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Photo by Eric Brant features (left to right) Dean Johanson as Victor Fleming, Dexter Pritchard as Ben Hecht, and Martin Weisenbacher as David O. Selznick in Chicago Street Theatre's production of Moonlight and Magnolias by Ron Hutchinson.

VALPARAISO, INDIANA -- Chicago Street Theatre, 154 West Chicago Street, offers audiences the hilarity of  a good farce in their current production of Moonlight and Magnolias by Ron Hutchinson. The play, running April 13 through 28, tells the story of Hollywood mogul, David O. Selznick's plan to "fix" the screenplay of what would become one of the most beloved motion pictures of all time. 

Directed by NWI favorites, LuAnne Pezel and Caroline Rau, and based on actual events, the comedy gives audiences a rare and hysterical behind the scenes glimpse at what might have happened during those frantic five days in 1939, after Selznick had just shut down production of Gone With the Wind, and fired director George Cukor.  

After five weeks of shooting America's most anticipated movie, the famed producer realizes that the script is absolute garbage. With Hollywood and the world all a-buzz, he pulls director, Victor Fleming off the set of The Wizard of Oz, and Chicago reporter-turned-screenwriter, Ben Hecht to help him rework the entire film. 

Sequestered in his office for five days, at a cost of $50,000 for every day he's shut down, Selznick and his partners must turn Margaret Mitchell's highly popular epic into Hollywood gold.

Dilemmas quickly arise when the trio discover that the producer's "Ace in the Hole," Ben Hecht, has never actually read the novel. Comedy ensues when Selznick and Fleming have to bring the screenwriter up to speed while being fed a diet of "brain food" consisting of bananas and peanuts by the Hollywood mogul's assistant, Miss Poppenghul. 

Despite the farce's lightning pace, the play also manages to address relevant social issues in a time where the world was on the brink of World War II.

Directors Pezel and Rau have assembled a cast that pulls in actors from throughout Northwest Indiana and features: Martin Weisenbacher (Valparaiso) as David O. Selznick, Dean Johanson (Griffith) as Victor Fleming, Dexter Pritchard (Valparaiso) as Ben Hecht, and Valerie Balogh (Chesterton) as Miss Poppenghul.

Tickets can be purchased online at, or by calling the CST Box Office at 219-464-1636 X1. Prices are $20 for Adults and $17 for Students, Seniors, Military and Groups of ten or more. VIP Seating on Chicago Street Theatre front row couches is also available for $30 per person. Box Office hours are Noon to 4PM Tuesdays through Saturday and two hours prior to each performance.

Audiences are invited for a 21 & Up After Party with the cast and crew hosted by Martinis located at 1004 Calumet Ave in Valparaiso following the show on Friday, April 13. 

The cast and crew will also be present to discuss the show on April 26 following the 7:30PM performance for CST's Thursday Talkback edition. 

Moonlight and Magnolias runs April 13 through April 28, 2018.




Details for Earth Day Field Trip

Meet at Lake Calumet / Harborside Int'l Golf Course

11001 S. Doty Avenue East (111th & I-94  Expressway)

Coach Bus to Lake Katherine - Palos Heights, Ill.

Coffee, rolls at Harborside - 9:00 am-9:45

Depart by bus 9:45 - Arrive at Lake Katherine Nature Center 10:30 am

Depart Lake Katherine 12 Noon - Return to Harborside 12:45 pm 

Tour of Lake Katherine's beautiful natural setting and facilities, minimal walking. 

Sponsored by: Lake Calumet Vision Committee, Alliance for the Great Lakes, Friends of the Parks, Openlands, Southeast Environmental Task Force

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Michael LaFargue

Lake Calumet Vision Committee

Community Out Reach



Tom Shepherd                                                                                                                                     773-370-3305 (cell)                                                                                                               





VALPARAISO COMMUNITY SCHOOLS: Spring into the Arts Festival 2018 April 21st – May 20th

Valparaiso Community Schools has announced its 3rd annual student-centered Festival entitled: 'Spring into the Arts."

Spring into the Arts is a month-long festival for the ENTIRE community by Valparaiso Community Schools, in partnership with the City of Valparaiso.  Organized and orchestrated by VCS art teachers and a committee of educators, businesses, and residents who firmly believe that students deserve meaningful experiences, the festival enables students to showcase personal creativity across several art genres: visual arts, theater, film, performance art, and STEAM, embodying all art forms, with students at the center of it all!

VCS K-12 student artwork will be featured at 7 landmark downtown locations as well as at 12 business venues.  The kick-off event, The @rt-chitecture Walk, takes place at Urschel Pavilion on Saturday, April 21st, at 11:00 am.  The community is invited to join us as we unveil upwards of 1,000 pieces of student artwork across all 19 participating locations.

