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CLC Performing Arts Center rolls out 2018-19 season

Rhythmic Circus will perform “Holiday Shuffle” Dec. 16 in Brainerd as part of the Central Lakes Community Performing Arts Center 2018-19 season of events. Submitted Photo1 / 3
Lee Rocker will hit the stage April 26, 2019, in the Tornstrom Auditorium as part of the Central Lakes Community Performing Arts Center 2018-19 season of events. Submitted Photo2 / 3
Minneapolis vocalist Aby Wolf will perform “Champagne Confetti” Nov. 1 with a multi-piece ensemble includings strings and percussion as part of the Central Lakes Community Performing Arts Center 2018-19 season of events. Submitted Photo 3 / 3

Featuring everything from ballet to rockabilly, the Central Lakes Community Performing Arts Center unveiled its 2018-19 season of events.

In a news release, CLC Theatre Director Patrick Spradlin called the series one of the more diverse and ambitious seasons to date.

The curtain goes up on the season with the Brainerd Community Theatre production of Bernard

Pomerance's poignant drama, "The Elephant Man," opening Sept. 27, and playing through

Oct. 4. The play is based on the real-life story of John Merrick, a man living in Victorian England who suffered from a horrendous affliction that left him terribly deformed. The play is a celebration of the human will to endure, and a morality play touching on what it truly means to be compassionate.

Arrival, a Swedish band making an American tour, and performing the music of ABBA, will perform Oct. 5.

"This is a gigantic show," stated Spradlin, "A real sound and lights extravaganza. And with the

current re-emergence of ABBA, through the two 'Mama Mia' films and the release of a new album, this will be a very popular show."

The Continental Ballet Company returns to Brainerd Oct. 13 with a performance of "Sleeping

Beauty." Known for lavish scenery and costuming, the performance will be 2 p.m. in the Chalberg Theatre.

Herman Melville's classic novel of search, redemption and adventure is told through an innovative production called "Ishamael," on Oct. 25. Performed by a single actor and live musicians, this is a gripping tale and an innovative take on the literary classic, Spradlin stated.

Minneapolis vocalist Aby Wolf will perform "Champagne Confetti" Nov. 1 with a multi-piece ensemble including strings and percussion. A multiple winner of Best Female Vocalist in Twin Cities publications, Wolf has performed with notables like the New Standards.

The Fabulous Armadillos will present "What's Going On?—The Music of the Vietnam War Era" Nov. 3. Known for their uncanny ability to cover virtually any rock artist regardless of genre, Spradlin stated the Armadillos show is a multi-media look back of the turbulent war years and the music defined the era, including psychedelic, soul, funk, protest and folk music tunes.

BCT presents the drama "Bill W. and Dr. Bob" in the newly-renovated Dryden Theatre. The show runs Nov. 29 through Dec. 8. Based on the chance encounter of two drunks one night in Dayton, Ohio, the play tells the real story of the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous. Moderated talk-back sessions will be part of each performance.

There will be two holiday shows this season: Rhythmic Circus will perform "Holiday Shuffle" Dec. 16 and the Rock and Roll Christmas show returns for its eighth year Dec. 21 in Tornstrom Auditorium in Brainerd.

Rhythmic Circus is a world renowned dance ensemble featuring four hoofers and a swinging seven-piece band performing upbeat holiday classics the whole family can celebrate together, the news release stated.

The Rock and Roll Christmas show is a perennial favorite. This Las Vegas-caliber multimedia extravaganza mixes hilarious stories with favorite holiday songs in a way people have never heard before, Spradlin stated.

Mick Sterling and his All-stars, featuring a four piece horn section, full percussion, double piano, two violins and a six piece band, will present "A Billy Joel State of Mind" Jan. 18, 2019 in the Chalberg Theatre.

The life and music of Minnesota's legendary Bobby Vee is the core of "Remembering Bobby Vee," a musical journey of this music icon, as performed by his sons, nephew and grandson. The show will be Jan. 25, 2019, in the Tornstrom Auditorium.

Two guitar impresarios, under the omnibus bill of "Masters of the Guitar," will hit the stage on Feb. 1, 2019. Laurence Jube, world-renowned guitarist, composer and arranger, winner of multiple Grammy awards, also was the lead guitarist for Paul McCartney and Wings. He will be joined by Martin Taylor, internationally acclaimed guitarist recognized as the world's foremost exponent of solo jazz guitar.

BCT opens the high-flying farce "Boeing, Boeing" Feb. 28, 2019, with performances continuing through March 7, 2019. Drawn from the slapstick tradition, this fast-paced whirlwind jets the audience through the misadventures of a man attempting to juggle three fiancees at the same time.

Motown Revue "Masters of Soul" will be March 22, 2019, in the Tornstrom Auditorium. A celebration of the legendary songs and performers that defined Motown and soul music, this is a fully choreographed, stylishly costumed evening of some of the best music of our times, Spradlin stated.

The Griffin Theatre Company of Chicago will present "In To America" March 29, 2019. This show traces the American immigrant experience from Jamestown to present day through the true stories of ordinary men, women, and children who departed their homelands in the hopes of creating a new life.

World renowned solo piano artist George Winston returns April 12, 2019, to the Chalberg stage. Winston is a versatile artist whose concerts feature a variety of styles, including melodic folk piano, New Orleans rhythm and blues and stride piano.

Lee Rocker will hit the stage April 26, 2019, in the Tornstrom Auditorium. A founding member of the legendary rockabilly group The Stray Cats, Rocker will be spinning and rocking his giant

upright bass in a way the Washington Post called "Raw, frantic romps, driving blues, and finger-snapping rockabilly."

BCT concludes its spring lineup of plays with "A Few Good Men" which runs May 2-9. Written by Emmy and Oscar winning writer Aaron Sorkin, this is a pulse pounding tale of conspiracy, cover-up, and an examination of a soldier's commitment to unit, corps, God and country.

The performing arts season concludes on May 11 when Collective Unconscious come to the Chalberg stage with "Abbey Road—An Album Tribute." Known partly for their collaborations with the Armadillos, this show will be a complete performance of one of the greatest rock albums of all time, Spradlin stated.

Tickets for all 19 events in the season are on sale through the CLC Theatre Box Office at 218-855-8199. Purchases can also be made on the center's website at

The season is made possible in part by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board operating grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Each separate event is made possible in part by individual and corporate sponsorships.