Entertainment Briefs - Oct. 5

Geritol Frolics observe 30 years on stage The Geritol Frolics--a musical/theater cast of men and women age 55 and older who have been entertaining audiences for more than 30 years--is gearing up for its next upcoming production that will hit the ...

The Geritol Frolics perform in 2015 at the Franklin Arts Center in Brainerd. The frolics are getting ready for their upcoming 2017 season.Submitted
The Geritol Frolics perform in 2015 at the Franklin Arts Center in Brainerd. The frolics are getting ready for their upcoming 2017 season. Submitted

Geritol Frolics observe 30 years on stage

The Geritol Frolics-a musical/theater cast of men and women age 55 and older who have been entertaining audiences for more than 30 years-is gearing up for its next upcoming production that will hit the stage in mid-October.

The Geritol Frolics is a nonprofit organization that began in 1986 by Bob Dryden, who was director of theater at Brainerd Community College, who wanted to get more area senior citizens involved in community theater.

Since the first week of August, the cast has been rehearsing twice a week to prepare for the 2017 show which opens at 7 p.m. Oct. 19 at the Franklin Arts Center, 1001 Kingwood St., Brainerd. The theme for the show is "Be-Bop and Bobby Sox" and will feature music from the '50s. Show dates and times are 7 p.m. Oct. 19 and 28; and at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 20-22, 26, 27, 29. Tickets are $15 and $17, plus a $3 processing fee. All seats are reserved. All credit cards are accepted and all sales are final. Tickets can be purchased online at and at the box office located in the Franklin building. The box office is open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday or by phone at 218-825-4993.

Proceeds from ticket sales, program advertising and donations are used to produce and promote the show. Each year a $500 scholarship is awarded to a graduating senior from one of the surrounding area high schools who intends to pursue a career in one of the performing arts.


When the frolics began more than 30 years ago, "The response was overwhelming," it stated in a news release. "Both in numbers of people who turned out and in the variety of talents they possessed and in 1987 the Geritol Frolics was born. Billed as 'a two-hour variety show featuring side-splitting comedy, dance extravaganza, and spirited musical renditions of the old favorites' as performed by a group of 65 adults between the ages of 55 and 82 it was an immediate and very popular hit."

Invited to perform at the National Council on Aging convention in Washington, DC, in 1988 it was a resounding success. The show was produced at Central Lakes College for 15 years before being discontinued at the end of the 2001 season.

In 2004, a number of former performers led by current director, Ed Yunker, decided to try to put the show back on stage. Learning that the Franklin Junior High School building would no longer be used as a educational facility Yunker contacted Paul Bloom, director of Brainerd Community Education at the time, to discuss his group's idea. Bloom arranged for the use of the Franklin auditorium as a performance site and offered his assistance in making the idea a reality; including developing a budget and securing necessary financing. Yunker and his wife, Yvonne, set about writing the show, recruiting former cast members many of whom were with the original 1987 show and purchasing music. A number of ladies volunteered to construct the costumes used in the show, orchestra musicians were hired and in November of 2004 the Geritol Frolics took to the stage of the Franklin Arts Center.

Now in its 14th year of its second go-around, the Geritol Frolics has provided entertainment to thousands. It ranks high on the list of favorite go-to events for many tour agencies around the state, the release stated. There has been as many as 54 performers to its current complement of 30 singers and dancers. Ages have ranged from the minimum requirement of 55 to over 90. Two of the dancers in the current cast are over 90. All on-stage performers are volunteers. Members of the cast have come from many communities within a 60-mile radius of Brainerd and include Hackensack, Pine River, Pequot Lakes, Crosslake, Emily, Fifty Lakes, Merrifield, Staples, Motley, Pillager, Crosby-Ironton, Deerwood, Aitkin, Pierz, East Gull Lake and Nisswa.

The mission of the Geritol Frolics is "to provide senior citizens the means for artistic expression in the performing arts by becoming involved in a musical variety show designed to entertain the general public; while providing on-going learning, socialization, exercise and mental stimulus for those participating." The show's motto is "You are as Young as You Act, You are as Young as You Feel."