All participating venues for 2018:

Kindergarten:  Valparaiso Public Library

1st Grade:       City Hall

2nd Grade:      Memorial Opera House

3rd Grade:       Porter County Administration Building

4th Grade:       Poco Muse

5th Grade:       Urschel Pavilion

6-12 Grades:   Valpo Art House & Gallery

VU artwork:     Misbeehavin’ Meads & Pour House 

Boys & Girls Club/Private schools: 

               Roots Organic


               Don Quijote


               Sheep’s Clothing

               Old World Market

               Designer Desserts

               Lincoln Flats

               Edie Boutique


               Repurpose Me

               Toys in the Attic

Our 5 events for 2018:  April 21st – May 20th 

Events taking place throughout the month cover a wide array of art forms and also reveal hidden gems of Valparaiso.  We are very lucky to have exceptional venues all within walking distance of one another downtown. Thank you to all our amazing partners who open their doors for our creative students! 

The @rt-chitecture Walk:

Saturday, April 21st

11:00a – 2:00p  

Urschel Pavilion

This kick-off event will showcase VCS student artwork (K-12) at 7 downtown landmark locations. VU art students and Boys & Girls Club artists will also be on display at participating business locations along the route of our walk. This is a student-centered event, creating an opportunity for parents and the community to view and interact with art displays at each location.  The @rt-chitecture Walk also provides personal experience with various types of artistic talent!  Student artwork from elementary, middle school, and high school will be featured within downtown Valpo!

The @rt-chitecture Walk exhibit will stay on display for an entire month, April 21st - May 20th, however the kick-off event will serve as an exciting introduction to our amazing artists! Those who attend the kick-off will have a chance to win incredible ARTistic prizes by presenting maps at each location and submitting them at 1:15 for a live drawing.

The STE@M Show:

Saturday, April 28th

1:00p – 4:00p 

Urschel Pavilion 

This year’s STE@M Show will be hosted and organized by the VCS elementary STEM teachers.  This event will feature multiple STE@M activities including a Makerspace.     

We are also excited to introduce CANstruction Jr.  An elementary team from each school has been designing and engineering a structure made entirely of canned goods.  This project features both the engineering process and community service, as all canned items will be donated to the VCS Backpacks Program. 

Come watch the CANstruction teams during their live build as you participate in STE@M activities with your family!  

Valpo Film Festiv@l

Friday, May 5th

Location TBA soon

6:30p – 8:00p

This year we are ecstatic to bring back a celebration of digital production and FILM !

We are happy to offer again “One Minute to Film it” a film contest for VCS students of any age!  Details on this contest will be given soon!

Students will be invited to submit one-minute videos of audience-appropriate content into one of our 5 online categories. We will have a team of judges determine a winner for each category.  Selected winners will be announced and featured at our very own RED CARPET event:  The Valpo Film Festival! This will be a celebratory film bringing VCS students, staff, administration, parents, as well as residents, business owners and leaders of VALPO together in a creative and exciting way.  Celebrating our local film talent is an event not to be missed! 

The@ter Outreach:

Thursday, May 17th

6:30p – 8:00 p

Memorial Opera House

This is a phenomenal collaborative production, created by Flint Lake Elementary 2nd grade students and Memorial Opera House educators! Using Betty G. Birney’s novel “The World According to Humphrey” as inspiration, students will work hard at writing character scripts, developing scenes, building stage details, designing costumes, and creating every spectacular aspect of this production!

Memorial Opera House conducts theater outreach within the community by visiting local schools and teaching theater curriculum. Bobbie Sue and Jen paired up with Flint Lake teachers: Cindy Douthett & Sarah Bottos, to help their students create a production TOGETHER. Come and see how Memorial Opera House and Flint Lake students worked together to develop a spectacular show for you! 

Where Did V@n Gogh

Sunday, May 20th

1:00p – 4:00p

Urschel Pavilion

Our final closing VCS event will present the performing arts, ranging from choir, band, orchestra, dance, and street art!!!! Attendees will also be able to participate in a scavenger hunt throughout downtown Valparaiso searching for none other than... Mr. Vincent Van Gogh. Attendees will receive a clue, which will in turn lead to a clever adventure of GUESSING the next location from a list of participating downtown businesses.  All while tracking down Van Gogh, attendees will collect important ‘momentos’ along the way. This is truly an interactive adventure that would excite Van Gogh himself!

