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:
A Charlie Brown Christmas Show — Live! | Dec. 20
Based on the television classic that’s been warming heats since it first aired in 1965, the live version of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” brings the Peanuts gang to life on stage. It includes a live jazz trio playing the score and some new, big stage numbers.
Evita | Jan. 25-27, 2019
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s rags-to-riches tale of the First Lady of Argentina is slated for four shows. Evita follows Eva Duarte Peron on her journey from fatherless child to most powerful woman in Latin America and eventual saint-like figure after her death at age 33.
John Mellencamp | Feb. 7
Rock and roll legend (and Indiana’s native son) returns to The Bend to kick off another tour. Don’t miss another opportunity to hear classic hits like “Jack and Diane,” “Hurts So Good,” “Pink Houses,” “Small Town” and more.
STOMP | Feb. 24
Sit back and listen as an eight-member cast creates wonderful sound and sharp humor with found objects — anything from push brooms to garbage cans to inner tubes. Household objects find a fresh use as musical instruments during this journey in sound.
Les Miserables | March 19-24
Based on Victor Hugo’s novel, this wildly popular production tells the story of broken dreams in 19th century France. It’s sure to generate significant buzz as fans anticipate hearing its score of classic songs in person.