Lou’s A&E To-Dos for 3/19-3/25

Welcome back. No, the name for these previews isn’t solidified yet. Give it time. It will work out.

As for this week, here’s some A&E that should be on your radar. Remember: Boredom is not an option.

“South Pacific”

Not so long ago, the then-powers-that-be at the Indianapolis Opera were adamant about not crossing the line between opera and musical theater. Well, those days are gone and the new regime has embraced the idea that familiar Broadway titles can sell tickets and (we hope) prove artistically sound. I missed last season’s “Man of La Mancha” and, alas, will have to miss this week’s “South Pacific,” but I’m anxious to hear if the Rodgers & Hammerstein chestnut is given the production it deserves. (For the record, I may be the only person on the planet who wasn’t a fan of Kelli O’Hara’s take on Nellie Forbush for the acclaimed Lincoln Center revival. I loved that Opera-overtonproduction–especially Danny Burstein’s Luther Billis and the wonderful orchestra–but I’m more interested in Nellie when she’s got more hick and less country club in her DNA. ) Indianapolis Opera’s Nellie, Christina Overton, comes from the opera world, but she’s also lent her talents to regional productions of “A Little Night Music” and “Kiss Me, Kate.” March 23-25 at the Schrott

Swearingen and Beedle

Okay, those names don’t ring any bells. Such is the fate of most musicians trying to make names for themselves. The two, though, do manage to get gigs with symphonies around the country. How? By singing the songs of  Simon & Garfunkel. And, more importantly, singing them well. Playing guitar also helps. The duo bring their tribute show to Indy this week for a series of concerts with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. The thought of our musicians playing the crashing climaxes of “The Boxer” should be enough incentive to give this one a listen.  March 23-24 at Hilbert Circle Theatre

“Dear Bobby”

The Kennedy King Memorial Initiative commissioned this piece commemorating the 50th anniversary of Bobby Kennedy’s visit to Indianapolis, which coincided with the day Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated.

The story of Kennedy’s handling of that delicate, tragic day has become a touchstone in Indy, sparking one of the more dramatic Indiana Historical Society You Are There exhibits, inspiring a James Still play at the Indiana Repertory Theatre, and anchoring a book by Ray Boomhower.

Here, it gets a musical treatment courtesy of Ball State University English faculty members Angela Jackson-Brown and Peter Davis. It’s part of OnyxFest, the annual festival of new works dedicated to the work of African-American playwrights. Deborah Asante directs a cast from Asante Children’s Theatre of Indianapolis. March 22-31 at the IndyFringe Building

“The Orville”

I know. I know. There’s more great TV out there now then there has been in history. Mention a show you love and, inevitably, the response will be “Oh, but have you seen _____________.” So I’ll preface this by saying that a) I watch almost no TV anymore, not out of snobbery, just out of prioritizing time. I spend a lot of time writing and attending arts events. When I’m not writing, I like to be face to face with human beings, not looking at a screen. Or sleeping. I have to remember to sleep. b) I was very into original series Star Trek but didn’t watch any of the spin-offs for more than orvillean episode or two. c) I’m okay with the Star Trek movie reboot, although the second film was a major disappointment. d) Every few weeks when I know I need to laugh, I’ll watch an episode or two of “Family Guy.” All that is prelude to stating how much I’ve enjoyed the first season of “The Orville,” Seth MacFarlane’s science fiction series  that embraces the original Star Trek idea of combining contemporary social questions with a comfortable family of characters and telling those stories with senses of both adventure and humor. There were maybe two dud episodes in Season one, which didn’t dampen the delight of the stronger ones and the two or three that deserve Emmy consideration. I’ll leave details out so that you can discover them for yourself. If you go three episodes and aren’t committed, just walk away. I won’t judge.




A&E To-Do List

Good morning (or afternoon or evening, depending on where you are).

Welcome to Louharry.com, where you’ll now find my list of the upcoming or currently running arts and entertainment events I’m excited about. Being only human, I can’t get to them all. But these are the events I’d prioritize if I had a wide-open schedule.

(Skip the next paragraph if you already know me.)

