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 an 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.
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:
Friday, July 12 | Pulse FM Summer Series
Crowder and We Are Messengers hit the stage for another Pulse FM Summer Series event in downtown South Bend.
Friday, Aug. 9 | Pulse FM Summer Series
Amy Grant, who burst onto the scene as a teenager then became the first artist in Christian music to have a platinum record, is joined by I Am They.
Saturday, Sept. 28 | Gaither Vocal Band
Since the early 1990s, the Gaither Vocal Band has been a standard-bearer in gospel music. Founded by legendary songwriter and producer Bill Gaither, this Grammy-winning group has performed some of the world’s most prestigious venues.
Tuesday, Oct. 8 | Whose Live Anyway?
Current members of the Emmy-nominated television show “Whose Line is it Anyway?” present 90 minutes of live improv comedy on stage.
Friday, Oct. 25-Sunday, Oct. 27 | Beautiful — The Carol King Musical
Long before she was Carol King, a chart-topping music legend, Carol Klein fought her way into the record business as a teenager. Her career went on to flourish as King wrote the soundtrack of a generation. Follow her journey in a musical presented locally by the Broadway Theatre League.
Tuesday, Nov. 5 | Joe Bonamassa
GRAMMY-nominated blues guitar legend Joe Bonamass takes the stage in support of his latest studio album: “Redemption.”
Saturday, Nov. 16 | Wild Kratts Live 2.0
Wild Kratts Live! has had kids across the country buzzing. This all new show — “Wild Kratts Live! 2.0 – Activate Creature Power” — is sure to continue that trend.
Tuesday, Nov. 26-Wednesday, Nov. 27 | Paw Patrol Live! The Great Pirate Adventure
PAW Patrol Live! sets sail with a new pirate adventure! It’s Pirate Day in Adventure Bay and Ryder will need all paws on deck as he and the PAW Patrol discover a secret treasure map while on a mission to rescue Cap’n Turbot from a mysterious cavern.