Artwork on display in St. Paul; Brainerd connection

"The Spirit of Life," a solo show featuring the artwork of Mary B. Madsen, will be on display Oct. 9-20 at the Anodyne Artist Company in St. Paul.

Madsen attained a mentorship from visual artist Sydney Zoller, a local artist residing in Brainerd, who previously worked at Anodyne Artist Company, a company that supports artists with and without disabilities pursuing creative endeavors in both the performing and visual arts.


The show will consist of various drawings, paintings and sculptures reflecting on the stages before, during and after Madsen's breast cancer. Madsen has been doing art her whole life. In 2007, she was diagnosed with breast cancer but continued doing her art during the long surgery and healing periods. As of this date, she remains cancer free.

Madsen chose October as it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and wants to inspire hope in others and bring about awareness of breast cancer through a visual rendering of her stories.

Stage North auditions set

The Stage North Theatre Company will host auditions for the upcoming holiday show, "Miracle on 34th Street," at 7 p.m. Oct. 13 and 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Oct. 14 at the Franklin Arts Center in Brainerd.

Those planning to attend should meet in the theater lobby to fill out the audition form.

"Miracle on 34th Street" is the heartwarming holiday story of Kris Kringle, an old man in a retirement home, who gets a job working as Santa for Macy's, it states in a news release. Kris unleashes waves of good will with Macy's customers by referring parents to other stores to find exactly the toy their child has asked for. Seen as deluded and dangerous by Macy's vocational counselor, Kris ends up in a court competency hearing where he could end up in a psychiatric hospital. Also at stake is one little girl's belief in Santa.

There are roles for more than 30 actors, most not gender specific; plus there will be a casting for a children's choir of around 15 members.

Performance dates are Dec. 14, 15, 16 and 17.


For more information visit or call 218-232- 6810.

ZooFest features Kevin Horner

LITTLE FALLS-Kevin Horner, ventriloquist and comedian, will perform Saturday at Pine Grove Zoo's ZooFest in Little Falls. Horner has 20 years experience and is a three times People's Choice Award winner for the art of ventriloquism. Horner uses a combination of illusions, comedy ventriloquism and his "special guests" to make his show.

Pine Grove Zoo holds its annual ZooFest fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Horner will perform at 11:45 a.m., 12:30 p.m.,1:15 p.m. and 2 p.m. Other activities include pumpkin racing, otter toss, face painting, inflatables, monkeys in a barrel and more. The popular rock wall includes two monkey motion stations and new this year is the three-lane bungee run. Cinderella, Belle, Spiderman and Batman will be available for pictures as they interact with guests.

In addition, Bindi, Pine Grove Zoo's youngest kangaroo, will be available for guests to see from 11:30 a.m. to noon, 1-1:30 p.m. and 2:30-3 p.m.

Tickets are just $6 per person with age 1 and under free.

For more information on ZooFest or Pine Grove Zoo email or call 320-616-5595.

Scott Lykins to perform with HSA at fall concert

Conductor Alexander Corbett will once again direct the Heartland Symphony Orchestra' fall concerts.

The fall concert titled "Great Romantics" will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 14 at Sacred Heart Chapel of the Franciscan Sisters in Little Falls and 2:30 p.m. Oct. 15 at Tornstrom Auditorium in Brainerd. Musical selections of the concerts will be by Richard Wagner, Johannes Brahms and Camille Saint-Saëns.

Guest artist with the HSO will be Scott Lykins, cellist, who is the executive director of the Lakes Area Music Festival. Lykins will perform Camille Saint-Saëns: Cello Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 33.

Corbett and Lykins will visit area Brainerd school's fourth grade classes to emphasize the joy and love of playing classical music, it stated in a news release. Also prior to each concert, Corbett will hold an audience "Conductor Chat" beginning at 6:45 p.m. in Little Falls and 1:45 p.m. in Brainerd.

Tickets for both performances may be purchased at the door, online at or by calling 1-800-826-1997. School age youth from K-12 are admitted free.

Two more concerts are planned for December of 2017, titled "Holiday Voices" featuring the Legacy Chorale of Greater Minnesota along with children's choirs from Little Falls and Brainerd and in April of 2018 titled "Essence of Spring," featuring a musical selection by the winner of the HSO Composer Competition.

