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John Cain

John Cain

The Gary International Black Film Festival and Chicago's Black Cinema House come together in partnership for Stanley Nelson’s film, “Tell Them We Are Rising,”at ArtHouse: A Social Kitchen on Thursday, June 28, from 7-9 p.m. Experience a cinematic and culinary adventure as this powerful film is brought to the center stage at this monthly food and film series, where independent films are paired with complimentary tastings and refreshments created by emerging chefs.

This month’s film explores the founding of America’s black colleges and universities before the Civil War and how they remain one of our county’s most important untold stories. A haven for black intellectuals, artists and revolutionaries, these institutions have educated the architects of freedom movements and cultivated leaders in every field. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. Reserve your seat at www.arthousefoodandfilm.eventbrite.com.

Much Ado About Nothing

Chicago Street Theatre puts Shakespeare in the spotlight at its seventh annual celebration of art and community. The public is invited to attend a street fair for all ages featuring artisan vendors, community organizations, performances from theaters from throughout Northwest Indiana, and food served by some of the best food trucks and restaurants in the Region. The festivities take place on July 6 and 7 on Lafayette Street and in Central Park's Urschel Pavilion beginning at 6 p.m.

Then, experience Shakespeare under the stars with the Bard’s beloved comedy, “Much Ado About Nothing,” at Central Park Plaza's Porter Regional Amphitheater at dusk. This classic comedy is full of mistaken identity, physical humor, razor-sharp wordplay and robust hilarity. Or you can catch the air-conditioned version, July 12 through 15, at Chicago Street Theatre. 219/464-1636 orwww.chicagostreet.org

Noises Off

This 1982 play by English playwright Michael Frayn provides a glimpse into the world of theater based on an inspiration he had while watching one of his earlier plays from the wings. “It was funnier from behind than in front,” he thought. “I must one day write a farce from behind.” In “Noises Off,” the audience witnesses both the rehearsal process and what goes on behind the scenes once the curtain is raised. The play opens on the evening of the final dress rehearsal, where the hopelessly unprepared cast is baffled by entrances and exits, missed cues, missed lines, and bothersome props, including several plates of sardines.

Also at play are the dysfunctional relationships, romantic rivalries, lovers' tiffs and personal quarrels among cast members, leading to offstage shenanigans, onstage bedlam and the occasional attack with a fire axe. While the actors remain determined to cover up the mounting chaos, it's not long before plot and script are abandoned entirely in this hilarious comedy. At Dunes Summer Theatre through July 8. 219/879-7509 or www.dunesartfoundation.org

Visit the South Shore Arts Regional Calendar for more information on current exhibits, concerts, plays, and other arts events, www.southshoreartsonline.org.

John Cain is 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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