Theatre At The Center to Welcome the Holidays With CHRISTMAS FROM THE FARM Dinner-Show

Fun and folksy holiday memories and a whimsical tale come to life at Theatre at the Center with "Christmas From the Farm" dinner-show stage run.

By: Nov. 28, 2023
Theatre At The Center to Welcome the Holidays With CHRISTMAS FROM THE FARM Dinner-Show
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A fun and folksy salute to holiday memories joins a whimsical theatre tale for young audiences for December stage excitement at Theatre at the Center at the Center for Visual and Performing Arts, 1040 Ridge Road in Munster.

Dec. 1-10 it's Newspaper Columnist and Author Philip Potempa joined by singer Laura Freeman presenting "Christmas From the Farm" with piano accompaniment by William Underwood for 11 performances.

It's a relaxing and nostalgic two-hour (including 15-minute intermission) stage visit of memories and storytelling, with a recipe or two whipped up with the help of the audience. For this all-new and original production, the Theatre at the Center stage is transformed into a folksy and inviting recreation of the Potempa Family farm - complete with kitchen, dining room and cozy living room decorated for the holidays.

A special show highlight is singer Laura Freeman, as seen in Gershwin's "Nice Work If You Can Get It" at TATC in Spring 2016, performing all of the favorite holiday tunes accompanied by TATC Musical Director William Underwood on piano.

From an onstage gingerbread house building contest with contestants chosen from the audience to an old-fashioned Christmas carol sing-along and plenty of prize giveaways, this ticket is an early holiday gift for all ages.

Matinee and evening performances are available, with the option of adding a special-themed pre-show lunch hosted in the ballroom by Trama Catering prior to matinee shows.

For the lunch show, doors open at 11:30 a.m., lunch meal served at noon and dessert. All of the menu recipes served are from Phil Potempa's fourth published cookbook "Back From the Farm" ($34.95, October 2019) and include: Jim Nabors' Split Pea Soup, followed by Phyllis Diller's Honey Chicken Breast (boneless) with Duchess Mashed Potatoes and Normandy Veggie Blend and a sweet finale of Zuzu's Gingersnaps and Peggy's Pecan Crescents Christmas Cookies.

In addition to a cash bar, Holiday Drinks available include Rum Punch, Sparkling Poinsettias (Cranberry and Champagne) and Spiked Egg Nog. It is $30 to add the pre-show festive lunch option for matinee performances. Call the dining and events office at 219-836-1930 to make your dining reservation.

Tickets to the show are $35 plus tax by calling the box office at 219-836-3255 or visit

From Dec. 4-16, there are also morning performances presented by Theatre for Young Audiences of "The Year Santa Went on a Diet."

In this tale, based on a childhood holiday essay written by newspaper columnist Phil Potempa in fourth grade, favorite Christmas icons come to life and Santa turns away from his typical nighttime snack of cookies and milk to drop some pounds so his gift-laden sleigh can get off the ground on Christmas Eve. Mrs. Claus, Frosty the Snowman, workshop helpers Emma Elf and Edward Elf and reindeer Blitzen are all keeping Santa on track to lose weight and feel great.

"It's a great personal honor to have this stage opportunity to see characters and a story imagined from my mind at age 9 come leap to life four decades later for a children's theatrical production I have the joy of scripting, directing and casting at Theatre at the Center," Phil Potempa said.

Starring as Santa Claus is WJOB Radio Personality Dave Innes, with Mrs. Claus played by Whiting Pierogi Fest "Buscia" Carolyn Kruzynski, teamed with WJOB Radio Sports Personality Robert Aguirre as Edward Elf opposite South Shore Arts' Cara Schmitt as Emma Elf, and featuring Frosty the Snowman brought to life by the puppeteering and voice of Philip Potempa joined by Blitzen the Reindeer portrayed by WJOB Afternoon Radio Personality Sonny Santana.

"The Year Santa Went on a Diet" is written and directed by Philip Potempa with weekday performances at 9:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. and special Saturday performances 9:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. Dec. 16. Perfect for all ages, all tickets are $10 by calling the box office at 219-836-3255 or visit

Launched in 1991, Theatre at the Center is a not-for-profit organization, sustained by grants including the Indiana Arts Commission and John W. Anderson Foundation, individual donations and major support from the Community Foundation of Northwest Indiana.


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