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Spring brings showers of performances to South Bend

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As March creeps into our rear-view mirrors, the road opens up for the Final Four, MLB Opening Days, and the Silver Hawks’ Opening Night. Among the April showers will be an array of arts adventures, which are all indoors (your allergies will thank you later).

This past weekend, The Acting Ensemble opened The Strange but True Story of Hazel McNally: or the South Bend Baby Doll Murder Case. A unique production, it is in the style of the Federal Theatre Project’s Living Newspapers, where the story is created from newspaper reports from the era being portrayed. Hazel McNally is being produced as part of The Acting Ensemble’s “Hoosier Words: Exploring the Indiana Experience.” Past productions in this series include: The Tiernan Affair, Tarkington’s Beasley’s Christmas Party, and Alive and Dead in Indiana.

Upcoming showtimes are April 4-6 at 7:30 pm and April 7 at 2 pm. All performances are held at Studio 217 at 217 South Michigan Street in South Bend. For tickets and more information visit their website here. (View the trailer below!)

Looking to pick up a new instrument or take a dance class? The Music Village is celebrating First Fridays on (you guessed it) Friday, April 5 with this month’s theme of Street Performers Paradise. Doors open at 5:50 pm and you can join a jam session, step into a swing dance class, or just come by to enjoy local musicians and artists at the JMS Building at 108 N. Main Street, Suite 113 (in the lower level) in downtown South Bend.

Want more info on First Fridays or in general about The Music Village? Visit their website here or call (574) 245-SONG (7664).

Need a little more warning for a fun night out? Well, mark your calendars because Friday, April 12 is opening night for South Bend Civic Theatre’s production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Dale Wasserman (from the book by Ken Kesey). Director Terry Farren assumes the helm in this favorite, and you should get your tickets now, as one of the eight performances has already sold out!

For full details on dates and showtimes, visit their website here. Tickets are $15 for Wednesday and Thursday performances, and $18 on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

Now, with all this talk of performing arts, you may be wondering, “How has the Morris Performing Arts Center not been mentioned yet?” Well, that’s easy—because this article isn’t over yet.

The glistening downtown favorite has plenty in store for us this month, so let’s take a look at what’s on the menu.

The South Bend Symphony Orchestra has two shows scheduled this month.

  • April 6: British Heritage—Britten’s “War Requiem,” featuring guest artists Michael Chioldi (baritone), Kimberly Jones (soprano), Joel Burcham (tenor), Notre Dame Glee Club, Saint Mary’s Women’s Choir, Notre Dame Chorale, and South Bend Chamber Singers.
  • April 27: German Heritage with guest artist: Aaron Berofsky on violin

Wagner “Tristan Und Isolde,” Prelude and Liebestod, Strauss “Der Rosenkavalier Suite”, Beethoven Violin Concerto

The vocal quartet, Celtic Woman, makes a stop on their 2013 North American Tour at the Morris on April 9 at 7:30pm. As a special note, PBS will be filming this performance for Celtic Woman’s next television feature!

If you’re looking for stand up comedy, then keep your calendars open for these two nights.

  • April 13, 8pm: Gary Owen, Lil Duval, and Michael Blackson
  • April 28, 7pm: Brian Regan

And if you haven’t heard by now, the acclaimed musical Wicked is coming to the Morris in May as part of the Broadway Theatre League season.

There are plenty of performing arts events happening in and around South Bend, and the Performing Arts Examiner will be at as many as possible, but the important thing is to tell your friends and support the arts!

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