate pop culture and its influence.” 

With the Dirt Daubers still going strong, the artistically restless Wilkes looks forward to his other endeavors as well. His Shack Shakers will tour through the end of the year, with dates in both the U.S. and Europe and a newly bolstered lineup. 

“We’re adding an organ player, so we’ll have a really full sound. I’m looking forward to that. We’ll be demo-ing some new ideas for a Shack Shakers record,” he adds. “Intermittently, we’ll be doing Dirt Daubers dates in there. I’m also writing and illustrating some fiction. I don’t know if that will ever see the light of day, but maybe at some point you’ll see that on sale on the table right next to the movie and the other book.” 

When asked if his merchandise table at shows can handle the load, he laughs and responds, “Yeah, we’ve got several CDs, several 45s, three comic books, a DVD, a book on barn dances, several posters ... it’s like Wal-Mart, you know? I’m just trying to spin all these plates and keep it interesting. You only get one life.”

D.M. Jones

Fort Wayne Pride 2014

FEAT. Will Certain, Jon Durnell & Missy Burgess, Avocado Shag, Jordan Genovese, Jaray, Kristen Ford, Shawnee, Finding Friday & Dario
7 p.m.- 12 midnight Friday, July 25
12 noon- 12 midnight Saturday, July 26
Headwaters Park, Fort Wayne
Tix.: $3 Friday, $5 Saturday,

Fort Wayne Pride 2014

A Community Shows Its Pride

Bigger isn’t always better. That concept was reaffirmed for Fort Wayne Pride director Nikki Fultz at Toronto’s WorldPride event this past June. Even as Fort Wayne’s own incarnation of the national Pride movement grows, Fultz says a sense of community is crucial to the local event.

  “Some of the Pride festivals get so big they lose a feeling of community,” she explained. “That sense of community is something we have over the bigger Pride festivals, and I hope to never lose that. WorldPride, for example, was a fantastic event, but it was also pretty segregated. There were special interest groups that broke off from the main event. Fort Wayne Pride encourages an all-inclusive celebration of community – and I think our event is stronger for it.”

  Fultz anticipates around 10,000 people filling Headwaters Park for Pride this year, a far cry from the original 100 or so that attended the first Fort Wayne Pride event 18 years ago. As the attendance has grown, so have Pride’s offerings. Once a singular event, the festival has grown to incorporate events all week long, and Fort Wayne Pride hosts several events throughout the year.

  “People wanted to see more than a day or two-long celebration, so we expanded Fort Wayne Pride’s group events throughout the year with monthly and bi-monthly events. With each edition of the Pride festival, we try to address the needs of the entire community and make sure that we have entertainers and vendors anyone can relate to. As we attract more attendees, we then have a larger budget to bring in different entertainment. This year, we looked at a lot of people from out of town who, five years ago, we wouldn’t have been able to bring in.”

  Pride kicks off with a comedy night on Wednesday, July 23, at Snickerz Comedy Club. This 21-and-over event features headliner Kristen Key, best known as a viewer favorite on season four of NBC’s Last Comic Standing in addition to cameos on Comics Unleashed, The Bob and Tom Show and the Las Vegas Comedy Festival. This night of comedy also includes a silent auction to benefit Pride’s year-round youth program to ensure that LGBTQ youth have a safe space in Fort Wayne.

  The downtown festival portion of Pride opens at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 25. Entertainment for the evening includes Sum Morz, Cougar Hunter, and D.J. Trend. Come back the next morning at 11:30 a.m. to join the Pride March through downtown Fort Wayne. It’s free to participate in the march, and there’s no need to pre-register. The festival opens at noon that Saturday with a stage full of 12 hours of rocking entertainment: Will Certain, Jon Durnell & Missy Burgess, Avocado Shag, Jordan Genovese, JaRay, Kristen Ford, DJ TAB, Finding Friday and Dario. It all culminates to perhaps the biggest draw for Pride: Fort Wayne’s Finest Drag Show.

“The drag show is definitely the crowd favorite,” Fultz said with a grin. “It is two hours of high-intensity excitement and fun. You can just feel the energy throughout the whole festival grounds. If you’ve never been to a drag show, this is the one you’ll want to see.”

Fultz says all ages and backgrounds are welcome to enjoy the food, entertainment, games and vendors peppering Headwaters Park. There will also be a beer tent for those 21 and older. The festival wraps up with Pride Night at the TinCaps game on Monday, July 28. Those wishing to show their support are encouraged to wear red and look for the Pride section in the lawn seats. Tickets can be purchased at Pride the Friday and Saturday beforehand.

A comedy night, festival and baseball – the variety of Pride’s events is purposeful, says Fultz. 