In case we aren’t acquainted, here’s some context. I’ve been covering the arts locally and nationally for decades, most recently–well, for the past 25 years or so–anchored in Indianapolis. I’m on the board of the American Theatre Critics Association where I chair its New Play Committee and I’m proud to be part of the island of misfit toys known as the Indiana Film Journalists Association (I say that with love, of course). I served until recently as Arts & Entertainment Editor for IBJ.com and continue to write for that esteemed publication. I edited the gone-but-not-forgotten Indy Men’s Magazine and have written for more than 50 publications and websites including Variety, TheatreWeek, and Howlround. My stack of published books include Kid Culture, The Encyclopedia of Guilty Pleasures, Creative Block, and The High-Impact Infidelity Diet: A Novel. I also wrote the novelization of Santa Claus Conquers The Martians. So there. If you make it to the bottom of this post, you’ll find a rundown of where I’ll be speaking or otherwise making a nuisance of myself.

(Welcome back, friends.)

Here we go with this week’s A&E To-Do List (which needs a name–suggestions welcome).

  1. The Eiteljorg Museum’s “Reel West” 

I’ll have to check with my aforementioned IFJA colleagues, but is the western dead as a genre? Is it back? I haven’t been paying close enough attention and its status in Hollywood seems to change every other year. That wild fluctuation–and the way these films tend to reflect the times the movies are made more than they reflect the period the films are set–are one of the key points of interest here. I wrote a preview piece on the exhibit for IBJ. You can find it here. Have to admit, I’m proud of the headline.

2. “Les Miserables”

How many times have I seen this one now? I’ve lost count. But I still remember seeing it for the first time on Broadway, taking my seat with great anticipation…and feeling like it climaxed in the first twenty minutes. Once we got past “Who Am I?” I felt, from my balcony seat, like it never quite developed the urgency and passion. Subsequent viewings have made up for that initial disappointment and I found the first few national tours far more compelling. The movie version was hit and miss–with far too many misses (and a “WHY? WHY? Why? performance by Russell Crowe) to make me want to rewatch–but the most recently Broadway revival (sans turntable) showed that the hefty show still had breathe left in it. The tour–in Indy courtesy of Broadway in Indianapolis–has the benefit of strong performances in the difficult supporting roles of Cosette and Marius and a fluid design that keeps things moving. The ensemble is strong as well. I only wish Josh Davis’ Javert didn’t come across as if he were auditioning to play one of Cinderella’s Princes from Into the Woods and that the otherwise solid Jean Valjean (Nick Cartell) had more gravitas when having to don old-age makeup and halting delivery. What once felt weighty, now feels more concert-like. Nonetheless, it’s still “Les Miserables.” It runs until Sunday, at which point the barricade is dismantled and the show moves on. Oh, and the Thenardiers, once again, overstayed their welcome. Alas, too late to change that.

3 and 4. “Appoggiatura” at Indiana Repertory Theatre and “Fairfield” at the Phoenix Theatre

Being out of town running a conference in Cincinnati (hello, ATCA members!), I missed the openings of both of these less-familiar titles at Indy’s two leading downtown regional theaters. The first is the latest in James Still’s collection of marque-unfriendly titles–this one about a family trying to cope with past personal losses while in Venice. The second is the final show at the Phoenix’s old home before migrating to its brand new theater complex. Happy trails.

5. Indy Actors’ Playground 

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, text and closeup

Indy Actors’ Playground is a free monthly play reading at Indy Reads Books. And if you haven’t gone, then you really can’t complain that theater is too expensive or that there’s nothing to do except binge watch TV shows. Every month, a different professional actors in town picks a play that he or she has a burn to do. The actor picks the cast and, voila, a play is presented. The audience doesn’t know what the play will be, although a hint or two can usually be picked up on Facebook. Yes, I co-created this series and usually introduce it, but I have zero control over the content so I have no qualms about endorsing it here. Over the last five years, it has offered some of the most satisfying theater evenings I’ve experienced here. This month, Leah Brenner–who recently relocated from Indy to Chicago–offers her pick. Oh, and someone on this page is a hint as to the show she selected. Indy Actors’ Playground is always the third Monday of the month. If you have some books to donate, bring them along. If not, consider coming early to do some shopping.

See you around…

As for me, I’ll be participating in the Intersections Summit for regional theaters at Milwaukee Rep March 22-24 (and seeing three shows), speaking to a journalism students at Butler University on March 26, and presenting the Steinberg and Osborn Awards for the American Theatre Critics Association at the Humana Festival of New American Plays in Lousville on April 7 (and seeing six shows while there). Say hello if you see me and let’s talk arts.