The HSO is a 50-piece volunteer, nonprofit, community orchestra serving the central Minnesota area of Brainerd, Little Falls and the surrounding rural communities. Musicians, from amateurs to professionals, come together once a week from all over the region to rehearse and perform three full-length orchestral music concerts each season in both Little Falls and Brainerd.

Email for more information about upcoming concerts or to get involved either as a player or HSO sponsor.

Brainerd Community Theatre auditions set

Brainerd Community Theatre will hold auditions for Tom Topor's "Answers" at 7 p.m. Monday in the Dryden Theatre at Central Lakes College in Brainerd. The play is the initial offering in a new performance series called Rough Cuts. Actors will not be required to fully memorize the script, and will participate in a shortened rehearsal period.

"We're hoping this holds appeal to area actors who don't have the time to commit to a fully-realized production," BCT Director Patrick Spradlin stated in a news release.

The play takes place in a police interrogation room. Having been detained for questioning, in a crime about which he claims to know nothing, a suspect is grilled by two persistent police officers.

The cast calls for three actors. Auditions will consist of readings from the script. The production is directed by Rebecca Timmins. Performance dates are Nov. 15-17.

Contact Spradlin at 218-855-8255 or at for more information.

GRA to host classes

Great River Arts hosts ongoing class opportunities for children and adults, as well as project specific classes for children and adults.

GRA hosts the classes the first Saturday of each month October through December.

This Saturday there is a class for ages 4-7 called Petite Picasso and will meet from 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. to work on process-based creations encouraging exploration and expression. Students will benefit from hands-on projects in small class sizes. The class will work on no-carve pumpkin decorating.

A class for second- through fifth-graders is called Mini Monet and will meet from noon-1:30 p.m. to teach the use of color, composition, pattern and texture. Students will conjure movable, poseable mummies out of a variety of materials.

Adults interested in painting classes are invited Oct. 18 to join Art Bar 39 where they will be lead on a guided painting project from start to finish.The painting highlights the colors and decor of fall.

All classes must be paid in full and registered for prior to the day of the session. Go to to register or for more information.

Real Men Sing 2017 Festival in Staples set

STAPLES-The Real Men Sing! annual festival is scheduled Oct. 14, which will include performances by Real Men Sing jr! To be held at the Staples Motley High School gymnasium.

Workshops and rehearsals begin at noon for participants, and the doors open at 6 p.m. with a concert for the public starting at 7 p.m.

This year the guest director is Dwight Jilek, who is the director of Choral Activities at the Bemidji

State University. Jilek also was last year's voice clinician.

"We were impressed by him and impressed by his choir as well," Kevin Olsen, sponsoring organization Staples Area Men's Chorus board member chairing this year's event, stated in a news release.

Guest chorus "Musikanten" from Bemidji State University also will perform.

The guest director for the Real Men Sing Jr! is former SAMC director, Steve Hoemberg. Hoemberg has worked with the high schoolers in attendance in developing male voices. Hoemberg was recently chosen to work with the 2017 American Choral Director Association of Minnesota Honor Choir later this fall.

Real Men Sing is in its 16th year in Staples and SAMC member Pat Lunemann was recently awarded the Advocate for Choral Excellence Award from the Central District of the American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota for being the inspiration behind the Real Men Sing Festival. Lunemann will be recognized for his contributions at this year's concert.

The Staples Area Men's Chorus as well as high schools attending will perform separately and then as a mass chorus.

Registration is still open for high schools interested in attending by contacting SAMC

director Rob Freelove at for more information.

Tickets are $10 each with age 6 and under free and a family maximum of $25. Tickets can be purchased online at or from chorus members or at the Nelson Insurance Agency in Staples.

This event is sponsored by Staples Motley Area Community Foundation, Northern Joint Powers Alliance, the Five Wings Arts Council, the Clean Water Land Legacy Amendment with funds from the McKnight Foundation, and Popplers Music.

Book-signing set in Crosby

CROSBY-Restoration Books and Gifts in Crosby, will host a book signing for "There is Hope Beyond the Fog," by author JH Leander from 2-5 p.m. Oct. 19.

