Monday, July 30, 2012

#268: Into the Woods

We grow up with the comforting narratives of fairy tales. The frog becomes a prince. The glass slipper fits. Hansel and Gretel find their way out of the forest. It’s easy to be convinced that these are merely children’s stories, full of songs and happy endings without any bearing on an adult reality. Yet, upon closer examination, many of these stories are not very childlike at all. They are full of fear and shame and indecision, of violence, disappointment, and struggle. It was these components of fairy tales that Stephen Sondheim drew upon to construct what many consider his magnum opus, Into the Woods, a musical theater compendium of fractured fairy tales.

In his creation, elements of Rapunzel, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Little Red Riding Hood are brought together. Characters from different stories run into each other; their own wishes and dreams quickly getting in each other’s way. The show’s multiple storylines are fascinating and the music, composed by Sondheim, is, by turns, light-hearted, heart-rending, and thrilling. The show plays with our traditional ideas of fairy tales and leaves many wondering if these beloved characters, and by proxy, ourselves, will actually make it out of the woods.

It must be theater week here at 365 South Bend because in addition to LangLab's fantastic theatrical offerings, the South Bend Civic Theater, which we have featured many times before, is currently producing their version of Sondheim’s Into the Woods.  The Civic is a community treasure, and this show is a highlight of their current season. Into the Woods will run through August 12th at the Civic and features local talent in both its actors and its crew. Take a(nother) night to experience the joy of live theater and a dark twist on “happy endings”.

For more information, showtimes, and ticket information visit the South Bend Civic Theater website here.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

#267: TheatreLanglab's 24 Hour Play

Today features a special guest post by Yael, a west coast-turned-midwesterner who understands all things theater and theatre...

If you think you have to go to Chicago to see eclectic theatre, think again. TheatreLanglab is once again at “play”, in their home near the South Bend Farmer’s Market. Langlab itself inspires invention. What was once an abandoned factory building has become a local hotspot for the arts, education, and community organizations. TheatreLanglab did its first 24-hour production, The Jacket (see video below), at the Lab last summer and will head back into their gigantic playground at the end of July for another round of raucous fun.
 This year’s farcical tragicomedy is called Burned! It’s a loose adaptation of Frisch’s The Firebugs and is about what happens when politeness usurps honesty in a city threatened by arsonists. The catch is that TheatreLanglab will create the entire play in 24 hours: they’ll stay up late to design lights, costumes, sets, and sound. They’ll play, workshop, rehearse and attempt to memorize lines overnight. And then they’ll share their artistic handiwork, in whatever form it takes, with an audience. For one night only. The event, more about process than product, will be suitable for all children (although not crafted for those under 10) with a suggested donation of $10 at the door. 

Burned! will serve as the first fundraiser for ULTREIA, a new independent non-profit established to support the arts and arts education in South Bend. ULTREIA, meaning ‘onward’ or ‘forward’, will sponsor more art with the money it raises at this performance - a win-win for patrons and for the city.

Langlab will also mark the closing of its first gallery exhibition, Cuba Inside/Out, on July 29. This thoughtful show, with stunning photographs of Havana and Santiago de Cuba by local artist Christopher Stackowicz, wrestles with theatre in Cuba and the drama of everyday Cuban street life.  The gallery will be open for its final night of viewing and a small reception will follow the performance of Burned! Where else in town can you enjoy a boisterous performance, intriguing photos, and a social gathering all in one evening out? 


TheatreLanglab concocts play in 24 hours:
Burned! A morality play without a moral.

