by John Cain
A busy fall arts season culminates with holiday traditions. Upcoming arts events in Northwest Indiana include the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority presentation of “A Christmas Story,” November 7-January 3. This exhibit of six animatronic window displays from Macy's in New York features classic scenes from the iconic movie based on the writings of Jean Shepard about his experiences growing up in “the Region.” Shepard was also the voice of the older Ralphie, the narrator of the movie. What are the most memorable scenes from this holiday favorite for you? The pink bunny suit, the “evil” elves at the department store, or Christmas dinner at the Chinese restaurant? Drop by the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond to enjoy other activities during the exhibit, including the “Mommy's Little Piggy Mashed Potato Eating” contest, the “Oh Fuuudge” relay race and photos taken atop Santa's Mountain with a slide–just like the movie!
To wrap up the year, Memorial Opera House in Valparaiso will offer a spectacular adaptation of “A Christmas Carol, The Musical,” based on Charles Dickens' best-known story, November 27-December 5. The story of Ebenezer Scrooge and his ghostly encounters will come to life in this lavish and thrilling musical. More info at www.mohlive.com.
Providing an intriguing twist on the “Christmas Carol” tradition, Beatniks on Conkey presents “The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge,” December 11-20. A year after his miraculous transformation, Ebenezer Scrooge is back to his miserly old ways and is suing Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future for breaking and entering, kidnapping, slander, pain and suffering, along with attempted murder and the intentional infliction of emotional distress. One by one, Bob Cratchit, Scrooge's nephew, Fred, and the ghosts all take the witness stand to give their account of the night in question. Learn more at www.beatniksonconkey.com.
Check the South Shore Arts Regional Arts Calendar at www.SouthShoreArtsOnline.org, and find out more on Lakeshore Public Television's “Eye on the Arts,” every Friday evening at 7 p.m. on Lakeshore Report.
Greater South Bend
by Jack Walton
Holiday shows are taking over the Morris Performing Arts Center in South Bend this season. Sandy Hackett's “Rat Pack Christmas” gets things started on December 3. Then it's time for annual traditions from Southold Dance Theater and the South Bend Symphony Orchestra. Southold's “Nutcracker” runs December 12-13 and the SBSO's “Home for the Holidays” concerts happen December 19-20. Find out more at morriscenter.org.
Songs from Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals comprise the program “A Grand Night for Singing,” running December 1-5 at Indiana University South Bend. The IUSB Theatre and Dance Company will do numbers from “Oklahoma,” “South Pacific” and others. Learn more at iusb.edu/arts.
Billie Holiday fans will be flocking to South Bend Civic Theatre November 6-22 for Lanie Robertson's show, “Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill.” The poignant piece depicts a sickly Lady Day trying to keep herself together at a 1959 club engagement, despite being just a few months away from her death. “A Christmas Carol” takes over after that, running December 4-20. Go to sbct.org for tickets and more information.
Costumed jugglers, actors, musicians and singers make the Madrigal Dinners at Saint Mary's College December 4-6 a refreshing break from the usual holiday entertainments. The Madrigal Dinners are a charming simulation of a medieval British feast, with musical performances, jugglers performing tricks and a group of actors presenting a brief theatrical farce in installments throughout the meal.
The DeBartolo Performing Arts Center at the University of Notre Dame offers music, theater and dance in equal portions. On November 7, jazz pianist Billy Childs presents “Map to Treasure,” a jazz salute to singer-songwriter Laura Nyro. From November 18-22, the DPAC features “Little Shop of Horrors,” presented by Notre Dame's Department of Film, Television and Theatre. Camille A. Brown and her Dancers come to campus January 21-23 to present programs, including “Black Girl: Linguistic Play,” an exploration of African-American female identity, as well as the New Orleans-themed “New Second Line.”