“The planet spins/And the world goes ‘round and ‘round and ‘round and ‘round”—Kander & Ebb

After 11 years (and over 1000 reviews plus nearly 300 profiles), I will be leaving IBJ as a full-time employee mid-March.

It’s an amicable separation sparked by the company’s decision to eliminate the position of Arts & Entertainment Editor—along with my Lou’s Views and Dining columns—in order to focus on its core business and political coverage.

My final columns as well as my 40 Under 40 profiles appeared in the Feb. 9 issue, although you will see some of my additional writing for the paper and online between now and my departure date. And beyond.

Local, serious journalism by outstanding, dedicated journalists matters and should never be taken for granted. Central Indiana is lucky to have IBJ and its owners should be praised for their commitment to news and thoughtful opinion.

Thanks to all who helped make it a great run.

As for me, I’m exploring many options for what’s next. As I cast the net wide for where I can be of service, I welcome your ideas, connections, and leads.

It’s been, as you can imagine, a very busy couple of weeks. I can’t get into specifics here about which puzzle pieces might fit together.

But I am excited to report that journalist Rick Pender and I have organized a conference for members of the American Theatre Critics Association in Cincinnati that’s happening the weekend of March 10. It will include four plays, panel discussions, an interactive theater and journalism ethics session that I’m running, and much more. It’s a format that we hope to replicate in cities around the country.

I’ll also be participating as an ATCA board member at the Intersections Summit this month at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre.

And leading a pub trivia battle at Who’s Yer Con in Indianapolis

And presenting the Steinberg and Osborn Awards at the Humana Festival in April.

And heading to St. Louis to represent ATCA at the annual TCG conference.

You can message me here with specific questions and to keep me in your loop. And please follow me on Twitter @louharry

“I’m still here” –Sondheim


First play in every Broadway theater

I am a very lucky Jersey kid. Between field trips, a mother willing to let me roam NYC alone as a teen, many TKTS lineups, my work, and actually once or twice actually buying full-price tickets, I’ve seen a good number of Broadway shows.

My friend Martha Wade Steketee recently posted the first show she saw at every still-operating Broadway theater. I couldn’t resist the time-suck activity and did the same, taking a fun trip through a couple of decades of theatergoing. The cool thing is, I think I could name who I was with at every one of them–in fact, i think I’ll try.

Here’s my list, as best I can figure out:

Ambassador: None
American Airlines: Violet (2014)
Atkinson: Noises Off (1983)
Barrymore: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (2014)
Beaumont: Six Degrees of Separation (1990)
Belasco: As You Like It (1986)
Bernard B. Jacobs: None
Booth: Other Desert Cities (2011)
Broadhurst: Kiss of the Spider Woman (1993)
Broadway: Big Deal (1986)
Circle in the Square: The Bacchae (1980)
Cort: The Cripple of Inishmaan (2014)
Friedman/Biltmore: None
Gershwin (as Uris): Sweeney Todd (1979)
Golden: Seminar (2011)
Hayes: Romance, Romance (1988)
Hirschfeld: Dracula (1977—First Broadway play)
Hudson: None
Imperial: They’re Playing Our Song (1979–First Broadway musical)
Kerr: A Catered Affair (2008)
Longacre: Joe Egg (1985)
Lunt-Fontanne: The Iceman Cometh (1985)
Lyceum: Reasons to Be Pretty (2009)
Lyric (as Ford Center): Ragtime (1998)
Majestic: Phantom of the Opera (1988)
Marquis: Me and My Girl (1986)
Minskoff: The Scarlet Pimpernel (1998)
Music Box: One Man, Two Guvnors (2012)
Nederlander: None
New Amsterdam: None
O’Neill: Spring Awakening (2006)
Palace: Aida (2000)
Rodgers (as 46th Street Theatre): Lost in Yonkers (1992)
St. James: The Who’s Tommy (1993)
Schoenfeld (as Plymouth): Pygmalion (1987)
Shubert: A Chorus Line (1975—but probably saw in 81 or so)
Simon: Annie (1977)
Sondheim: Urinetown (2001)
Studio 54: Pal Joey (2008)
Wilson (as ANTA Playhouse): Whoopee! (1979)
Winter Garden: Othello (1982)


December update

So what’s happening?

