The Towle Theater, Hammond, presents “Hypnosis,” a mesmerizing comedic thriller written by David Tristram and directed by Indiana University Northwest theatre professor Mark Baer, Sept. 8 through 24. The Great Gordo, an alcoholic stage hypnotist in the twilight of his career, randomly chooses Alan Briggs, a mild-mannered policeman, as his next stooge. Briggs is a good sport, the audience laughs, and everyone goes home. For Gordo, it's just the end of another show (and time for a drink or three before bed), but someone out there has other ideas. Mind games begin, the stakes are raised, and we sense that there can only be one winner — but who? 219/937-8780 or www.towletheater.org
Gary Poetry Project
Calumet Artist Residency started the Gary Poetry Project with the goal of creating a collaborative, citywide poem as the culmination of a yearlong celebration of poetry in Gary. The group will be conducting pop-up poetry workshops in schools and at community events, where workshop leaders will ask students to reflect on their environment in the creation of their own poems with one line from each to be included in a community poem. Students will be given a zine or booklet of poems by Gary poets as a way to connect them with Gary’s rich cultural history. Organizers hope to collect more than 1,000 lines of poetry! To submit your poem, go to www.calumetresidency.com.
South Shore Orchestra presents internationally renowned Spanish guitarist Isabel Martinez at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 8 at Memorial Opera House. Conductor Troy Webdell has designed an evening that will transport the audience through Isabel’s music when she performs the American premiere of Anton Garcia Abril’s “Concierto Mudejar.” The program also includes a tango by Astor Piazzolla, “Ancient Airs and Dances Suite III” by Ottorino Respighi and music from the ever-popular “Man of La Mancha.” Enjoy a solo guitar recital of enchanting Spanish music performed by Martinez at Don Quijote Restaurant on Sept. 7. Seating begins at 5:30 p.m. with music at 7 p.m. www.memorialoperahouse.com or 219-548-9137.
Mr. Blotto & the Planetary Blues Band
Taltree Arboretum continues its Acorn Concert Series on Sept. 2, with a family-friendly performance by Mr. Blotto, a jam band that blends rock, folk, and country. A returning favorite of Taltree’s stage, Mr. Blotto draws inspiration from artists such as the Grateful Dead, Bob Marley and Bob Dylan. Opening the show is the Planetary Blues Band. Also available are local food vendors, craft beer and a variety of wines. Bring your lawn chair and settle in! 219/462-0025 or www.taltree.org