Calumet Theatre raises curtain on marquee season

The iconic archway above the Calumet Theatre stage features paintings and ornate decoration. 

By Darla Hane
Past the fast-food joints on the highway, a gas station, and 6th Street’s four-way stop, visitors see the new sign perched above the Calumet Theatre’s entrance—illuminating a cultural icon in the Village of Calumet. The Calumet Theatre has been an oasis for cultural wayfarers since the renaissance revival structure opened with its first operetta, “The Highwayman,” on tour from Broadway, in 1900.
When first built, the village and the surrounding area’s population of over 30,000 locals helped the 1,200-seat Calumet Theatre to flourish. Today, the village population hovers around 700, but locals and thousands of out-of-town guests still gravitate toward the now 700-seat non-profit theatre. Hundreds of theatre members and volunteers, along with a small core of theatre employees, host dozens of events and performers through the season, including movies, The Red Jacket Jamboree (a radio show recorded live at the Theatre), and visiting Grammy award-winning performers.
The 2019 season schedule was released in full, in a unique move from the theatre’s new director, Marlin Lee. “Some people jump out of airplanes,” says Lee, “putting on shows is my adrenaline rush.” Lee’s background and passion for concert promotion shines through in the 2019 season lineup. Lee is ushering a string of nationally recognized talent onto the theatre’s historic stage; introducing Shelby Lynne, Robbie Fulks, and Lee Roy Parnell—folks with Grammy awards and recognition. Grammy-nominated Jim and Teri Enrietti, and Summer Brooke from “America’s Got Talent” are slotted for June and December respectively, filling out a robust season schedule of national and local performers…

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