“The main idea is to make sure anyone in the community feels welcome to celebrate diversity with us. Our community isn’t just lesbian, gay, bi-sexual or transgendered people; we also have many straight allies. We want people to know that the LGBT community is just like anyone else. We like to have a good time, and we welcome people of all backgrounds to join us in that.”

Dario, who takes the Pride stage just before the drag show, says that unabashed welcoming nature is one of the things he loves about the LGBT community. He has performed at several LGBT events around the country as a way to give back to some of his biggest and most enthusiastic fans.

  “The LGBT community has been my biggest supporter since I started in this industry over a decade ago, and I am eternally grateful to them for all the love and support they have shown me,” Dario said. “Performing at events like Pride is a huge priority for me. I never would have sold a single album if it wasn’t for the fans – and a huge chunk of that is the LGBT community. Pride is a way for me to return the support they have given me and show how immensely grateful I am for that.”

  No stranger to performing on a big stage, the self-classified “little bit of everything from R&B to pop to dance to Latin-flavored music” singer has toured with big names like Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé, Katy Perry and K-Ci & Jo Jo. His distinctive vocals color hits like “Save You” and “Fallback,” both of which he said he will perform at Pride, in addition to material from his new album, Evolution, which came out earlier this year.

Evolution is the defining record of my career thus far,” Dario explained. “Going through the process of writing and recording it, I went through a major transformation in my look, how I write and what I wanted to say. Hence the name of the album. As an artist I think it’s important to be honest and open in your music, and that’s exactly what I did with this album. At the end of the day I’m here to make music. I’ve always said that music is the universal solvent for every problem that exists. There is a song out there for everything that we feel, and as a musician you want to inspire and evoke emotion.”

Dario gives each show his all, and his Fort Wayne performance will not disappoint. He’s just as excited to perform at Pride as Pride is to have him.

“I can’t wait to meet the fans!” he effused. “I hear Fort Wayne has a very hype crowd, so I can’t wait to be there an experience all that Fort Wayne has to offer. I hope you guys are ready!”

Ashley Motia

The Sound of Music

Director's Notes

One of the great differences between theater goers and the general populace is their ability to differentiate between the movie version of a beloved classic musical and the original stage production. When NBC aired The Sound of Music: Live in December 2013, it was hardcore theater fans who calmly explained to the rest of the internet that Carrie Underwood is not, in fact, Julie Andrews, and the songs were actually in the “right order.”

Granted, live theatre translates awkwardly to the small screen, and the NBC production was, at times, difficult to watch.

The same cannot be said for Different Stages’ gloriously fresh production of The Sound of Music, running through July 27, at the New Huntington Theatre in downtown Huntington.

Does the plot really need to be summarized? Maria, a young, orphaned postulant is sent by her Mother Abbess to serve as governess to the seven unruly children of the wealthy Georg Von Trapp, retired naval captain. Following the death of his wife, Capt. Von Trapp has banished music (and love) from his home. He falls in love with the governess, despite being almost engaged to fellow millionaire Baroness Elsa Schraeder. When he is called back into service under the Nazi regime he despises, he flees with his family over the mountains into Switzerland with the help of his friend Max Detweiler, First Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Culture. You might have seen the movie?

As Maria, Lauren Lukacek is spirited and tomboyish. Her voice is beautiful, and she sneaks in a few understated nods to Julie Andrews’ film performance (holding her hand to her head as she hits the high note in “Do Re Mi,” to name one).

Robert Teasdale’s Capt. Von Trapp is every bit as dashing and debonair as he should be, but when he finally accepts music – and his children’s love – he is heartbreaking.

David Wiens and Stephanie Cowan as Max and Elsa are the perfect balance of smarmy charm (Max) and frosty elegance (Elsa). On a scale from Mildly Sympathetic to Despicable Shrew, Cowan’s baroness falls a little to the right. But unlike her film counterpart, Elsa breaks her engagement to Von Trapp not because of his love for Maria, but because of their differences in political views (he is anti-Nazi, and she is pro-Elsa). Max proves himself not entirely self-serving by helping the Von Trapps escape the Nazis. The look Wiens exchanges  with Lukacek and Teasdale as they silently thank him brought me to tears.

Justin Schuman (Rolf) and Rachel Osting (Liesl) are true triple threats in every sense of the word. Their “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” dance, choreographed by Erin Baltsar, who also plays Sr. Sophia, is a beautiful highlight of the production. Osting also has a droll delivery that is unexpectedly hilarious.