Well, on the theatrical front, we had a terrific reading of my play “Rita from Across the Street” in New York, with great thanks due to director/actress Amy Hayes. She pulled together an outstanding casts and the rehearsals and performance were a wonderful journey of discovery. I hope to have the play posted on the New Play Exchange shortly. Of course, any inquiries about possible productions are most welcome. Happy to forward a script to anyone interested. And thanks to all of those who came out to give the play a listen.

I’m also thrilled to be working with the Butler University Theater department on a new play adaptation of “We Are Still Tornadoes,” a lovely and hilarious novel by Michael Kun and Susan Mullen. We’re doing four developmental workshops over the next few months in an effort to create a theater piece that does justice to book. Tall order but I love this challenge. While I’ve adapted novels I’ve written or co-written for the stage, this is of a different order. I want to preserve their voices, not get in the way with mine. More details to come.

On the non-fiction front, my work at IBJ.com/arts continues. I’ve had a few books published this year from Cider Mill Press, including the recent “101 Ways to Work with an Asshole.”

Here’s to a productive and interesting 2018.








September already? Updates…and a New York play reading.

And so it somehow became September.

And two more work-for-hire book projects have found their way to market.

And, in addition to my writing at IBJ.com/arts, I slipped in a freelance piece for the theater website Howlround about the good work being done by the Stratford Festival folks.

On the new play front, I’m very excited about an upcoming reading in New York of “Rita From Across the Street.” Director/actress Amy Hayes has pulled together the cast for a one-day-only performance at The Pit Loft. Details here. I’ll be tweaking the play through mid-October, then turning it over to Amy and company for the Nov. 4 read. Tickets are already on sale (with proceeds paying for the space).

We’ll be announcing a new SiteLines Indy play reading event shortly. That’s the series that John Thomas and I created that matches organizations to terrific plays that would appeal to their audiences…and then offers a professional reading of the chosen play on their turf. Past work has included “Opus” with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, “The Credeaux Canvas” at Gallery 924, and “Frank’s Home” at the Indiana Landmarks Center.

The other big John and Lou (aka Two First Names Productions) project, “Going…Going…Gone” has been celebrating the passing of our 100th performance by offerings charity shows all year long. Alas, with the temporary closing of our home base, Theatre on the Square, we are migrant for now. If you have a charity (and a venue) and want to offer a one-of-a-kind edition of this live auction improv show, shoot me a note.





Update: New book releases, first reading of a new play, etc.

Once again, I’ve neglected this page. No excuses.

Here’s what’s happened and what’s in the works.

–My play “Rita from Across the Street” had its first public reading, courtesy of Butler University and a wonderful quartet of actors. Thanks to those who came out for it. I’m feeling good about this one. If you know someone who might be interested in a four-character/one set grown-up play that deals with longing, responsibility, and the difference between front porch people and back porch people (inspired by, among other things, “Talley’s Folly” and “A Moon for the Misbegotten”) let me know. It’s got plumb parts for a pair of actors in their 40s/50s.

–“Wit and Wisdom from the Road,” a book project I wrote for Cider Mill Press and Hallmark is now available. It’s a light guide to attractions all across the U.S. (and, yes, I managed to get Wildwood in there).

–I also penned a new series of booklets that accompany Cider Mill Press’ Dare You Stamp Co. stamp kits, including the #WTF Stamp Kit. Alert the Pulitzer committee.

–Two more Cider Mill projects should be released soon, including “101 Ways to Sleep with a Snorer.”

–“Going…Going…Gone” is on the road for a bit. The next show will be on July 1 at the InConjunction Science Fiction/Fantasy convention with Ben Fraley, Eryn Bowser, and Mookie Harris. I’m an Author Guest there and I’m thrilled to be taking the show back to the con. Trivia fact: That’s where we had the first public try-out of GGG.

–We’ve got proposals out for the next round of Site Lines Indy play readings. Hoping to have something in the works soon.

–I’m up for reelection to the ex com of the American Theatre Critics Association. I assume anyone reading this is involved in my PAC. Let’s get those negative ads up there, folks.

–@ibjarts and @louharry continue to build followers. Please join them.

–And, of course, keep reading reviews, previews, and features (and participate in giveaways) at http://www.ibj.com/arts





March playwriting update: A first public read for “Only You…and You…and You.”

