There’s something uniquely spectacular about witnessing a live performance. The energy of the crowd, the liveliness of the performers and the atmosphere of sound creates an experience that can’t be replicated.
Luckily, you don’t have to go too far here in Bloomington to find that experience. The IU Auditorium on campus is the perfect place to see outstanding local and traveling performances close to home.
If you’re a fan of musical theater, you’re in luck. Several off-Broadway shows will be landing in Bloomington at the IU Auditorium over the coming year.
Star of the stage and screen Patti LuPone will be in town on Oct. 11, performing her one-woman show, “Don’t Monkey with Broadway.”
Along with this, many well-known traveling musicals are in the Auditorium’s lineup. The iconic “Mean Girls” will be showing on Oct. 27 and 28. Others include “Hairspray” Feb. 6 and 7, “Jesus Christ Superstar” Feb. 20 and 21 and “Come From Away” Nov. 1 and 2. And, of course, — get hyped — there’s “Shrek The Musical” on April 9 and 10.
The Auditorium also features numerous other performances from a variety of groups.
One must-see event is IU’s own Straight No Chaser, performing a holiday-themed a cappella show on Dec. 13. For more holiday fun, “Chimes of Christmas,” a long-standing IU tradition starring the Singing Hoosiers, will be on for two performances on Dec. 2.
The music continues with two jazz performances. “When You Wish Upon a Star,” a jazz-inspired production of classic Disney tunes, will be performed on Oct. 19, and “An Evening with Branford Marsalis,” featuring the iconic Branford Marsalis and his jazz quartet, will be Jan. 25.
Fans of dance won’t be left out, either. “Step Afrika!,” a show that blends song, dance and storytelling, will take the stage Oct. 7. The long-running touring dance performance “STOMP” will be in town Jan. 20. “Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo,” an all-male parody ballet company, will also be performing on Feb. 24.
As if there isn’t already enough to see, the Auditorium also features several comedy and variety shows sure to brighten up your evening.
“Dennis James Hosts Halloween,” a Bloomington classic, is a true variety show, with students from IU’s Department of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance performing in a reenactment of a classic radio drama. It also includes live accompaniment to several silent films on the IU Auditorium’s impressive 4,543 pipe organ. Performed on Oct. 25, it’s a Halloween night you won’t want to miss.
On Sep. 21, comedian Shane Gillis will perform his aptly-titled show “Shane Gillis Live.” More comedy comes with “Matt Rife: ProbleMATTic World Tour,” which will be hitting the Auditorium’s stage for two shows on Feb. 14.
Tickets for any of the above shows can be purchased on the IU Auditorium’s website, over the phone or at the Auditorium’s box office, open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m, as well as before events. Many events offer student discounts.
With so much to explore at the IU Auditorium, there are tons of opportunities to have an amazing experience at any performance you choose. Be sure to check them out before they play themselves off.