A week of public entertainment will mark the grand re-opening of the Lerner Theatre, formerly the Elco, June 16-21.
General admission tickets will be required to attend the week's festivities. Those tickets will be free of charge with the exception of one event, according to Elkhart Mayor Dick Moore, who announced the events at a press conference this morning.
Opening night is June 16, when the Elkhart County Symphony Orchestra presents "Gershwin and Co." Accomplished pianist and Elkhart native Nicholas Roth will solo and fellow Elkhart native Bob Spano will conduct Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" and other familiar pieces by Rossini, Schubert and Mendelssohn. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m.
The Lerner's theater company in residence, Premier Arts, performs selections from Broadway hits like Wicked, Hairspray, Les Miz beginning at 7:30 p.m. June 17. On this community arts evening, the Elkhart Municipal Band will present patriotic songs, Elkhart Civic Theatre will perform a musical revue from The Wizard of Oz and former high school choir members and others from the community who have reunited for the occasion will sing selections from "American Songbook."
Demonstrating the quality of the venue's new movie screen, "How to Train Your Dragon" will be shown at 9:30 a.m. June 18. Then at 7 p.m., a live concert titled "Expect the Great: A Gospel Music Extravaganza" will be headlined by Rodnie Bryant. The performance will include the 75-voice Elkhart Fellowship Choir, Hershel Williams and Friends and the sign-language group Hands for Christ.
The only opening-week event for which a fee will be charged is a Father's Day Jazz Brunch taking place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 19. The Terry Lower Trio will provide entertainment during the meal, which will be served in the theater's new Crystal Ballroom underneath a series of magnificent chandeliers.
A full-length Broadway production of "Fiddler on the Roof" wraps up the list of opening week performances. At 7:45 p.m. Tuesday June 21, a touring company will present the Tony award-winning classic show that includes the nostalgic songs "If I Were a Rich Man," "Sunrise, Sunset," and others.
In honor of the contributions of residents of the city of Elkhart to the historic theater renovation project, Mayor Dick Moore announced today that tickets to opening week events will be made available only to Elkhart residents on the first day of availability, May 18. Tickets will be given to other members of the public beginning May 19.
Tickets can be obtained from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Lerner Theatre box office, which is temporarily located at the Train Depot, 131 Tyler St.; by phone at 293-4469 or online at www.thelerner.com.
All tickets are general admission and a limit of four tickets per person will apply. There will be no reserved seating.