The younger Von Trapp children were cast locally, and it is astonishing that so much talent exists in such small form. Rebecca Short (the sassy Brigitta, who always tells it like it is) and Gabriella Betterly (the adorable, bespectacled Gretl) are standouts, but all the kids (Sam Smiley, Arianna Betterly, Nick Scheiber, and Amelia Story) have their moments to shine.

Becky Rosky plays the Mother Abbess with a gravitas tempered with maternal love. Her concern for the state of the world is written all over her face from the moment she steps on the stage, but she manages to counsel her young postulant and to speak with her on her own level through an old folk song. Her voice is staggeringly beautiful on “Climb Every Mountain,” and her voice blends perfectly with the other nuns’ during “Maria” and the Latin vespers.

Christy Richardson does double duty as Sr. Berthe and the captain’s stoic housekeeper, Frau Schmidt. Fort Wayne actor Jeff Moore plays Franz, the equally stoic butler. Both actors bring out the humor of their roles, and Moore subtly conveys Franz’s gradual acceptance of the Nazi party, despite his obvious affection for the Von Trapps.

It’s easy for today’s audiences to forget the horrors these characters were actually facing. However, Artistic Director Joel Froomkin sets the tone from the moment the lights come up with projected images and sounds from newsreels of 1938. In the second act, following the wedding of Georg and Maria, the set is bathed in a huge red, white and black swastika. The image is unsettling but extremely important for the emotional undertone of the end of the story.

Little reminders of the movie are sprinkled carefully and lovingly throughout the production. A particularly clever staging of the song “I Have Confidence” (which was written for the movie, but is often added to current stage productions) includes a brief (but hilarious) bus ride.

The set, designed by Froomkin, manages to evoke images of both the mountains of Austria and the damaged buildings of war-torn Europe. The stage is small, but set pieces rolled in and out of the back of the set, coupled with projections, create a variety of different locations and moods.

Executive Director Richard Najuch and Artistic Director Joel Froomkin have worked seven years to create Different Stages. Their work is a gift to Huntington and the northeast Indiana region and deserves to be seen by anyone with an appreciation for great storytelling and world-class talent.


Different Stages

Fort Wayne Pride

Fort Wayne Civic



Fort Wayne Museum of Art
Northside Galleries
University of Saint Francis


Fort Wayne Ballet
Fort Wayne Dance Collective


4D's Bar & Grill
After Dark
The Alley Sports Bar
Beamer's Sports Grill
Calhoun Street Soups, Salads & Spirits
Champions Sports Bar
Checkerz Bar & Grill
Columbia Street West
Deer Park Irish Pub
Dicky's 21 Taps
Don Hall's Triangle Park Bar & Grille
Dupont Bar and Grill
Firefly Coffee House
Latch String Bar & Grill
Mad Anthony Brewing Co.
North Star Bar & Grill
Snickerz Comedy Bar


Brew Review
Fort Wayne Pride
Taste of the Arts
Three Rivers Festival


IPFW Community Arts Academy


Shotgun Productions Karaoke


WXKE Rock 104



Fort Wayne Musicians Association
Sweetwater Sound
Wooden Nickel Music


Biff & The Cruisers
Big Daddy Dupree and the Broke & Hungry Blues Band
Big Dick & The Penetrators
Big Money and the Spare Change
Dan Dickerson's Harp Condition
The DeeBees
Dirty Comp'ny
The Dueling Keyboard Boys
Elephants in Mud
For Play
The Jaenicke Consort Inc.
James and the Drifters
Joe Justice
Joel Young Band, The
Juke Joint Jive
Kill The Rabbit
Little Orphan Andy
Marshall Law
Mike Conley
Rescue Plan, The
Tim Harrington Band
Todd Harrold
Spirit & Truth
Walkin' Papers
What About Joe


3 Rivers Co-op Natural Grocery & Deli


all for One productions
Arena Dinner Theatre
Different Stages Theater
First Presbyterian Theater
Fort Wayne Youtheatre
Fort Wayne Civic Theater
IPFW Dept. of Theatre
Jam Theatricals
University of Saint Francis School of Creative Arts


Allen Co. Public Library
Anderson Paramount Theatre
C2G Music Hall
Embassy Theatre
Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Dept.
Fort Wayne Philharmonic
Honeywell Center
IPFW Dept. of Music
Niswonger Performing Arts Center


Music & Comedy
On the Road Concert Calendar
Art & Artifacts
Stage & Dance
Events (Things to Do)
Movie Times


CD Reviews
Musician Feature Stories
Visual Artist Feature Stories


Access Fort Wayne


Email Us

Or Contact Us at:
2305 E. Esterline Rd.
Columbia City, IN 46725
Phone: 260.691.3188
Fax: 260.691.3191