Wednesday November 21 3:42 am

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

THEATRE AT THE CENTER ANNOUNCES 2019 SPECIAL EVENTS LINEUP

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“As a result of the positive response received from Theatre at the Center audiences to our lineup in 2018, we’ve expanded our stage entertainment offerings in 2019 for audience of all ages,” said Richard Friedman, general manager at Theatre at the Center.

“Our variety of special events not only welcomes our returning audiences but is also our opportunity to invite new patrons to Theatre at the Center. In everything we do, we strive to offer captivating performers, in an intimate setting, at an affordable price.”

Ralph’s World (11 a.m. January 5) kicks off the 2019 Special Events Season. It’s the mega-fun musical planet where kids rock and dance to their own and their parents’ delight. It’s the creation of Ralph Covert: Indie rocker, songwriter, playwright, and children’s book author. His “McCartneyesque” style has won him hundreds of thousands of “3-ft-and-under” fans and their parents.

Tickets: Adults $20; Students $10.

Echoes of Pompeii (7:30 p.m. January 12) returns by popular demand. This sensory spectacle leaves audiences speechless as music and lighting become one. According to fans, Echoes of Pompeii is described as “the best non-touring Floyd Tribute you will ever hear.” Based in Gary, Indiana, this 10-piece band covers nearly 50 years of Pink Floyd music.

Tickets: Adults $30; Subscribers $28; Note: The “2-show package” for a $25 ticket price (when you purchase a ticket to this event and also Kashmir for 2 shows for $50).

Munster’s Got Talent (7:30 January 16) *Munster Marching Band Fundraiser* This Munster community event benefits the Munster High School Marching Mustangs and their quest for new uniforms and instruments! Join in for a night of true talent as Munster Schools students take center stage in the spotlight showcasing a variety of talents to compete to be crowned this year’s champion.

Tickets: VIP $30 (Row A Seating); Adults $20; Students ages 3 to 18 - $15

Kashmir (7:30 p.m. January 19) brings only the best of Led Zeppelin to their fans. The group recreates the experience of a Zeppelin show utilizing authentic vintage stage gear, costumes, and special effects with great attention to detail. Kashmir concerts are a true sensory experience with a sophisticated laser light show, similar to those of the Led Zeppelin era.

Tickets: Adults $30; Subscribers 28; Note: “2-show package” for a $25 ticket price (when you purchase a ticket to this event and also Echoes of Pompeii for 2 shows for $50)

Love Letters starring Phil Potempa and Crista Zivanovic (2:30 p.m. February 3) Join Post-Tribune Columnist Phil Potempa, paired with NWI Times Features Editor Crista Zivanovic, for this one afternoon only charity performance to raise money for Theatre at the Center. Love Letters by A.R. Gurney is a touching, funny and tragic all in the same stage story comprised of letters exchanged over a lifetime between two intertwined lives with a shared history and trusted confidences as they look to their futures.

Tickets: Adults $25; Subscribers $20 with Champagne Sunday Brunch available for $24 plus tax.

Creole Stomp: MARDI GRAS! (7 p.m. March 5) Creole Stomp has captured the ears and the feet of Louisiana music fans across North America, including a roof-raising debut performance at Theatre at the Center in 2018. Led by French-speaking Creole fiddler and accordionist Dennis Stroughmatt, Creole Stomp returns in 2019 for one exclusive performance on Mardi Gras Fat Tuesday.

Tickets: Adults $30; Subscribers $25; Students $15; VIP $85 (includes show, dinner, drink ticket and t-shirt)

Switchback (7 p.m. March 10) Back by popular demand, celebrate St. Patrick’s Day early with internationally renowned Switchback with the musical partnership of Brian FitzGerald and Martin McCormack. Their amazing blend of American roots and Celtic soul leaves everyone feeling the luck of the Irish with the added excitement of talented Irish step dancers for the stage celebration.