The book-signing is being held at this time to honor October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Domestic Violence Awareness month is an effort to build awareness and to support women who have or are experiencing domestic violence. After store hours from 5-7 p.m., there will be a meet and greet with the author event, where she will share some of her personal journey of hope in being set free from an abusive relationship.

An excerpt from her book: "In most cases, fog is used in movies to entice the hairs on the back of out neck to stand on end. It warns us that evil is lurking around, ready to impart some monster from behind the darkness. We begin to cower in our seats and grasp the arms of our chair or the person sitting next to us tighter. But looking at fog, in its purpose, fog is like the wrapping paper around a gift. We don't know what's beyond the paper but with hands tearing the pieces back, we see the treasure just beyond"

Cultural Center hosting upcoming events

NEW YORK MILLS-The Cultural Center in New York Mills is hosting two upcoming events.

Regional sign language performer, Donna Surface, and her music man husband, Pat, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 14. Pat and Donna are currently performing their popular show, "Remember When," which features hits from the '50s, '60s and '70s woven with "back stories, relatable and hysterical husband-wife banter al la Sonny and Cher, and Donna's dramatic interpretation in performance sign language, it stated in a news release. The show includes interactive segments like "Name That Tune" with prizes, sing-alongs and Donna's '60s dancing, including her signature Tina Turner moves to Pat's "Proud Mary."

Pat became a full-time touring artist in 1987, showcasing nationally for National Association for Campus Activities and performing at colleges around the country. He pioneered Family Programming on college and university campuses, and has worked with several community education organizations on early childhood/family programming. Pat and Donna were also key-note presenters and performers at the National Marriage Encounter Conference at St. John's University.

Doors for the concert open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 at the door, $12 in advance and $5 for students. Members of the center get a $2 discount.

The center also is hosting a two-part mosaic table top making class over two October weekends: The first session runs from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and the second is from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Oct. 14 with instructor Pam Collins, a local artist from Staples.

The class fee is $110, or $100 for members of the center. Students should bring an empty ice cream bucket and rags, and if desired, design ideas and any personal knick-knack or dishes to incorporate into their piece. All other materials provided.

Pre-registration is required.

To reserve a spot and pay class fees or to get tickets for the concert visit the center's website at or call 218-385-3339.

Bandolier bags to be discussed

LITTLE FALLS-Marcia G. Anderson will appear from 1-3 p.m. Oct. 21 to discuss "A Bag Worth a Pony" at The Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Memorial Museum in Little Falls to discuss her research on bandolier bags.

Bandolier bags, or gashkibidaaganag, are large, heavily beaded shoulder bags made and worn by several North American Indian tribes around the Great Lakes and are cultural icons around the world. From the 1870s to the present day, Ojibwe bead artists of Minnesota have been well known for their creative designs and neighboring Dakota people would trade a pony for a beautiful beaded bag, it stated in a news release.

Anderson will share the results of 30 years of study, in which she learned from the talented bead artists who keep the form alive, from historical records and from the bags themselves. Anderson examines the history, forms, structure and motifs of the bags, giving readers the tools to understand a bag's makeup and meaning. She also offers a tour of Minnesota's seven Ojibwe reservations, showing the beaded bags associated with each along with the personal insights of seven master beadworkers.

The museum, which is owned and operated by the Morrison County Historical Society, has two bandolier bags within its collections, including one featured in Anderson's book. The bandolier bags will be on display during the event.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information call 320-632-4007.

The 2017 Real Men Sing! Guest Director this year is Dwight Jilek, wh is the director of choral activities at Bemidji State University.Submitted
The 2017 Real Men Sing! Guest Director this year is Dwight Jilek, wh is the director of choral activities at Bemidji State University. Submitted

Related Topics: LITTLE FALLS
What To Read Next
This week's featured read is "Angle of Declination" by Deerwood couple Doug and Sally Mayfield.
Live music in the Brainerd lakes area.
This calendar lists book or author events, auditions for theatrical productions, art, craft or food fairs and other unique entertainment events.
Brainerd Community Theatre will put on a production of “9 to 5: The Musical” at Central Lakes College. The musical comedy by Dolly Parton is based on her 1980 hit movie about women in the workplace.