Sunday night, July 29 at 7:30 p.m.
$10 suggested donation

Langlab South Bend
1302 High Street
South Bend, IN 46601

Sunday, July 15, 2012

#266: Rose Quest Organic Food Store

The South Bend Tribune recently lauded what they termed the “hipster appeal” of South Bend defining the hipster aesthetic as an affinity for “vintage and thrift-store-inspired fashions, fixed-gear bicycles…strong coffee, craft beers and local food.” The piece in the Tribune encouraged young Chicagoans to relocate to South Bend because of the ability to live the “hipster” life at a lower price than neighborhoods with a similar appeal in Chicago. They’re right. South Bend is affordable and offers many, underrated cultural amenities of the style that are currently in vogue. I would like to argue that there’s even more that South Bend has to offer than just an alternate version of trendy urban life.  Unlike in hipster 'hoods like Brooklyn, Wicker Park and the whole of Austin, TX and Portland, OR, you won’t get lost in South Bend's scene.  You have the ability to know the entirety of the local area, and your presence and your contributions to the community hold weight.  There are no masses to follow here (except on ND football game days).  South Bend's approachable size allows for discovery as well as community involvement.  Such a lifestyle goes beyond any trends.

And now on to the local find of the day! Speaking of hipsters, one of their affinities is for “local food”. To that I would add “organic food”. Organic food, for those not intimately familiar, is food that has not been grown or processed in any synthetic way. No pesticides. No fertilizers. No chemical additives. Many stores carry organic (next to their non-organic selections) and many local farmers do as well (just ask when you’re at the Farmer’s Market). But in the event that you would like an all-organic selection of produce and miscellaneous dry goods, there’s a store in Mishawaka just for you! Rose Quest Organic Food Store is one part of the Rose Quest Nutrition Centre. The owner of the Nutrition Centre curates a small and delightful selection of all-organic food housed in a Victorian style home on Lincolnway East as you’re headed to Osceola. We popped in one day early in June and walked out with some organic avocados and strawberries. If you sign up for their email newsletter, you can receive emails indicating when certain items go on sale and what type of produce is in season. While the store might not be able to supply all of your grocery needs, it happily fills a small niche within the local food scene of the area.

410 Lincolnway East
(574) 259-5653

Mon/Tues/Fri         8:00am-5:00pm
Sat                          9:00am-noon

For more information visit the website here.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

#265: Dari Fair

Even after a big meal, I say, there's always room for ice cream. And in the hot summer months, it's always time for ice cream. With all this room and time for ice cream, it's good to know all the options available. It took me much too long to add this to my list of regular stops, but Dari Fair is an ideal spot for getting for your ice cream fix.

Dari Fair offers an incredible variety of food, not just ice cream. It opens for breakfast in the morning with typical drive-in fare. As for dairy side of the menu, there are over 100 flavors available, many novelty treats (eg. homemade brownie and cookie ice cream sandwiches), and my personal favorite, "Razzles" (see the photo below). In a long life of ice cream consumption, I have never ever found a place that offers puppy chow (or muddy-buddies, for the southerners) as a mix-in. This alone made me a devoted fan of Dari Fair.

They also offer something not found at every ice cream stand: a strong local flavor. Dari Fair regularly hosts blood drive vehicles in the parking lot, and signs for local camps and events are plastered alongside the menu. Don't expect anything fancy here -- there's a handful of picnic tables and a shaded side patio, handwritten notes on the menus, and a crowded jumble of food and machines inside -- but during this sticky and sweaty summer, it will hit the sweet spot.

When: Seven days a week, 4:30 am-10:00 pm, except for Mondays, when it opens at 11:00 am
Where: 4012 Lincolnway East (Mishawaka/Elkhart side of town)
Website: - frequently feature specials/coupons on Facebook
I hope the pina colada doesn't actually come out that color green.

"Razzles" = soft serve with mix-in (cf: Dairy Queen Blizzard)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summer Wine Walk Teaser

Tonight is a summer DTSB Wine Walk. We have already highlighted the holiday walk, but I thought I would share a few snapshots from the June walk to show you what you might be in for.

This month, the wines featured are primarily from France, in celebration of Bastille Day. Bon fete!