Dinner Tickets: Traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner $21 plus tax. Cash Bar Available. Switchback Tickets: Adults $30; Subscribers $25; Students $15. Group rates: Call 219-836-3258.

The Berenstain Bears Live! (10:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., & 2:00 p.m. March 30) Stan and Jan Berenstain originally published The Berenstain Bears in 1974 and have gone on to publish more than 300 books, create three animated television series, an upcoming feature-length movie, and now a brand new musical! The Berenstain Bears Live, the Musical is an adaptation of three of The Berenstain Bears books.

Tickets: Adults $20; Students $10.

Lean on Me: The Brotherhood of Rock and Roll, (3:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. April 6) starring Michael Ingersoll and Christopher Kale Jones, is part of the Artists Lounge Live Series. The former “Jersey Boys” Ingersoll and Jones from the popular group Under the Streetlamp team up for a nostalgic musical stage journey highlighting all of the song favorites from the 1950s and 1960s.

Tickets: Adults $45; Subscribers $40; Artists Lounge 4-Show Package also available - $135.00 includes: Lean On Me: The Brotherhood of Rock and Roll – April 6; Aretha Franklin: Queen of Soul – June 15; Karen Carpenter: We’ve Only Just Begun – August 24; Elvis: My Way – October 26. Group rates available - Call 219-836-3258.

Purdue Varsity Glee Club (2:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. May 7) has become an annual favorite of TATC audiences with this dynamic musical troupe and a versatile repertoire that includes gospel, vocal jazz, swing, contemporary hits, romantic ballads, classical choral selections, barbershop, folk melodies, patriotic standards, familiar opera choruses and novelty tunes. It’s a delightful event is filled with pitch perfect harmonies and warm renditions of your favorite songs.

Tickets: $40; Lunch $21 plus tax; Dinner $30 plus tax; Group rates – 219-836-3258.

Switchback Americana (6:00 p.m. June 9) is an amalgam of roots music formed by varied traditions as presented by duo Brian FitzGerald and Martin McCormack with songs about dryland farming, twisters and the flooding along the Mississippi are interspersed with tunes about lonely truckers, working families, soldiers and even a late night romance in the hay barn. FitzGerald and McCormack play mandolin, acoustic guitar and bass along with their incredibly smooth blending of voices.

Tickets: Adults $20; Subscribers $15; Students $10; Dinner – 4:30 p.m. - $20 plus tax/12 & under $12 plus tax.

Aretha Franklin: Queen of Soul (3:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. June 15) starring the Chicago’s “Dreamgirl” Donica Lynn in an awe-inspiring homage to the legendary Aretha Franklin. Lynn earned critical acclaim, as well as a Chicago Jeff Award, for her heart-wrenching performance in Dreamgirls. Chicago Tribune named her among Chicagoans of the Year, citing “Lynn has stepped up to Chicago stardom.”

Tickets: Adults $45; Subscribers $40; Students $20; Artists Lounge Live 4-Show Package is available - $135.00. It includes: Lean on Me: The Brotherhood of Rock and Roll – April 6; Aretha Franklin : Queen of Soul -June 15; Karen Carpenter: We’ve Only Just Begun - August 24; & Elvis: My Way – October 26.

Master Magician Dennis Watkins (June 23 at 2:30 p.m.) dazzles audiences of all ages with his tricks that leave audiences wanting more. Watkins, an award-winning and third generation magician, works around the globe to bring magic to the masses. Time Out magazine reveres him as “Astonishing.”

Tickets: Adults $30; Subscribers $25; Students $15. Group rates available – Call 219-836-3258.

We’ve Only Just Begun: Heidi Kettenring sings Karen Carpenter (3:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Aug. 24) Chicago’s favorite leading lady from Broadway’s Wicked honors the legendary Karen Carpenter lending her signature warmth to beloved Carpenter classics. Songs include Close to You, Superstar and many more.

