Area entertainment venues with full hours this year

Eloise Marie Valadez, 219-933-3365

The local theater and concert scenes have grown steadily over the past two years since the pandemic began.

In 2022, theaters and concert halls started to open and began to populate their seasons with various entertainments. Now that 2023 is underway, staff at entertainment venues have announced their new seasons of deals and the forecast is looking good.

The entertainment mix features an assortment of shows including plays and concerts, comedy shows, festivals and more.

“The next few months are shaping up to be quite busy and productive for us,” West Side Theater Guild (WSTG) director Mark Spencer told Gary.

He said he looks forward to the offers they will bring to members of the public.

“There’s a lot going on in April,” Spencer said, adding that a production of “Annie Jr.”, which will run April 25-29, will feature West Side students. The Guild’s general production schedule restarts in April and will coincide with the relocation of the refurbished theater seats that will be installed in the venue.

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Spencer said a Clark Sisters concert is scheduled for April 8 and the debut of a new movie, featuring some of the West Side students, called “Say Less, The Rise of EOS”, will debut April 29.

At the end of April, Spencer said, they will announce an exciting fall schedule.

“We’re trying to do our part to keep the arts alive,” Spencer said.

At the Theater at the Center in Munster, the venue has slowly and carefully rolled out new offerings such as comedy nights, concerts and special events. In 2022, all of the theater’s programming took place in the Center Ballroom and featured movie nights and comedy shows as well as holiday offerings.

According to Philip Potempa, director of marketing at Theater at the Center, recent concerts, such as The Neverly Brothers and The Valentine’s Brass Concert featuring members of the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra, have gone very well.

“Audience members can visit the theater’s website to see the schedule of upcoming events as they are added,” Potempa said. Visit theatreatthecenter.com.

Tyrus Joseforsky, CEO of Flight Levelz Entertainment, which offers a variety of shows and concerts in the region, said the outlook was positive for entertainment offerings planned for this year.

“We’re hosting shows in four venues and in three different markets,” Joseforsky said. Venues include Hobart Art Theatre, The Brickie Bowl, Central Park Plaza and, new this year, Bulldog Park.

Joseforsky said that due to inflation these days people are “picky” about how they spend their money. So, as an entertainment provider, Joseforsky said they need to be “accurate” about the shows they feature and want to make sure they’re offering great selections.

“We want to air high-quality shows,” Joseforsky said.

The Maddie and Tae show, scheduled for March 30 at the Hobart Art Theater, is already sold out, Joseforsky said. He added that they would bring the Hometown Jams music festival back to the area. It will take place on June 2 with Dustin Lynch and June 3 with Brantley Gilbert.

“Our motto is that we bring big city entertainment to your backyard without the hassle,” Joseforsky said. For more on what’s on Flight Levelz Entertainment’s agenda, visit hometownjams.com.

An assortment of other entertainment offerings, including big-name artists, will be featured by various venues across the region in the coming months.

Hard Rock Live at Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana is making waves with a few recent gig announcements including Pitbull on April 1, Smokey Robinson on April 28, Diana Ross on May 5, The Killers on May 11, and Wayne Newton and Tony Orlando, May 13.

At the Towle Theater in Hammond, the entertainment slate includes “Women in Jeopardy,” May 5-7 and May 12-14; “Murder Ballad,” July 7-9 and July 14-16; and “Sidekicked,” September 8-10 and September 15-17.

Upcoming shows at the Venue at Horseshoe Casino in Hammond include Legends of Hip Hop with Scarface, Doug E. Fresh, Slick Rick and EPMD on March 17; The 17th Annual Chi-Town Blues Festival, April 8; and Dane Cook Presents: The Perfectly Shattered Tour, April 22.

On the stage of the Memorial Opera House in Valparaiso, spectators will find “Lucky Stiff”, from March 2 to 19; Elton Jeff & The Honky Cats, March 25; Echoes of Pompeii, April 1; The Cash Box Kings & Lil’ Ed & The Imperials, April 15; “Nunsense”, May 4-21; Atlantic City Boys, June 24; and more. Visit memorialoperahouse.com.

Audience members who enjoy the sounds of the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra also have performances to look forward to in the months ahead. Concerts include a Mariachi show on May 4 and 5 and Movie Magic on June 8 and 9. Visit nisoorchestra.org.

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