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The Center for Visual and Performing Arts announces variety of holiday events

Information provided by The Center for Visual and Performing Arts

MUNSTER, Ind. (November 25, 2020) – A dinner and movie night with special themed menu featuring “A Christmas Story,” a Charles Dickens dinner show, headlining comics, and a New Year’s Eve dinner and concert saluting Frank Sinatra are all December holiday events at The Center for Visual and Performing Arts in Munster. The lobby Festival of the Trees, featuring more than 20 trees throughout the expansive atrium space also is open for display Dec. 1.

Using the latest mandate provided by the Lake County Indiana Health Department following Gov. Holcomb’s November order, the normally 450-person capacity ballroom space at the CVPA will be reduced to fewer than 100 people for the safety of patrons and staff with the continued enforcement of masks, social distancing tables generously spaced apart and private assigned seating at individual tables.

Emphasized table spacing for social distancing and enforced mask mandate are among the safety regulations in the ballroom at The Center for Visual and Performing Arts in Munster. (Photo courtesy of CVPA)

Dinner and “A Christmas Story”, Friday, Dec. 11

holiday event
Ian Petrella poses with his child likeness snowsuit counterpart from the 1983 film “A Christmas Story.” (Photo courtesy of CVPA)

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with cash bar and a 6:30 p.m. dinner seating before the 7 p.m. showing of “A Christmas Story”. Following the movie at 9 p.m., there will be a 30-minute big screen Zoom Q&A session with actor Ian Petrella who played little brother Randy in the film. The movie-themed dinner menu prepared by Chef Joe Trama features Chinese Chicken Egg Drop Soup, The Old Man’s Favorite Roast Turkey and Dressing, Little Brother Randy’s Mashed Potatoes, Mom’s Braised Red Cabbage, The Parker’s Dinner House Rolls and Butter and Chocolate Oh Fudge! Cake. Tickets are $40 for dinner and movie (plus tax).

“Dickens Christmas Carol Dinner Show,” Friday, Dec. 18

This event will be hosted by Chef Joe Trama and Trama Catering and features Philip Potempa and Crista Zivanovic on stage.

For the lunch show, doors open at 11:30 a.m., lunch meal served at noon and dessert and show at 12:45 p.m. For the dinner and show option, doors open at 6:30 p.m., dinner served at 7 pm, dessert and show at 7:45 p.m.

In the ballroom, guests will enjoy a plated meal themed with the 55-minute joyous holiday stage program. Both lunch and dinner date options are available. Cash bar includes festive Specialty Holiday Cocktails such as Egg Nog (with hint of Brandy), Sparkling Poinsettia (Champagne Flute with a Splash of Cranberry Juice) and a Festive Delicious Rum Punch (all $8 each).

Inside the ballroom, a table exhibit will explore the life of writer Charles Dickens, including a rare framed piece featuring his oddly interesting signature on an original bank draft from the 1800s, as well as other unusual pieces related to “A Christmas Carol.”

The show stars columnist and author Philip Potempa and his longtime editor/collaborator Crista Zivanovic, seated on a stage in the ballroom where guests see everything unfolding right from their table seats during a fast-paced 55-minute show salute to Charles Dickens’ holiday classic “A Christmas Carol.” The two performers will portray all of more than two dozen characters featured in the story during a telling of the holiday spirit tale complete with all of the old-time radio “Foley-style” sound effects created right before the eyes of the audience.

The lunch menu includes English Pub Broccoli Cheese Soup, London’s Parkerhouse Rolls and Butter, Mr. Marley’s Ghostly Good Roasted Herb Chicken Breast, Sage and Onion Dressing and Cranberry Applesauce, Mrs. Cratchit’s Homestyle Mashed Potatoes, Tiny Tim’s Corn O’Brien, and for dessert, Ghost of Christmas Past’s Vanilla Bean Ice Cream w/Peppermint Candy Cane Accent. The dinner ticket option has English Pub Broccoli Cheese Soup, Bob Crachit’s Garden Salad, Roasted Herb Chicken Breast, Sage and Onion dressing and Cranberry Applesauce, Mrs. Cratchit’s Homestyle Mashed Potatoes, Tiny Tim’s Corn O’Brien, London’s Parkerhouse Rolls and Butter, and for dessert, Ghost of Christmas Present’s English Trifle.

Tickets are $30 plus tax for the lunch show and $40 plus tax for the dinner show.

Comedy Night at the CVPA, Dec. 27

This event will take place in the Ballroom and stars headliner Mike Toomey from WGN-TV paired with Jeannie Rapstad in the guise of her favorite funny stage alter egos. A regular performer and announcer on WGN TV Morning News, Toomey has appeared in concert with such names as George Carlin, Wayne Newton, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and Reba McIntyre. He has performed on numerous television programs including HBO’s U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen Colorado, MTV’s Half Hour Comedy Hour, and A&E’s Comedy on the Road. With his sharp delivery, quick wit, and unique style, Mike Toomey has been a favorite at comedy clubs and special events since 1982. Mike is also the creator and star of the one-person show “TV and Me,” which enjoyed a highly successful run at Chicago’s Apollo Theater.

An award winning speaker and writer, Jeannie Rapstad brings a lifetime of adventurous experiences and chance encounters to her stage persona. She has a wide range of silly characters and vocal impersonations as she morphs from one personality and story to the next with just a couple of “quick change” costume props for fun and surprises.

The December Comedy Night Menu features Chicken Coq au Vin, Spring mix salad with champagne vinaigrette dressing, Truffled mashed potatoes, Fresh green beans, and Peppermint ice cream. Tickets are $40 plus tax for the plated Dinner and Show.

Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. and show at 8 p.m.

New Year’s Eve Dinner and Concert

This event will will say goodbye to 2020 and welcome the arrival of 2021. Starring Crooner Jim Bulanda and his show “A Sinatra Celebration”, there are both early and late dinner and show performances available. Hailed as Chicagoland’s premier Frank Sinatra tribute stage personality, Bulanda not only performs the song favorites of Sinatra but also tribute nods to all the favorite Rat Pack regulars including the songs of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and other Las Vegas names.

Doors open for the first show at 4 p.m. with dinner from 4:30-6 p.m. followed by the show, all in the ballroom. Doors open for the second show at 8:30 p.m. with dinner 9-10:30 p.m. and ballroom concert 10:30 p.m. to Midnight count-down. Chef Joe Trama’s Special Menu features Roasted Tomato Bisque Soup, Caesar Salad, 6-ounce Tender Filet with three skewered Grilled Shrimp, Duchess Mashed Potato, Fresh Asparagus, Mini Croissants with Whipped Butter, and Pecan Praline Crepe with Bananas Foster. Dinner and show tickets are $75 plus tax with cash bar.

Tickets for holiday events

To reserve tickets to any of the December CVPA events, call the Special Events Office at 219-836-1930, ext. 2 or visit

COVID-19 Precaution: In consideration of the 2020 Global Pandemic and in accordance with the Governor’s mandated mask order. Guests are asked to wear “a mouth and nose covering” mask when walking about during the course of the evening but may remove coverings once seated at their table or when in a secluded area and away from others.

The Center for Visual and Performing Arts is located at 1040 Ridge Road, Munster, IN.

The Lansing Journal
The Lansing Journal
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