Live entertainment. You can’t beat it. I grew up in a theater-loving family where nothing was more exciting than attending a live play or concert. I still find that to be the case. So, during the height of the pandemic, while our local performing arts organizations did their best to entertain us by other means, I grew desperate.

How desperate was I for live entertainment? So desperate I bought a bird bath.

It weighs about 150 pounds.

My wife, Jenny, and I schlepped it into the backyard, filled it with water, set up chairs about 20 yards away, and waited for the show to begin.

I have to say, it is very entertaining to see live birds splashing around. You just know they are happy and having a good time.

Bird baths are fun, but as live entertainment goes, they aren’t theater. Photo by Malcolm Abrams

As we would go about our lives indoors, we would regularly look out the windows to see if there was any action at the bath. Our dog and two cats also kept an eye out.

We still watch the birds, but happily, live theater and concerts are back on. I hope that there is no more pandemic backsliding and that everyone gets vaccinated so our theaters and halls can stay open.

The two feature stories in this issue are all about the performing arts—music, theater, and dance.

Bloomington is privileged to have the IU Jacobs School of Music here. Its primary goal may be teaching, but performance
is right up there, and we are the beneficiaries with 1,100 performances a year. Widely acclaimed as the best music school in the country, the Jacobs School is celebrating its 100th year.

We have managed to summarize that 100 years in just 16 pages. (Like so many other people, I would not have moved to Bloomington if not for the music school.)

Our other feature, “Coming Attractions: Live Entertainment Is Back,” will fill you in on what’s ahead at many area venues so you can plan and purchase tickets for the autumn, winter, and spring.

We are blessed in this community to have the Jacobs School, multiple theater organizations, choirs, orchestras, and festivals. Bird baths are great, but ultimately, they’re for the birds.