An update on art and entertainment options across the region
The University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center (DPAC) offers a variety of music, theater and dance programs throughout the academic year. There is also a deluxe movie theater in the DPAC’s upper level, offering a film series in HD. Musical highlights include a performance by the DPAC’s ensemble-in-residence, the Grammy-winning percussion quartet Third Coast Percussion, on December 1. The South Bend Symphony Orchestra pays the venue a visit on January 7, presenting a concert from its chamber series, “The World of Handel,” which will feature Handel’s celebrated “Music for the Royal Fireworks,” among other selections. Check out the full roster of the DPAC’s entertainment offerings at www.performingarts.nd.edu.
Merrimans’ Playhouse, located at 1211 Mishawaka Avenue in South Bend, continues to bring elite jazz talent to the area. Chicago-based acts frequently pop in for a one-nighter, and the club has become increasingly appealing to touring acts as well, often serving as a convenient stop for jazz stars between dates in bigger cities like Chicago and Detroit. The Scott Routenberg Trio plays on December 9. Routenberg is a rising star both as a composer and as a pianist. Merrimans’ Playhouse also hosts an open-jam session every Tuesday night. Find out more at www.merrimansplayhouse.com.
The funny papers are getting the high-art treatment in two current exhibitions at the South Bend Museum of Art, both running through December 31. Bill Kartalopoulos, editor of the best-selling series of anthologies called “The Best American Comics,” curates an exhibit of current cartoons, called “The Best American Comics Selections: 2014-2017.” The glory days of comic strips are represented in a separate exhibit, called “The Funnies: Vintage Comics 1940’s-1960’s.” The show celebrates beloved daily and Sunday strips from classic titles including “Peanuts,” “Mandrake the Magician” and “Beetle Bailey.” For further information, visit www.southbendart.org.
The Lerner Theatre, at 410 S. Main Street in Elkhart, is downtown Elkhart’s top-draw for concerts and other theatrical presentations. Comedian Brian Regan visits on November 30. Area theater troupe Premier Arts presents its version of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” for three performances, from December 8-10. Boy-band heart throbs 98 Degrees comes to the Lerner for a holiday show on December 13. On December 16, the Elkhart County Symphony will play its annual “Ring in the Holiday” concert. See what else is happening at the Lerner at its website, www.thelerner.com.