Morris presents ‘The Nutcracker’
The Morris Performing Arts Center welcomes for three full performances of “The Nutcracker” from Dec. 13 through 15. Southold presents the beloved ballet with a local twist: the action is set in the historic Studebaker family home, and the backdrops feature several South Bend landmarks. The scene shifts to the East Coast on Jan. 12 for “Jersey Boys,” the documentary-style jukebox musical based on the lives and music of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons. A major ballet event comes to the Morris on Jan. 17 with the National Ballet Theatre of Odessa's presentation of “Romeo and Juliet.” A team of 55 dancers from Ukraine will dance to choreography by Michael Lavrovsky and the incomparable musical score of Sergei Prokofiev. (574) 235-9190 or .
Live theater at The Acorn
Just over the Michigan border in Three Oaks, The Acorn welcomes the Twin City Players for a presentation of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” on Dec. 8. Jillian Speece and Nathaniel Hoff met when they were teenagers at Marian High School in Mishawaka. Their pop-rock duo, The Bergamot, is a band on the rise, even scoring a recent feature in People magazine. The Bergamot shot the video for the title track to their latest album, “Mayflies,” at the venue. The Bergamot returns for a concert Dec.13. On Dec. 20, Classical Blast offers a mash-up of classical music, holiday favorites, vintage rock, heavy metal and folk in “Dark Side of the Yule.” Bass-baritone Robert Swan always brings along actual roasted chestnuts to sweeten the deal for his Harbor Country Opera presentations of “Christmas at the Acorn,” a blend of seasonal tunes and operatic belting Dec. 21. A trio of tribute bands is next on the docket. Heartache Tonight salutes The Eagles on Dec. 28; the Brooklyn Charmers cover Steely Dan songs on Jan. 11; and Marrakesh Express appears Jan. 18 with its tribute to Crosby, Stills, Nash and sometimes Young. (269) 756-3879 or .
Symphony ushers in the holidays
The South Bend Symphony Orchestra is showing off its diversity this winter. The SBSO will be in pops mode for the annual Home for the Holidays concerts Dec. 21 and 22 at the Morris Performing Arts Center. The venue switches to the University of Notre Dame's DeBartolo Performing Arts Center for a program called “Vienna's Riches” on Jan. 12. It's the latest installment in the “Alastair Presents” series, the brainchild of the SBSO's new conductor and musical director, Alastair Willis. In between the musical selections, Willis and area actors perform light-hearted but informative theatrical skits, written by Willis, that explore the lives and contributions of the great composers. “Vienna's Riches” focuses on Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms. The SBSO returns Jan. 19 to the Morris for another annual tradition, the MLK Day Celebration Concert. (574) 232-6343 or.
Literature in the spotlight
Three exhibitions at the South Bend Museum of Art are all thematically linked. features 29 artists' contributions to the world of science-fiction literature over an 80-year span. Just as the stories imagined new worlds, the artists brought the fantastic imagery to life on book and comic-book covers. The show includes classic pulp magazines such as “Weird Tales,” and paper- and hard-cover books from novelists, including Robert E. Howard and Robert Heinlein. Sci-fi art bursts into contemporary life in another show, called The third exhibit, is practically a work of science fiction itself. Using unusual materials and narrative techniques, the show dreams of a fantasy world “beyond the known.” “The Korshak Collection” closes Dec. 29; “Worldbuilders” and “Beyond” both close Jan. 5. (574) 235-9102 or .