Tickets: Adults $45; Subscribers $40; Students $20; Artists Lounge Live 4-Show Package is $135.00. It includes Lean on Me: The Brotherhood of Rock and Roll – April 6; Aretha Fankling: Queen of Soul – June 15; Karen Carpenter: We’ve Only Just Begun – August 24; & Elvis: My Way – October 26.

Elvis: My Way (3:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. October 26) starring the electrifying Brandon Bennett (who played Elvis in Chicago in Million Dollar Quartet) delivers a spine-tingling Elvis tribute that is fresh, powerful, and right on time. With his pure-bred southern charm, powerful voice, and scandalous moves, Bennett was named the “Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist” by Elvis Presley Enterprises at Graceland.

Tickets: Adults $45; Subscribers $40; Students $20; Artists Lounge Live 4-Show Package is $135.00. It includes Lean on Me: The Brotherhood of Rock and Roll – April 6; Aretha Franklin: Queen of Soul – June 15; Karen Carpenter: We’ve Only Just Begun – August 24; & Elvis: My Way – October 26.

From the Farm with Phil Potempa HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR (2:30 p.m. October 27) Join Columnist and Published Cookbook Author Phil Potempa for a frighteningly fantastic feast of fun and surprises as he recreates on stage the charm and traditions of the family farm kitchen he writes about each week in his popular “From the Farm” newspaper column. Phil, joined by family members and the special guests readers have come to know from his writing, prepare seven courses of favorite recipes, with time to spare for prizes and giveaways, all in a 2-hour whirlwind of entertaining and appetizing down home hospitality.

Tickets: Adults $30; Subscribers $25; Add the Sunday Champagne Brunch for $24.

Season’s Greetings featuring The Four C Notes (3 p.m. December 28) For the first time, The Four C Notes step on the TATC stage to perform Holiday Favorites! The Frankie Valli inspired group celebrated New Year’s Eve at TATC in 2017 and is ready to dazzle NWI audiences with their holiday show that features hits by Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, popular rock ‘n roll holiday hits, and more!

Tickets: Adults $40; Subscribers $35; Students $20.

Motown & More (6:00 p.m. & 10:00 p.m. December 31) Ring in 2020 with the sounds of Motown & More – brought to you by Sheryl Youngblood! Youngblood has been seen at TATC in The Signal and will be bringing even more Motown to NWI with her band for this special one night event. Take a trip down memory lane as the band performs your favorite Motown hits and other favorites throughout the evening to start 2020 with a bang! Tickets: Adults $45; Subscribers $40; Students $20 (6:00 p.m. performance only); Dinner Buffet Options Available for $30.00 plus tax in addition to ticket price. Cash Bar Available. Group rates available by calling 219-836-3258.

CVPA Comedy Night – 2019 Dates: Fridays - January 18, February 8, April 5, June 14, September 6 and October 25. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., Dinner Buffet from 7:00 p.m. – 8:00p.m.; Comedy Show starts at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $45 per person Dinner & Show; $27 per person Show Only. Purchase the entire Comedy Night Show Series only for $135 or $125 for Subscribers.

“Over the past five years we’ve been striving to increase our programming based on the wants and needs of our audience,” said TATC Special Events Coordinator Vita Ayala.

“We’ve been listening to suggestions ranging from the new and edgy to the traditional, tried-and- true, and we believe we’ve been able to provide a great mix of shows for audiences of various ages, backgrounds, and interests in 2019.”

To purchase individual tickets, call the Theatre at the Center Box Office at 219-836-3255 or www.Tickets.com at 800-511-1552. Group discounts are available for groups of 11 or more by calling 219-836-3258.

Founded in 1991, the 410 seat Theatre at the Center is a year-round professional theater at its home at The Center for Visual and Performing Arts, 1040 Ridge Road, Munster, Indiana. Theatre at the Center is the only professional theater company in Northwest Indiana, offering downtown caliber performances in an accessible venue with plenty of free parking. Theatre at the Center is located off I-80/94, just 35 minutes from downtown Chicago. www.theatreatthecenter.com