And so we exhaled from the Theatre on the Square production of “Clutter” (in which a remarkable cast and director pulled the show off even though an actress had to leave the show ON THE NIGHT OF THE FINAL DRESS REHEARSAL).

Alas, since Indianapolis is a market where a world premiere at an established theater isn’t necessarily reviewed, I don’t have links to attach to outside voices. If you want to read the play, though, shoot me a note.

In part to avoid post-closing depression, I set up another reading of “Popular Monsters,” which I’ve continued to tweak. I’m very pleased with how it read and can’t imagine being happier with the cast we pulled together. There’s a director passionately interested in the project but, well, you know how that is. Again, available for reading if you’d like to peruse.

Meanwhile, Geeky Press has started a monthly play reading series called “Scripted,” where it pulls together casts for readings of plays at various stages of development. The powers that be took a shine to my play “Only You…and You…and You” and they are organizing a public reading and discussion on March 12 at New Day Meadery. Info here. It’s a wonderful thing these folks are doing. I think mine will be the third in the series.

Are you into backstories of how projects like this happen? Then ride along with this tale:

“Only You…and You…and You” is the fourth project where I’ve had some sort of partnership with Eric R. Pfeffinger.

Eric is a whipsmart writer who I met when I was editing Arts Indiana magazine about 20 years ago. At some point, we talked about wanting to collaborate on something and that didn’t happen until he moved to Ohio. By then I was editing Indy Men’s Magazine and, being a wise editor, brought along talented writers whenever I found them, Eric being among the best.

He and I kicked around a concept for a movie script which we soon realized was better suited for a novel. I wrote and would email the manuscript to him. He’d edit and add and send it back to me. I’d approve/disapprove the edits, further edit and add, and send back to him, etc. Out of that came “The High-Impact Infidelity Diet: A Novel,” about a trio of couples and their unusually incentivized weight loss program.

My agent wasn’t impressed. So we ditched that agent, found another, and suddenly had a deal with Random House. And an option from Warner Bros.

Jazzed, we set our minds on getting a second novel in the pipeline before “High-Impact” came out. Over the year, we wrote a sprawling books with dozens of characters and a high-concept gimmick (which would eventually, to our dismay, also occur to the creators of the Simpsons AND Stephen King).

Unfortunately, our editor at Random House had left the biz, the new editor at Random House wasn’t interested in our sophomore creation, and our agent couldn’t find another buyer.

Somewhere in and around here, we were also commissioned by a high school to write an adaptation of Lysistrata, which we called “Lizzy Strata.” It was a big hit and almost got the director fired from her teaching position. A story for another time.

I’m not clear on the rest of the order but the following elements occurred:

a) Warner Bros. renewed the “High-Impact” option once, hired a high-profile writer to do the screenplay, and eventually let the option drop;

b) “High-Impact” was released and disappeared pretty quickly;

c) I took a shot at tightening up Novel #2 and was surprised to discover it wanted to be a play. After a series of developmental readings, Heartland Actors Repertory Theatre, a then-new Equity theater, staged “Midwestern Hemisphere: A Suburban Metaphysical Comedy;

d) Eric and I started a third novel but the process dragged out longer than on the previous two. After it sat for a while, I completed it with some input from Eric. But without an agent at this point, we couldn’t find a buyer;

e) With the “High-Impact” rights reverted back to us, I adapted it into a play, which was well-received at the Indy Fringe Festival and, at some point, I’m going to tweak further to turn it into a two-actor, full-length piece;

f) Of course, I knew I would eventually get around to trying a stage adaptation of Novel #3. Which I did. Eric still hasn’t seen it, which I like to think has to do with enormous trust rather than disinterest;

g) And so “Only You…and You…and You” will be heard publicly for the first time this month. I’m ready to give Eric credit for anything in it that works.

So what’s it about? Well, let’s talk after the reading. Suffice it to say for now that it’s a non-judgmental look at four very different people, none of whom has a jealousy gene. I played some structural games with this one that I haven’t tried before so I’m very curious to hear how it reads.

As always, the most learning comes from having an outstanding cast. And I’m thrilled with the quartet that Geeky Press has pulled together.

Stay tuned.




World Premiere of “Clutter: Or The Moving Walkway Will Soon Be Coming to an End.” (The back story)


So how do these things happen?

