My Last Lecture: a Benefit Concert

Towle-TheaterMore than 1/3 of today’s entry-level jobs require postsecondary education. And yes, even a BFA in musical theatre counts. And that is the exact reason that rising college senior, Blake Zolfo, is putting together one final cabaret in Hammond, IN to raise money for rising tuition costs.

For the past four years, Zolfo has written, produced, and starred in his own one-man cabaret shows at The Towle Theater in beautiful downtown Hammond. Each year, 100% of the proceeds go towards Zolfo’s more than $58,000 tuition to the Boston Conservatory, and this year will be his final showcase. The theme? Education.

“I was brainstorming ideas for over a month and a half, trying to come up with the perfect through-line,” Zolfo remembers. “I wanted to do ‘My Big Fat Italian Life’ – all about my life growing up in a heavily Italian Family. I also thought about ‘Last Call’ – about how my career as a server and eventually a bartender is a perfect metaphor for growing up. But none of these ideas seemed to stick. I decided to ask my parents for advice, and that was when it hit me.”

Zolfo’s parents, Mike and Mickey Zolfo, have more than forty years of teaching experience between them. Mike taught at Sandberg High School and Merrillville High School and currently teaches at Purdue Calumet and at his own Yoga Studio in Crown Point. Mickey has spent more than seventeen years teaching, eleven of which were spent working with children with special needs.

“Teaching has always been such a huge part of my life, and it ties in the most stories that I want to tell. So I have titled the show, ‘My Last Lecture’” – a nod to teaching and also taking note that this will be Zolfo’s final show before moving to New York City.

The show this year is about “how teaching and being a nerd got [him] through some of life’s toughest lessons.” The show will feature current pop songs, jazz standards, operetta, classical musical theatre songs with new twists, as well as beautiful arrangements by music director, Matthew Lowy.

The responses from Zolfo’s audiences have been overwhelmingly positive. Many members do not know Zolfo personally, but knew that he came highly recommended. Others came because they were Towle Theater Season Ticket Holders and knew the Towle puts on great productions. And still others just want to support the cause: college.

Tickets for My Last Lecture on August 15th at the Towle Theater may be purchase online at or by calling (219) 937-8780. The show is at 8:00 and all tickets are $20. All proceeds go to Blake's tuition at the Boston Conservatory of Music.

The Towle Theater is located in historic downtown Hammond at 5205 Hohman Avenue. Free, well-lit, secured parking is available off of Fayette Street only steps away from our back entrance or the parking lot directly across the street from the theater on Hohman Avenue.