Deuces Wild Dueling Pianos kicks off Cultural Arts Series
Deuces Wild -- a dueling piano show -- will launch the 2019-20 season for the Central Lakes Community Performing Arts Center’s Cultural Arts Series.
The duo will rock the Chalberg Theatre with a 7:30 p.m. Sept. 13 show.
Series Producer Patrick Spradlin stated in a news release that this show will be a really fun way to begin a new season.
“We’ve had Deuces Wild here on multiple occasions. The audiences love these guys,” Spradlin stated. “These guys are Dave Eichholz and Ted Manderfeld, two vastly talented and personable musicians who’ve crafted what has become a nationally-acclaimed show of music, comedy and intense audience engagement.”
Deuces Wild Dueling Pianos is a mix of music and parodies ranging from country to rap to show tunes.
“This show is amazingly fun,” Spradlin said. “It’s so high energy, and involves the audience in so many ways. Part music, part improv, part audience participation, it’s like going to a party where you know everyone and having the time of your life.”
The Deuces Wild guys come with impressive resumes, notes Spradlin. Eichholz is a versatile, self-taught musician who plays the piano, guitar, saxophone, harmonica, trumpet and countless other instruments. He was featured internationally on the Swedish television show “Christine.” He was then recruited by Little Ditty’s Dueling Piano Bar at the Mall of America in Minnesota, where he performed four nights each week for five years.
Manderfeld got his start in Deuces Wild by walking out of his day job and demanding an audition. Although he hadn’t previously played in a dueling piano style show, his showmanship and obvious ability to perform as a world class entertainer blew away the competition. Since then he has played thousands of dueling piano shows with performances all over the country.
The duo has performed together for 14 years, in more than 1,500 shows, and traveled more than 750,000 miles with Deuces Wild.
What else is coming in the series
Actor/singer/songwriter Ronny Cox will perform the following week, Sept. 21, in the Chalberg stage for a night of stories, music and fun.
“This is another artist we’ve previously presented,” Spradlin stated. “Ronny is a terrific singer, brings great musicians with him when he travels, and really engages the audience in a warm and personal way.”
Cox will be keynote speaker at the Ageless Expo, sponsored by The Center in Brainerd, before
performing that night. He’s well known for film roles in movies such as “Deliverance,” “RoboCop,” the Beverly Hills Cop franchise and the Dexter television series.
“Ronny personally greets each audience member prior to or after the performance,” Spradlin stated. “He’s a terrific entertainer and does a heck of a show.”
The Fabulous Armadillos returns Oct. 11 with “What’s Goin’ On?,” a remembrance of the
music of the Vietnam War era show.
“This is probably the Armadillos best show,” stated Spradlin. “It’s moving, it has great music played by a terrific band, and it really strikes all the right notes.”
As part of this show, veterans and active duty military personnel will receive a discounted ticket when purchased through the theater’s box office.
Bluegrass supergroup Monroe Crossing will perform Oct. 26.
“This has been a much-requested band for several years now,” Spradlin stated. “I’m very pleased to have them here at last.
The hilarious comedy “Triple Espresso” will present two performances Nov. 2.
“This show is one of the funniest things you’ll ever see,” stated Spradlin. “It’s been performing in the Twin Cities, and around the country, for years now. To have it back in the Chalberg is a real treat.”
Minneapolis singer Rachel Reiss brings her all-woman band “Her Crooked Heart” to the Dryden Theatre Nov. 7.
“This year we’re having a few events in our newly remodeled Dryden Theatre as a cabaret series,” Spradlin stated. “We’ve chosen some artists that will be particularly wonderful in a small, intimate setting. Rachel and her band will be the first, and they are a tremendous group of singer/musicians.”
Tonic Sol Fa returns Nov. 22 to the Tornstrom 22 for their Christmas show “The Nights Before
“There aren’t enough superlatives to describe this very talented group of a capella singers,” Spradlin stated.
The Rock and Roll Christmas show will be the second seasonal offering Dec. 21 in Tornstrom Auditorium.
“We cannot do a season without this show,” Spradlin noted. “Our audiences won’t let us. It’s the most fun you’ll ever have at Christmastime.”
Acclaimed choral group Cantus will ring in the new year when they perform Jan. 17, 2020, in Tornstrom Auditorium. Spradlin stated this group is one of the finest in the country.
Hip hop makes its debut in the series when the Reminders perform Jan. 22, 2020 in Dryden Theatre.
“This duo of talented performers has such a positive message for our audience,” Spradlin stated. “They’ll be doing some outreach activities as part of their stay in our town.”
Marking their 30th anniversary, the James Sewell Ballet will come Feb. 1, 2020, to the Chalberg stage. One of the premiere dance companies in the entire Midwest, the program will showcase many of the seminal works the JSB has been noted for over the past three decades.
The Dryden will pulse to the jazz licks of the George Maurer Trio Feb. 5, 2020.
“We love incorporating jazz into our season, and the Maurer group is top-notch,” Spradlin stated.
Illusion Theater of Minneapolis will come to Brainerd Feb. 12, 2020 with its one woman show “Pink Unicorn.” The play chronicles the challenges of a rural mom whose daughter comes out to her, and the resulting consequences of that act.
“Neither Wolf Nor Dog,” the acclaimed film from the novel of the same title, will be screened March 17-18, 2020, in the Chalberg Theatre.
“We’re really fortunate to have Kent Nerburn, the book’s author, here to engage in an audience Q and A after each screening. This will add so much more to what is already a terrific event,” Spradlin stated.
The all-woman country band Farewell Angelina will perform March 21, 2020, on the Chalberg stage.
“This band is so gifted musically, and their voices are so powerful,” Spradlin stated. “The band is winning much acclaim and is on many critics’ radar as an up-and-coming group.”
Renowned guitarist Laurence Juber will play March 26, 2020, in the Dryden Theatre. Juber performed last season in Brainerd on a double bill with Martin Taylor.
Greatworks Theatre of Chicago will bring its stage adaptation of the beloved book “The Big Friendly Giant” for two performances on April 3-4, 2020.
“Score! -- Music from Films” will be the offering of The New Standards when they perform April 17, 2020.
“We had TNS here a couple of years ago,” Spradlin stated. “What a terrific trio of musicians. Some of the best live music you’ll ever hear.”
The season concludes A
pril 24, 2020, with the Killer Vee’s celebration of the music of Neil Diamond, “I Am -- He Said.”
Tickets for the Cultural Arts Series 2019-20 season are available from the CLC Theatre Box Office at 218-855-8199 or online at www.clcperformingarts.com.
Each event has local sponsorship, and the entire season is made possible in part by an Operating Support Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board as part of the Legacy Amendment.