Upcoming events in Northwest Indiana and Greater South Bend.
by John Cain
Theatre at the Center kicks off the 2016 season with Alfred Hitchcock’s “The 39 Steps,” February 18-March 20. Adapted from the 1935 film and 1915 novel by John Buchan, this thrilling comedy has been a hit on Broadway and the West End. The story follows Englishman Richard Hannay, who inadvertently embarks on a chaotic adventure full of narrow escapes after trying to help a female spy. When he wakes up to find her dead in his apartment, he flees from the police and a secret espionage organization, desperately trying to find the truth. www.theatreatthecenter.com.
The Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra invites you to kick off Valentine’s weekend with “Bing Bang Boom!” on February 12 at Bethel Church, Crown Point. This classical concert will get hearts pounding and passions swirling with the bombastic and beautiful musical fireworks of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture.” Award-winning pianist Wael Farouk joins the Symphony for Prokofiev’s unforgettable and daring Piano Concert No. 1. The passionate and emotional Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6, “Pathetique,” presents music as a reflection of life, full of love and longing, equal parts pensive and powerful. Pre-concert lecture at 6:15 p.m., concert at 7:30. www.nisorchestra.org.
Theatre Northwest at Indiana University Northwest presents “Failure: A Love Story” by Philip Dawkins with performances April 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16 at 7:30 p.m. and April 10 at 2:30 p.m. By the end of 1928, all three Fail sisters will be dead. Tuneful songs and a whimsical chorus follow the story of Nelly, Jenny June and Gerty as they live out their lives above the family clock repair shop near the Chicago River before their time unexpectedly runs out. Theatre Northwest on Grant, 3660 Grant Street, Gary. www.iun.edu/performing-arts.
Greater South Bend
by Jack Walton
There are lots of events coming this season at Indiana University South Bend’s Raclin School of the Arts. Highlights include a children’s theater presentation, “The Legend of John Henry,” on February 13, and the annual Black History Month concert “Lift Ev’ry Voice,” on February 27. IUSB’s contemporary music collective, Ensemble CONCEPT/21, performs two concerts: February 19 and April 17. Visit iusb.edu/arts for more details.
Latin jazz comes to the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center on February 13, with a concert by the Arturo O’Farrill Octet. The Tallis Scholars perform Renaissance choral music at the DPAC on April 3, and three visually striking performances by the dance company Diavolo take over from April 28-30. See the full schedule at performingarts.nd.edu.
R&B superstar Musiq Soulchild headlines at the Morris Performing Arts Center in South Bend for a Valentine’s Day concert on February 14. From April 26 to May 1, the Morris hosts the touring version of the smash hit Broadway musical “The Book of Mormon.” Have a look at the venue’s full schedule at morriscenter.org.
Not many fish are biting, but the beer is (very) cold for “Guys on Ice,” the musical running March 4-19 at Elkhart Civic Theatre. The show is based around a couple of friends talking–and singing–about life and love as they brave the elements on an ice-fishing expedition set on a frozen lake. Learn more at elkhartcivictheatre.org.
Merrimans’ Playhouse has become the go-to venue for jazz events in South Bend. Upcoming concerts include the Sam Blakeslee Quintet on February 19, the Michael Eaton Quartet on March 25 and pianist Rob Clearfield on April 6. Every Monday, the venue features an open jam session hosted by proprietors Stephen and Mary Merriman. See what else is cooking by visiting merrimansplayhouse.com.
Beloved maestro Tsung Yeh is in his final year as conductor of the South Bend Symphony Orchestra, so every concert is extra special this season. Respighi’s “Pines of Rome” is the centerpiece of the SBSO’s concert February 6, and modernism is the tone for the March 6 event “20th Century Masters.” On April 16, the SBSO plays three works inspired by Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” in settings by Tchaikovsky, Gounod and Prokofiev. The orchestra’s website is southbendsymphony.com.