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John Cain

John Cain

From the reverent to the ridiculous, enjoy a vivid, engaging and eclectic Christmas musical experience with the Bittersweet Christmas Band at Valparaiso’s Front Porch Music on Dec. 15. The program will feature four traditional artists who branch out into every possible perspective on the Christmas season with two- to four-part harmonies and masterful instrumentation on guitar, banjo, mountain dulcimer, hand drum and other percussion instruments. 219/464-4700 or www.frontporchmusic.com

Rockin’ for Our Region’s Animals

Come out for this benefit concert on Dec. 16 at Memorial Opera House in Valparaiso to be entertained by Kenny James. He is an award-winning entertainer originally from Hammond who tours nationally as Buddy Holly and whose accolades include the No. 1 Buddy Holly Tribute Artist Award in Las Vegas. Kenny will be joined by the band Rave On and special guest Tim Dudley as Elvis. Proceeds benefit the Humane Society of Northwest Indiana. 219/548-9137 or www.memorialoperahouse.com

'The Nutcracker' to entertain

Indiana Ballet Theatre presents its final performances of this holiday classic at the Star Plaza Theatre, Dec. 13 and 14. Originally choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov with a score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky “The Nutcracker” was given its premiere at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg on Dec. 18, 1892. 219/755-4444 or www.ibtnw.org.

A Charlie Brown Christmas & Best Christmas Pageant Ever

The LaPorte Little Theatre Club offers two one-act plays for the holidays through Dec. 17. “A Charlie Brown Christmas” finds our hero depressed by the onset of the season. Lucy suggests he direct a Christmas play, but his best efforts are mocked by his peers. After Linus tells Charlie Brown about “the true meaning of Christmas,” Charlie cheers up, and the Peanuts gang unites in celebration. “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” is based on a 1971 book by Barbara Robinson in which six delinquent children who engage in misfit behaviors far beyond their years (smoking, swearing, drinking and shoplifting), go to church for the first time and take roles in the holiday pageant, telling the Christmas story in a very nonconventional fashion. 219/362-5113 or www.laportelittletheatreclub.com

Winnie the Pooh

A very special friend-and-relation tells Christopher Robin a story of a Christmas Eve very long ago when Eeyore, the old gray donkey who lives alone in the thistle corner of Hundred-Acre Wood, was absolutely miserable. It seems that he lost his tail and Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet got together all of their friends, and a search was organized. There are delightful songs, lots of adventure and a theme that concerns caring, sharing and the importance of cultivating friends. Presented by the Alliance Children's Theatre of Indiana and Canterbury Winter Arts. At Michigan City’s Canterbury Theatre, Dec. 16 and 17. 219/874-4269 or www.festivalplayersguild.org

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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