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:
Modest Mouse | Sept. 24
One of the popular indie acts to emerge from the Pacific Northwest, Modest Mouse has been cranking out alternative rock hits since the late 1990s. Its sixth studio album, Good News for People Who Love Bad News, sold more than one million copies. “Float On” remains its most widely popular song.
Newsboys United | Oct. 7
Look forward to an electrifying set from the supergroup as it showcases hits from a three-decade career. Newsboys United is one of the most influential bands in Christian Music history with four GRAMMY nominations and two American Music Award nominations to their credit.
Straight No Chaser | Nov. 28
Male a cappella group Straight No Chaser will roll into The Bend with its massive following as the holiday season gets underway. Expect a captivating night as nine voices combine for extraordinary music.
The Sound of Music | Nov. 30-Dec. 2
This beloved musical story about Maria and the von Trapp family is scheduled for four showings in The Bend. It’s sure to thrill audiences with its Tony, GRAMMY and Academy Award score.
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.
Les Miserables | March 20-24
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.