Few venues better showcase The Bend’s arts culture than the Morris Performing Arts Center.
Nationally recognized musical acts and theatrical productions regularly make the Morris one of their stops. And its location is ideal — positioned in the heart of downtown South Bend with several hotels, restaurants, bars and other attractions within walking (or biking!) distance.
On top of all that, it’s a historic venue. The Morris opened in 1922. Over the years it has maintained its vintage architectural look while modernizing to accommodate today’s acts and audiences. In 1985, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Several major, headlining acts graced the Morris during its early years. Names like Houdini, Big Crosby, Elvis Presley and even Frank Sinatra.
Downturn in the 1950s gave way to a renaissance beginning the next decade. Consider some of the bands to roll through the Morris since then: Stevie Wonder, REO Speedwagon, The Eagles, ZZ Top, Aerosmith, Fleetwood Mack, B.B. King and more.
National theater productions to take up residence during recent years include Phantom of the Opera, Wicked and The Book of Mormon with more to come.
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In short, the Morris is one of The Bend’s focal points. It pairs with a vibrant community theater to anchor a de facto arts and entertainment district.
Attending a show at the Morris can be the centerpiece of any visit here. Take a look at some signature events on the upcoming schedule:
Saturday, Feb. 1 | Beethoven’s “Pastoral”
The South Bend Symphony Orchestra presents Beethoven Symphony No. 6.
Friday, Feb. 7 | Sesame Street Live! Let’s Party!
Jump to the beat with your friends on Sesame Street! with two shows, a matinee and an evening edition.
Saturday, Feb. 8 | Menopause the Musical
Four women at a lingerie sale have nothing in common but a black lace bra AND memory loss, hot flashes, night sweats and more. This hilarious musical parody is set to classic tunes from the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Presented by Broadway Theatre League of South Bend.
Thursday, Feb. 13 | Cody Jinks
Country music star Cody Jinks plays live with Alex Williams to open.
Saturday, Feb. 15 | South Bend Symphony Orchestra
This program will feature scores from some of Hollywoods biggest films — the James Bond franchise, Rocky, Gone with the Wind and more.
Saturday, Feb. 22 | Wynonna & The Big Noise
Once dubbed “the greatest female country singer since Patsy Cline,” Wynonna brings her widely recognized voice to The Bend.
Friday, Feb. 28 | Nate Bargatze
The Tennessee kid, fresh off the continued success of his Netflix special, brings his brand of comedy to the live stage.
Wednesday, March 4-Friday, March 20 | Disney’s The Lion King
One of the world’s best-known musicals is making its debut in The Bend, coming for a multiple-week run of shows. More than 90 million people around the world have experienced the awe-inspiring visuals.
Wednesday, March 25 | RAIN — A Tribute to the Beatles
In celebration of the anniversary of Abbey Road, RAIN will bring the greatest hits of this epic recording to life.
Saturday, April 4 | Mahler’s “Resurrection”
The South Bend Symphony Orchestra presents Mahler’s Symphony No. 2.
Sunday, April 5 | Umphrey’s McGee
One of the country’s favorite jam bands formed in 1997 when the original members were students at Notre Dame. Umphrey’s will return to their roots with a show back in The Bend.
Tuesday, April 7 | Brit Floyd — Echoes 2020
The world’s greatest Pink Floyd Show returns to the stage to perform a brand new production with highlights from The Wall, The Dark Side of the Moon and more.
Saturday, April 18 and Sunday, April 19 | South Bend Symphony Orchestra
The symphony orchestra is collaborating with the South Bend Civic Theatre on a full theatrical presentation of the beloved musical.
Monday, April 20 | David Sedaris
Join best-selling author and NPR contributor David Sedaris for an evening of stories, an audience Q&A and a book signing.
Friday, April 24-Sunday, April 26 | Waitress
Don’t miss this uplifting musical celebrating friendship, motherhood and the magic of a well-made pie. Presented by Broadway Theatre League of South Bend.
Saturday, May 2 | South Bend Symphony Orchestra
The orchestra presents Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1.
Monday, May 4 | Baby Shark Live!
Take an adventure into the sea with Baby Shark as he joins up with his friend Pinkfong to sing and dance through some of your favorite new and classic songs.