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Alexandria dancers the Runestone Rockettes will perform at the The Cotton Club show on Saturday. Submitted Photo

Chorus show to feature mobster production

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Does stepping back in time for an evening out at one of New York City’s most famous Prohibition-era night clubs sound like fun?

Then get your tickets now for the Heart O’Lakes Harmony Men’s Chorus’s spring show, “The Cotton Club (Where Mob Families Meet),” coming to Detroit Lakes’ Historic Holmes Theatre on Saturday, April 13 at 7:30 p.m.

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In earlier years, the Heart O’Lakes Chorus’s spring shows were focused mainly on the music, but under producer-director Rich Treptow’s guidance, they have become full-scale theatrical productions.

“Our shows are scripted now, with community theater actors playing the roles,” he said.

This year’s production, “The Cotton Club,” is no exception.

“It’s about two different mob families that show up at the club on the same night, by accident,” Treptow said, noting that the norm was for each family to have their own designated nights at the Cotton Club.

When the heads of two rival families show up simultaneously, with their respective entourages in tow, “the club owner and head waitress go into a tizzy,” Treptow said.

Fortunately, “a conflict is narrowly averted” — but to find out how and when that happens, people will have to buy a ticket, he added.

The 38-member, barbershop-style a cappella men’s chorus and quartets will entertain with lively vocal renditions of music reminiscent of the “Roaring 20s” — the heyday of famous band leaders like Duke Ellington and Count Basie and the height of the “big band” era.

Featured acts will include a presentation of soothing mellow music in the style of Nat King Cole by Fergus Falls singer Jerry Covington; the distinctive sounds of Detroit Lakes’ own Kathy Brekke and her famous 42nd Street Jazz Band; and the unique dancing style of Alexandria’s Runestone Rockettes, who will perform the Charleston as well as tap dance routines that might have been common to the era.

Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Holmes Theatre Box Office, 806 Summit Ave., or by calling 218-862-5300. Tickets will also be available at the door on the day of the show.

For those unable to make the April 13 show, another presentation of “The Cotton Club” will be shown at the Kennedy School Auditorium in Fergus Falls on Friday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m.. Tickets for the Fergus Falls show are available at Victor Lundeen Co. or at the door on the day of the show.

The cost of tickets for both shows is $12 for all those age 13 and up, or free for those age 12 and under.

“If you like big band music, jazz, Nat King Cole, a capella music and dancing, you’ll love this show,” Treptow said. “The audience will feel like they’re right inside the Cotton Club along with the people on stage.”

Follow Detroit Lakes Newspapers reporter Vicki Gerdes on Twitter at @VickiLGerdes.

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Vicki Gerdes
Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers and editor of MN Boomers magazine for the past 13 years. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.
(218) 847-3151
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