9 Places to See a Show in Goshen
It’s Showtime In The Maple City
A country-rock duo is harmonizing onstage in a repurposed automobile repair shop. On this night, the setlist includes a cover of Kris Kristopherson’s “Help Me Make It Through The Night.”
In a downtown historic landmark, theater patrons watch Goshen High School students perform, “Anne of Green Gables.”
Later that same month in the same venue, another crowd does the Time Warp … again.
In a collegiate concert hall, audience members thrill at the appearance of their favorite Prairie Home Companion, Garrison Keillor, who leads them in hymn-singing.
These are snapshots of the sights – to say nothing of the sounds – available in Goshen to music and theater lovers in recent months.
Put another way, only those who live in cities lacking the theatrical distinction of Goshen, Ind. ever say, “There’s no place to see a show.”
Enjoy the following tour of the many Goshen venues where both local residents and out-of-town visitors are guaranteed to be entertained.
The hall is alive with the sound of music
1700 South Main Street
Student performers and world-renowned artists alike have wowed audiences at Sauder Concert Hall in the Goshen College Music Center. Vance George, director of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, has touted Sauder Concert Hall as “one of the great halls of the world.”
Recent shows at the GC hall have included Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn, Rhiannon Giddens of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, and Garrison Keillor’s hit public radio show, “A Prairie Home Companion.” Other notables over the years have included Emmylou Harris, Indigo Girls, Wynton Marsalis, Lyle Lovett, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Gillian Welch, Nickel Creek, and The Wailin’ Jennys.
During yuletide, an annual holiday tradition comes to Sauder Concert Hall Dec. 4-6, “A Festival of Carols.” The Christmas music showcase will include performances by the Goshen College Choirs and Goshen College Symphony Orchestra. GC music students and professors will also be part of the show, along with audience singing and readings.
Now showing …
514 West Lincoln Avenue
In the mood for an Oscar contender, or just a new release? How about the latest installment in a blockbuster superhero franchise? Would you like popcorn with that?
If you answered yes to one or all of those questions, the place for you is Linway Cinema, located in Linway Plaza along Lincoln Avenue.
Linway Cinema opened in November 1994 with six screens. The multiplex has become even more “multi” over the years, with expansions to nine screens in 1997, 11 screens in 2001, and 14 screens in 2008. Ten screens are equipped to show films in 3D.
Old building, new life
216 South Main Street
In the heart of Goshen’s downtown, a renovation project is turning a historic landmark into a destination spot.
The revamped Goshen Theater began life as the Jefferson Theater in 1905. After the structure was destroyed in a fire, Goshen welcomed the return of the theater in October 1907. The space was remodeled in 1948 and renamed Goshen Theater. Movie-goers ventured to the downtown venue for decades.
Fast-forward to 2015, when community support and planners with a passion for the project have given the theater renewed vitality. Renovation work continues, but in the meantime, the theater is up and running.
In October, Goshen College’s Lavender Jazz delighted First Fridays attendees, many of whom were drawn to dance in front of the stage. The theater was also home that month to the Goshen High School production of “Anne of Green Gables.”
In keeping with the venue’s movie house tradition, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” was screened Oct. 24. A safe bet is that much of the audience had seen this particular “Picture Show” before, and nonetheless chose to watch it again – right here in Goshen.
Variety is in the house
211 South Main Street
Movies, theater, and live music all have a home at Art House, located on the second floor of a Main Street building.
Art House is home base for GoProv, the Maple City’s own improvisational comedy troupe, which regularly performs in the venue’s theater space. Earlier this year, Art House was the place to see “Jazz and Cigarettes,” a production written by Marcos Garber and performed by Adrienne Nesbitt and the New World Players, with music provided by The Dean’s List Jazz Quartet.
Art House is also a concert venue. Musicians who have performed in the second-floor space include award-winning mandolinist Ethan Setiawan and local bands Teacup Gorilla and Night Auditor, to name a few.
Film enthusiasts are likely to find something to enjoy at Art House, too. The $2 Monday Night Movies have featured an eclectic mix of classic flicks from “It’s A Wonderful Life” to “The Godfather” to “The Wizard of Oz” to “Pink Flamingos.”
At Art House, moviegoers with an indie sensibility can also enjoy films – think “Under The Skin”, “A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night” and “The End of the Tour” – that generally don’t play in a city the size of Goshen.
But at Goshen’s Art House, they do.
Setting off musical sparks
120 East Washington Street
Ignition Music Garage was once home to an automotive repair shop. Now, Ignition is an all-in-one music destination. New and used CDs and vinyl LPs are for sale, as is top-notch stereo equipment.
Ignition is also a live concert venue beloved by local listeners as well as performers, promoters and music fans far beyond Goshen.
Feel free to sit and listen, or get up and dance. Dancing is not only allowed at Ignition, it’s encouraged.
Eat, drink, and be merry
But wait! There’s more
Entertainment is fine, but sometimes we get hungry and thirsty. Don’t worry — in Goshen, food and beverage is as abundant as the fun.
6. Constant Spring has a full menu and a stocked bar. As you drink and dine, enjoy the sounds of the Dean’s List Jazz Quartet, which has a regular gig at the Spring every second Saturday of the month. The Spring is a musical showcase for other groups, as well. Kansas Bible Company and rockabilly powerhouse Bar Brawl III are among the notables that have performed at the downtown business.
7. Kelly Jae’s Café offers live music during First Fridays courtesy of HiFi2WiFi. The combo is a cover band that also plays some originals. HiFi2WiFi’s repertoire is a mix of blues, jazz and light rock. The Kelly Jae’s crew is also working to get at least another performer or performers in on a separate weekend every month.
8. JoJo’s Pretzels generally has live music every Friday night from 6 to 8 p.m. Anyone is welcome to sign up to perform. Patrons can hear music in a variety of styles and genres at JoJo’s.
9. Gateway Cellar Winery is a venue for live music – jazz, rock and other musical stylings – during First Fridays as well as every third Saturday of the month. Gateway also hosts an open mic night every Thursday starting at 8 p.m. In addition to music, poetry readings and stand-up comedy have been featured at Gateway.
“I like to get a little something for everybody,” said winery owner Larry Libey.
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