The Jonas Brothers singing trio, a favorite of young fans since their career launch on Disney Channel nearly a decade ago, have spent the past week making Northwest Indiana their home away from home.
Yep, if you drove by the Star Plaza Theatre in Merrillville recently and saw four huge semi trailers sitting in the back parking lot, along with cases of equipment at the loading dock, here's why:
The Jonas Brothers took over the Star Plaza Theatre for four days beginning this past Saturday to rehearse their show before hitting the road with their new summer concert tour.
The first concert is today at the FirstMerit Bank Pavilion In Chicago.
I'm told Star Plaza Theatre CEO and Talent Buyer Charlie Blum made the deal about six weeks ago with their production team.
"I literally gave them the keys to the place and told them to make themselves at home," Charlie told me, once the brothers were packed up and on their way.
"The Star Plaza stage crew did an outstanding job assisting with the extensive load-in, running of the rehearsals and the load-out."
He said it was the perfect situation for the Jonas Brothers and their crew, since they stayed in the adjoining Radisson Hotel, and with their own keys to the theater, they never had to venture outside.
"They could rehearse around the clock if inspired to do so," said Charlie, who mentioned Clint Black and Keisha Cole are just two of the many other artists who have utilized the Star Plaza Theatre to rehearse a show before embarking on a tour.
"I always want the artists to know that if an idea hits them in the middle of the night, they can just come on over to the theater, even in their pajamas. We told them we'll show you how to turn the lights on in the performance space, and we promised to keep it confidential until they loaded up and left town."
At 4 p.m. Tuesday at Star Plaza Theater, the Jonas Brothers did a special "run-through" concert for a select group of 70 invited fans.
This Jonas tour will only be hitting large outdoor concert facilities and arenas, including Klipsch Music Center in Indianapolis on Friday.
Today is a big day for Jonas news. A representative for the Jonas Brothers says Kevin Jonas and wife Danielle are expecting their first child. The two married in 2009 and are the stars of the E! reality series "Married to Jonas," which wrapped its second season in May.
Kevin, 25, is the eldest Jonas. The other Jonas Brothers are Nick, 20, and Joe, 23, and the three will release a new album later this year.
The last time I interviewed the Jonas Brothers was in Chicago, in August 2010 at House of Blues when the pop trio were in town to launch their three-continent "Live in Concert" summer tour, which kicked off at First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre in Tinley Park, Ill.
Middle brother Joe, who has a birthday on Aug. 15, likes acting and plays Will Moretti, son of actress Valerie Bertinelli's character on TV Land's series "Hot in Cleveland," which also stars Betty White.
The good-natured brothers told me they don't mind being compared to Hanson, their '90s predecessor brother band.
"The Hanson Brothers even came to one of our tours a few years ago to see us perform, which was cool," Kevin said.
As for similarities in style and music, the Jonas Brothers don't see any connection.
"They happen to also be brothers and they play music," Joe said.
"That's about it for the similarities."