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Hammond pavilion lands orchestra, while Star Theatre nabs new sound

Maestro Kirk Muspratt leads Northwest IndianSymphony OrchestrSaturday July 31st during free concert lawn St. Anthony Home. The free concert was

Maestro Kirk Muspratt leads the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, July 31st during a free concert on the lawn of St. Anthony Home. The free concert was presented by the Crown Point Community Foundation and City of Crown Point. Photo by Scott R. Brandush/STAR

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Updated: January 23, 2012 2:54AM



That impressive Wolf Lake Pavilion will host the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 15.

The concert is free.

It’s part of the orchestra’s 2011 South Shore Summer Music Festival.

The pavilion, which premiered last year, is in Wolf Lake Memorial Park, Calumet Avenue and 122nd Street, Hammond.

In case of bad weather, the concert will be moved to the Hammond Civic Center, 5825 Sohl Ave.

The 2011 festival has five free outdoor concerts scheduled in Lake County. Besides Hammond, the orchestra will hit Centennial Park in Munster (July 22), Cedar Lake’s town complex grounds (July 23), Griffith’s Central Park (July 29) and the Franciscan Communities lawn, Main Street and Franciscan Drive, in Crown Point (July 30). All concerts start at 7:30 p.m.

Light classical music is included in the repertoire, but these warm-weather outings by the orchestra tend to appeal to the masses with a solid helping of pop. On tap is Broadway and movie fare, plus patriotic tunes.

Call 836-0525 or visit www.NISOrchestra.org for more information on the summer music festival.

Sounding better

After installing a new stage, the Star Plaza Theatre is now getting a new sound system.

We’re talkin’ state-of-the art audio.

That was the recent word from Charlie Blum, president and chief executive officer of the 3,400-seat Merrillville venue.

“It’s the same system that’s used at Radio City Music Hall,” said Blum, alluding to the vaunted New York City theater.

A Feb. 9 fire set off the emergency sprinkler system at the Star Plaza Theatre, causing water damage that affected speakers.

Blum hopes to have the new JBL-company sound system installed in time for “Hairspray.”

The musical starts a run at the Star Plaza Theatre on Saturday, July 30.

“It will be perfect for every type of entertainment,” Blum said of the amplification upgrade that consists of speakers, monitors and related components.

Just as water to fight the blaze damaged the sound system, it also ruined the theater’s original stage, which was replaced with a maple wood stage in April.

No one was injured in the fire, which started at a performance of the New Shanghai Circus. An illuminating floor lamp is believed to have ignited a stage curtain. Fire extinguishers were used in battling the fire.

Fest goes green

Hammond’s Festival of the Lakes is trying to become more environmentally friendly.

According to press material, recycling containers for plastic bottles and cans will be stationed throughout Wolf Lake Memorial Park, where the festival’s main-stage music kicks off Wednesday, July 20, with the Whispers as the headliner.

Those who imbibe can also do their part. Plastic beer cups from the beer garden will be recycled, says a marketing representative for the outdoor extravaganza.

The last night of festival music is Sunday, July 24.

Bob Kostanczuk talks entertainment with Steve “The Preacher” Glover from 4:15 to 5 p.m. each Friday on WJOB-AM (1230) and online at WJOB1230.com.



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