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'Small Town, Big Dreams' - comedy, storytelling and music show - set in Little Falls

Comedian Jason Schommer will join Michael Shynes for two nights May 16-17 to present “Small Town, Big Dreams,” a show of comedy, storytelling and music at the Great River Arts Center in downtown Little Falls. Submitted Photo1 / 2
Singer/songwriter Michael Shynes will join Jason Schommer for two nights May 16-17 to present “Small Town, Big Dreams,” a show of comedy, storytelling and music at the Great River Arts Center in downtown Little Falls. Submitted Photo2 / 2

LITTLE FALLS—"Small Town, Big Dreams," a show of comedy, storytelling and music by Jason Schommer and Michael Shynes, will be offered for two nights at 7:30 p.m. May 16-17 at the Great River Arts Center in downtown Little Falls.

Tickets are $18 and all seating is general admission with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by phone at 320-632-0960, online at www.greatart.org, at the GRA office during business hours, or at the door.

Shynes and Schommer return to their hometown of Little Falls with a new show about growing up in a small town and leaving home, chasing one's dreams in the big city, seeing the world and returning home to where it all began. Tales of hometown roots, high school awkwardness, first gigs, hitting the road, big breaks, crushing disappointments, love, loss, and coming home again are told through stories, comedy and music. Exploring the themes of discovering who you are and finding your place in the world, "Small Town, Big Dreams" is an honest, hilarious and heartfelt show that is not to be missed, a news release stated.

Schommer is a stand-up comedian, actor, director and storyteller who spent two years as the opening act for comedy legend Louie Anderson in Las Vegas and continues to tour with Anderson regularly. As a stand-up comic, Schommer has performed all over the U.S., Canada and for the U.S. military in Japan. He's worked with comedy superstars including Chris Kattan from "Saturday Night Live" and "Night at the Roxbury"; Josh Blue, champion of "Last Comic Standing"; Judy Tenuta, a Grammy Award winner for Best Comedy Album; and Tim Meadows of "Saturday Night Live" and "The Ladies' Man."

A regular performer at The Moth, Schommer has won numerous Story Slam competitions and was invited to perform at the GrandSlam at The Fitzgerald Theatre in St. Paul in 2016 and most recently in 2018 at The Guthrie Theater. Schommer has worked in New York City for "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" and for Richard Frankel Productions, a Tony Award-winning Broadway producer. Schommer has directed and acted in numerous productions including Disney's "Beauty and the Beast," "Evita," "Grease," "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," "The Pajama Game," "Murder at the Howard Johnson's" and "Singin' in the Rain." Schommer recently released his first live comedy album, "Confessions of a Local Celebrity" and worked behind the scenes in Hollywood as a stand-in for Louie Anderson in the FX television series "Baskets."

Shynes is a Midwest born singer/songwriter with a platinum record in Poland. Being a self-taught musician from Little Falls, Shynes chased an unlikely dream and built a career out of nothing more than pure hustle and soulful songwriting, the release stated. While Shynes' music may be difficult to define—often oscillating from folk to pop to R&B to country and then back again—the intent behind it is the unifying ingredient; the unmistakable truth that it never strives to be anything less than genuine and authentic, a news release stated. Blending shades of multiple genres over an acoustic and full band landscape, his songs are ripe with lyrical depth rarely paired with such mainstream appeal.

The thing that seems to separate Shynes is unquestionably his vocal stylings. With a range and falsetto that is nothing short of captivating, his acoustic finger picking style acts as the perfect bed of warmth on which his soulful lyrics can rest, the news release stated.Shynes would often get noticed as a strong local candidate to open up for national acts as they came through town, and even ended up on a tour with platinum recording artist Howie Day. From humble beginnings, he has worked to become one of the most sought after performers in the Midwest and now plays to standing room only crowds.

Shynes recently released his third full length album "The River, The Current, and The Undertow" to rave reviews.

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