If I had to describe myself with one word it would be artist - a visual artist and an artist with words. My artwork is included in Ohio Online Visual Arts Registry. I'm working with various galleries in the Midwest to promote my oil paintings and abstract light photography.

 

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Valparaiso – Theater Town

Theater – Dramatic and Musical

© Becky Linhardt 2011

The east coast has Off-Broadway so maybe you could call the thriving theater scene in Valparaiso the Midwest’s Off-Chicago.  “We are not really rivals,” said Brian Schafer, Memorial Opera House’s Executive Director.  “We each focus on different aspects of theater. Here at Memorial we present musicians, musical reviews, and produce Broadway musicals.” 

 It’s early in the 2010-11 Season.  The historic opera house (1893) seats only 365 patrons and promotes itself as the “ultimate, intimate venue.”  Productions often draw from the pool of talent in nearby Chicago.  “We are still casting for A Wonderful Life, The Musical,” said Schafer. “With the large cast needed for this production, we will definitely pull musical theater professionals from Chicago.” 

Chicago Street Theater has a small theater space of 130 seats but big dramatic and comic presentations such as The Man Who Came to Dinner and A Tuna Christmas as well as the musical Annie for the Fall Season.  “We are an all volunteer groups, some with Chicago experience,” said Executive Director, Joni Pera.  “We are a passionate group and have exactly the right size house for the productions that we do.  We engage the audience – they are right there, almost on stage, especially those seated on the couches in the front row.”  Ticket costs are very reasonable at both theaters ($20 or less per person) so you get a real value – Chicago level productions at a bargain price. 

 What: Porter County/Indiana Dunes

Information: 800-283-8687 or www.indianadunes.com

 Chicago Street Theater: 154 W. Chicago St., Valparaiso, IN

219-464-1636 or www.CTGonline.org

 Memorial Opera House: 104 Indiana Ave., Valparaiso, IN

219-548-9137 or www.mohlive.com

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        As a travel writer it is my responsibility to select the best places, events, and experiences to present to you. Most travel has been on my own though some has occurred on sponsored press trips. Travel listings here will be more informal than my published articles.

 

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