All of you are familiar with our dramatic offerings, be it plays or the occasional musical.  But how many of you know that we've been hosting the second-longest-running live concert series in Valparaiso?  That's correct.

Since our first "One Night Jam" concert with the legendary folk duo Lowen & Navarro in 2000, we've been bringing a diverse assortment of artists to our two stages, from folk to rock to blues to country, Americana to world music and jazz.

Almost all of the One Night Jam concerts are presented in a very intimate acoustic format, with a very enthusiastic, appreciative audience that also knows when to be quiet and appreciate the sublety of the stories being told or the softer songs.  My wife Sheri and I started ONJ because we were tired of going to a club to see an artist and not being able to hear the show because of all of the talking and noise going on in the audience.  I was determined that our series would be different, would be all about respect for the artists and their music.

This Sunday evening, after the matinee for "The Beauty Queen of Leenane," we get to bring back one of our favorite artists, one who has been with us since 2001.  Rocker Jim Peterik is not only a friend of the theatre's but also a dear friend of mine and my wife's. Oh, and he also wrote a few songs.  As co-founder of The Ides of March, he was responsible for writing the smash hit with one of the most famous horn riffs in history - "Vehicle".  And he did that when he was only 19.  And the Ides are still playing together today, still with the original 4 members, 50 years after then started out.

He then went on to found the rock band Survivor, and wrote or co-wrote "The Search is Over," "High On You," "Summer Nights," "I Can't Hold Back," "Rebel Girl," and the iconic inspirational rock anthem "Eye Of The Tiger."

Along the way he also wrote or co-wrote 38 Special's biggest hits including "Rocking Into The Night," "Hold On Loosely," "Wild-Eyed Southern Boys," and "Caught Up In You."

Oh, and he's got a Grammy on the shelf for "Tiger".

He's constantly working, constantly writing.  He's written songs for a truckful of bands including REO Speedwagon and The Beach Boys.  He's got songs that have been recorded by Reba McEntire and Trick Pony.  Buddy Guy.  Tom Keifer of Cinderella.  The list goes on and on...

Best of all, he loves to play at CST.   Through the years, the shows have always been very loose, relaxed, and extremely fun.  Sunday's show will be no different.  While the show will be mostly just Jim solo, he will occasionally be joined by Bob Bergland of The Ides of March on bass.  And Larry Millas, founder of the Ides of March, will be the sound engineer for the evening.  It's very much a family thing.

Not only is Jim a prolific songwriter, accomplished keyboardist, guitarist and vocalist, but he's also a very kind and generous soul.  He offered to donate an autographed guitar to raffle off for a local charity, and asked if I knew of one who would benefit.  Since my longtime friend Tom Lounges, the man who actually introduced me to JP, is on the board of the Humane Society of Northwest Indiana, and since both Sheri and I are big animal people, I suggested HSNI.  Jim readily agreed, and this past month at his annual World Stage all-star jam got the guitar autographed by The Ides, Kelly Keagy of Night Ranger, Mike Reno of Loverboy, David Pack of Ambrosia, and Keith Burns of Trick Pony.  HSNI will have volunteers in the lobby, selling raffle tickets and discussing the work of the shelter.  At the end of the evening, all proceeds of the raffle will go to HSNI and one lucky audience member will get to take home a fantastic souvenir.

And because we're a theatre, and the concert will be on the set of "Beauty Queen", and because Sunday night is historically significant, Jim, Bob, Larry and cooked up a very special surprise for everyone.  Trust me, you're going to love it.

Call the box office today and get your tickets.  There are a few left, but they are going.  Come see another side of CST that you may not have known about.


-- Paul Braun, Director
One Night Jam acoustic concert series