In this case, two characters–Bobby and Eddy–started talking to each other in an office of a business that was about to go out of business. They rambled, these two, and created pages and pages of conversation.

I asked a pair of actors to read some of that rambling and they graciously agreed. I heard something in there–and I heard a lot that shouldn’t be there.

I also heard another character that wanted to be heard. Barb, who worked as a receptionist in the aforementioned office, was mentioned in the long Bobby/Eddy scene but not seen.

So she started a conversation with her friend Barb. And it turns out that that conversation was taking place three years later than the Bobby/Eddy scene. Barb had just lost her, well, she’s lost  count of how many jobs she’s lost. And pal Bev was considering leaving her husband. Both missed days when they could have fun seemingly without responsibility. At the end of the scene, Barb recognized someone at the bar.

Well, I knew the four of them would have to get together for a third scene. And it seemed right to set it three years later. Relationships had changed. Power had shifted. And a fictional self-help movement suddenly became part of their reality. “Cluttering” became a verb. And I had something resembling a play.



A Creative Renewal Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis allowed me to visit CT, where the New Haven Theatre Company and my pal Chris Arnott pull together a reading, giving me the valuable opportunity to hear the play with actors I didn’t know and an audience full of strangers. The experience was eye-opening.




A talented quartet of actors agree to read the play–complete with new ending. I proudly say it was the first play that was read at Indy Reads Books but really the only achievement was that I was the first to ask. That was 2012.

The actors–one of who is now in LA, one who is now in NYC, one who is now in Chicago and one who is here continuing to do strong work in Indy–did an outstanding job not only of delivering the play but in helping me see what was working and what wasn’t. I always recommend that playwrights gather the best actors they can for readings so they can only blame themselves for a show’s flaws.


More readings in Indianapolis. Then Lori Raffel, the forward-thinking head honcho at Theatre on the Square, asked if she could produce it. Ultimately she also signed on as director.

After our conversations about the play–and inspired by her passion for it–I tinkered further, including adding the subtitle and its counterpart dialogue in the play itself. We brainstormed talent for it, she held auditions, and pulled together a terrific cast. She graciously allowed me in to rehearsals where I tend to keep quiet. A play may belong to a playwright but I believe a production belongs to the director, designers, and actors. As long as they stay within the parameters of my intent for the piece, I want them to have license to explore and create. I gave them the blueprints. They build the building.

I’m looking forward to seeing the play come to life this opening weekend. Bobby and Barb and Eddy and Bev have waiting quite a while to get on their feet. It’s been fun watching them grow (even when they aren’t growing).

And, no, I can’t really say if it’s a comedy or a drama. One doesn’t really know until there’s an audience.

I do know that it runs Jan. 13-22 as does Andrew Black’s new play, “Puppet Man.”

I hope you get to see either or both.

I am a lucky man.






Films, Indy arts, and games in review for 2016

As 2016 winds down, here are some wrap up pieces:

Favorite Indy-area arts of 2016. 

Favorite films of 2016. 

Most played games of 2016:

(They didn’t all come out in 2016, but rather than a best of the year list, here are the games that found their way to the table most often in this year)

1 Trains (AEG)– a new addition but having a lot of fun with this one. Already converted a few people to it (And on sale at Half-Price Books)

2. Royals (Dice Tower Essentials)–My most-played find from Gen Con.

3. Costa Rica (Mayfair)–Great easy set-up game and easy concept to grasp. Fun and just vicious enough.

4. Fuse (Renegade)–The heart-pounder of the year, introduced to me by Kevin Cole

5. Libertalia (Marabunta)–Another Kevin Cole introduction. I bit of a set up required and frustrating for some but still digging it.

6. Splendor (Space Cowboys)–Clay Mabbitt hooked Jonah and me on this one. Kind of multi-player solitaire-ish–I usually prefer more interaction–but happy whenever it hits the table.

7. Colt Express (Ludonaute)–I get enormous pleasure from this train robbery game and love seeing how the actions play out in unexpected ways.

8. Fight for Olympus (Mayfair)–The best two-player game I’ve found this year.

9. Spike (R&R)–Jonah is big on train games and this is a really good one. 20th Century Limited is another. We always pull one of these out rather than Ticket to Ride (which is still a good game).

10. Ninja Camp (Action Phase)–A quick card game from a local Indy game creator.

Some of them are included in my annual Best Games of Gen Con story.