For more information about cost and participating restaurants, click here.
Tippecanoe's bar takes you back to the Golden Age.  Between its high classiness factor and its heavy appetizers (steak??), this is a good place to begin drinking. 
Sunny Italy, although crowded, is informal and a great place to linger and catch up with friends.
To everyone's delight, yes, the SB Chocolate Company DID pair their chocolates with the featured wines.
Ending the night on the river at the Emporium.

Friday, July 6, 2012

#264: Movies on the Gridiron - The Dark Side of Oz

Today is a First Friday, which means Downtown South Bend (and Goshen, but more on that next month) is all that DTSB normally is but more.  Its stores and art galleries are open later (until 9 PM), and free food and wine is available at many of them.  There are street performers and music playing, odd sights of carriages and clowns and zombies and BMX bikers.  There is always something unusual to see or do.
I'd say the highlight of this month's FF is an outdoor movie screening on the College Football Hall of Fame.  Tonight, there will be a free screening of The Wizard of Oz around 9:30 PM in this 'living on the edge...of E.S.T.' town.  This movie is obviously family-friendly, but if you want to add a twist to a film that you might have watched innumerable times, try it Pink Floyd style.  

Grab a lawn chair and your ipod/walkman and start playing The Dark Side of the Moon album as soon on the third roar of the MGM lion, and you will be amazed at how the visuals of the movie seem to match the music.  If you don't believe me (which I wouldn't blame you for), check out this article about  The Dark Side of Oz/Dark Side of the Rainbow or start watching:

Restaurant Week is still continuing, so I recommend fueling up on a good meal or one of the cocktail specials beforehand.  ArtPost is having an event that celebrates street art of all forms that looks AWESOME, so check that out too.  Finally, Marigold's is celebrating its two-year anniversary, so Happy Anniversary to them!  For details on all events happening, check out

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

#263: How to Celebrate Independence in the Bend

With the fourth of July right around the corner, you might be in the mood to celebrate.  The beauty of this holiday is that it celebrates independence, so you should do whatever you want, within the confines of the law, of course.  (Although, Thomas Jefferson did say, "A little rebellion now and then is a good thing.")  Whether you choose to grill out with family, sleep in until noon and avoid the sun at all costs, consider it within your civil rights.

If you want to do something a bit more traditional/out-of-the-ordinary, here are few suggestions -- feel free to leave your own!
  • Baseball game at Coveleski stadium: Celebrate America with its Favorite Pastime.   Happening tonight. Perk: You can buy hot dogs and beer and burgers and all the cookout favorites with none of the prep time involved.  Double perk: FIREWORKS that have not been canceled!
  • Listen to patriotic music:  There were several opportunities this past weekend, but there are several performances in the coming days that give you a chance to break out the lawn chairs or blankets.
    • Volunteers of the U.S. Army Field Band on the Irish Green at Notre Dame  - 7 p.m. tonight.  Perk: It's servicemen play patriotic tunes.
    • Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra - 9 p.m. tonight at Lions Pavilion Park (New Buffalo, MI) and 9 p.m. Wednesday at Shadowland Pavilion (St. Joseph, MI).  Perk: There are fireworks afterward.  Double perk: the beach is close by!
  • Eat a lot (of pancakes): The South Bend-Elkhart Audubon Society Sanctuary is hosting a pancake breakfast from 7:30-10 a.m. Wednesday at the wildlife sanctuary (59395 Clover Road, Mishawaka).  Please bring your own serving utensils and a 'free-will' donation.  Perk: Unlike fireworks, this event will not hurt those with sensitive ears.  Double perk: Patriotically, they will be serving BLUEberry pancakes. 
  • Bring out your inner farmer: The St. Joseph County 4-H has been going on for the past week and continues through this one.  You can see the multitude of exhibits, including the popular duck races, and fair rides are only $1.00 on Wednesday.  Midway opens at 2:00pm.  At 7pm, Doug Church/"The Voice of Elvis" performs.