Those who complete the scavenger hunt will be randomly drawn for spectacular Van Gogh-inspired prizes. Tri-Kappa will offer ‘crazy Van Gogh hats” to be created at the event! And! attendees will create something Van Gogh-esque with pieces collected along your scavenger hunt adventure.





Memorial Opera House Presents Noël Coward Classic Blithe Spirit

(From left) Bobbie Sue Kvachkoff (Violet Bradman)-Crown Point, Holly Schroeder, standing (Madame Arcati)-LaPorte, Lindsey Elderkin (Ruth Condomine)-Valparaiso, Scot PJ MacDonald (Charles Condomine)-Hobart, Andrea Bertsch, standing (Edith)-Valparaiso, Deborah Trembicki Haddad (Elvira)-Crown Point, Mark Williams (Dr. Bradman)-Valparaiso.

Valparaiso, Indiana - Memorial Opera House continues celebrating its 125th Anniversary with Noël Coward's classic play, Blithe Spirit. Audiences should be ready to laugh as a writer haunted by past love creates present laughter. 

Blithe Spirit Show Dates and Times: 3 weekends, from  Friday, April 27 - Sunday, May 13. Friday and Saturday performances at 8:00 PM, Sundays at 2:00 PM.   Tickets are $21 for adults; $18 for students and seniors. A $2.00 processing fee may be applied at check out. Tickets are on sale NOW through or by contacting the Box Office at 219.548.9137. Memorial Opera House is located at 104 Indiana Avenue, Valparaiso, IN.

Coward's wit was at its peak when he wrote this comedy of manners: To research his next novel Charles Condomine hires Madame Arcati to conduct a séance, which has unexpected results. A ghost appears and all of a sudden Charles has two wives with which to contend, his present wife Ruth and a ghostly Elvira, his former wife, neither of whom are happy with their present circumstances. 

Hilarity ensues in this classic comedy.  Gleason has assembled an excellent cast to present this "spook-tacular" comedy.  Scot MacDonald (Hobart) fills the role of the fussy, fastidious novelist Charles Condomine, Lindsey Elderkin (Valparaiso) plays the role of his current, somewhat emotionally fraught wife, Ruth, Deborah Trembicki Haddad (Crown Point) will haunt the couple as the ghostly and mischievous Elvira.   A newcomer to Memorial Opera House, Holly Schroeder (LaPorte) plays eccentric and business savvy Madame Arcati.   Rounding out the cast in supporting roles are Mark Williams (Valparaiso), Bobbie Sue Kvachkoff (Crown Point) as Dr. and Mrs. Bradman, and Andrea Bertsch (Valparaiso) as the Condomine's maid, Edith. 

Blithe Spirit was one of the first plays mounted by Community Theatre Guild (Now Chicago Street Theatre) when they were the stewards of Memorial Opera House in the 1950s. The ghost story remains as relevant now as when Coward first wrote the piece. 

Memorial Opera House Show Dates & Times: Friday, April 27 - Sunday, May 13. Friday and Saturday performances at 8:00 PM Sundays at 2:00 PM.  


Scot PJ MacDonald

Executive Director

Memorial Opera House         


TWITTER | @scot_pj

CELL | 574.323.6447

Memorial Opera House

104 East Indiana Ave

Valparaiso, IN  46383

OPEN 10a - 2p, M, F, Sa; 5p-9p W


PHONE | (219) 548.9137



TWITTER | @MemorialOpHouse

Visit for details and pricing.



Attention Chicago Southland Green Drinks!

Please join us for Chicago River Day 2018 at Beaubien Woods

On Saturday, May 12, 2018, from 9am until noon, Chicago Southland Green Drinks is partnering in a site cleanup event captained by the Field Museum and hosted by the Forest Preserves of Cook County. 

Volunteers are needed to collect garbage on land and on the water. Please wear closed-toed shoes and work clothes that can get dirty and wet. Canoes will be provided by Friends of the Chicago River. Refreshments will be provided.

About this site: 

Beaubien Woods, part of the Forest Preserves of Cook County, sits along the Little Calumet River and next to the Altgeld Gardens community. This site is one of eight sites where the Centennial Volunteers program is building a community of stewards to help bring back the native habitat. The Forest Preserves recently received funding from the Chicago Community Trust to implement a planning and programming initiative at Beaubien Woods, as part of the broader Our Great Rivers vision. After the site cleanup, all participants are welcome to attend a public open house to share their visions for the Beaubien Woods!

This cleanup day site and visioning work are happening in partnership with the Forest Preserves of Cook County, the Field Museum, the Chicago Housing Authority, AIA Chicago and the Metropolitan Planning Council, with additional support from the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative and Chicago Southland Green Drinks.

Register now to join us!




© Kevin Murphy 2016