John Cain

John Cain

There’s always something afoot at Paul Henry’s Art Gallery in downtown Hammond. Join the regulars at 7 p.m. on Thursdays for JAM Night. A $5 cover gets you in the door and $2 off if you play or bring a contribution to the potluck table. At 2 p.m Saturday, it’s the 6th annual Spoo Willoughby Hoedown and Corn Boil with guest artist Dennis Leise. Lots of original music from these seasoned singer/songwriters who have brought highly acclaimed entertainment to audiences in a wide swath of unique locations, some widely known, some highly classified. They will have sacks of fresh sweet corn, a boiling cauldron of water, blocks of butter and canisters of salt to go along with the most memorable concert you will enjoy this or any year. $9 cover includes AYCE corn! The antique hardware displays at Paul Henry’s are not to be missed! 219/678-5015 or www.paulhenrysartgallery.com

The Animal Instinct: An Opera Feast for the Senses

Calling all animal enthusiasts! Whether you're a bird watcher, a pet owner, or an intrepid safari-goer, you can celebrate your favorite animal with song, visual art and culinary delights when Opera Up Close presents an exploration of all things animal. Rossini’s “Cat Duet,” Copland’s “Little Horses,” Chausson’s “Hummingbird” and many others are all on the menu. From the vantage point of your on-stage table, you'll look out into the theater as your delicious journey unfolds. Tickets include a glass of wine and a sampling of vegetarian treats. At 4 p.m. today at Governors State University. 708/235-2222 or www.centertickets.net.

Tomfoolery at the Historic Hoosier Theatre

The opulent Hoosier Theatre movie palace in downtown Whiting started hosting live acts, including vaudeville, The Three Stooges, and W.C. Fields, in 1924. “When you step into the Hoosier Theatre it’s like stepping back in time,” says comedian Tom Byelik, who will bring his Tomfoolery Fun Club to the theater at 8 p.m. Saturday. A mix of music and comedy, Byelik promises that it will all be clean, creative comedy, nothing offensive, and appropriate for all ages. The show will feature many Tomfoolery regulars, and Byelik hopes to start performing there on a frequent basis. 219/595-9372 or www.tomfooleryfunclub.com.

Wordfest

This fall, the Valparaiso University English Department is bringing back Wordfest, billed perhaps "wordily" as "an annual reading, lecture and discussion series presented by practicing writers of poetry, drama, fiction and nonfiction prose to help stimulate and inspire students in their own creative journeys." This season’s guests include University of Southern California professor Mark Irwin, American Book Award laureate Walter Wangerin Jr., and Spencer Reece, a longlist nominee for the National Book Award. All the readings are free. Call 219/464-6270 or visit www.valpo.edu/vuca for more information.

John Cain is the executive director of South Shore Arts and the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra. He can be reached at (219) 836-1839, ext. 102. The opinions are the writer’s.

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