Theatre at the Center on Ridge Road in Munster is our shining jewel for regional professional theater.
Not only valued by audiences, it's equally a treasure in Northwest Indiana for the many rising talents of our vibrant circle of area community theaters which assist with fostering the future faces of tomorrow's performers.
On Wednesday, Oct. 23, it's the Sixth Annual Friends of Theatre Fall Fantasy Luncheon, held in the ballroom of the Center for Visual and Performing Arts, 1040 Ridge Road in Munster.
I was happy and honored to be asked to be the guest speaker for this event in 2010 for their third annual gathering, when I did an after-dinner talk saluting Chicago's own theater and gossip columnist claim-to-fame Irv "Kup" Kupcinet.
This year's charity event features a fantastic performance by entertainer Ron Hawking, star of his noted one-man show "His Way: A Tribute to Frank Sinatra."
As for the details, the plated luncheon benefits our very own Theatre at the Center, a favorite stage celebrating its 23rd anniversary this year. On Wednesday, the doors will open at 10:30 a.m. for boutique shopping prior to the noon meal and Hawking's performance. Tickets are still just $40 (same price as in 2010!) and reservations are required by 5 p.m. this Monday, Oct. 21. Call the box office for tickets at (219) 836-3255 or contact Charlie Misovye at (219) 836-3258 for details about tickets.
Charlie has been very busy the past two months, heading Theatre at the Center's ever-growing "Theatre for Young Audiences" program, which just launched the new season Oct. 11 with a great run of "Pinocchio."
Up next, the holiday's warm-up with "The Velveteen Rabbit," with public performances Dec. 7 and 14 and plenty of opportunities for school and classroom field trip performances starting Dec. 2. To add to the holiday excitement, Mister Donut on Calumet Avenue in Munster is offering attending groups the chance to enter "The Velveteen Rabbit Coloring Contest" to win coupons for free dozens of donuts.
In January, the new year is welcomed with a stage production of "The MLK Project: The Fight for Civil Rights," produced by Writers' Theatre and starting performances Jan. 27, 2014. Peoples Bank is offering a great opportunity during this run with a related essay contest open for schools attending the play, which is ideal for grades Fourth through 12th grades. Winning essay writers will be awarded $25, $50 and $100 Youth Savings Accounts at Peoples Bank.
The season finishes showcasing "Aladdin," with Gayety's Chocolates offering a contest for attending young audiences to win ice cream and chocolates. Performances begin April 9, 2014.
For pricing and details of all the youth performances, contact Charlie Misovye at (219) 836-3258 or visit theatreatthecenter.com.