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Pelican Rapids native brings Doyle & Debbie show back to area

For the second time, and likely the last time, the Nashville hit show The Doyle and Debbie Show will be coming to Fargo.

Pelican Rapids native Bruce Arntson plays the part of Doyle, along side Debbie, or Jenny Littleton.

After years of rock bands, composing music and writing screenplays, Arntson followed a girlfriend to Nashville to try their luck in that industry. It worked.

Arntson spent years collecting material for what would become The Doyle & Debbie Show.

"There is a sort of an odd old time showbiz formality that the Grand Ole Opry still kind of has, and that it definitely had back in the days that I was listening to the archives, and there's an old hillbilly vaudeville aspect to it that is very enduring, and at the same time hilarious to me," he said last year before he came to the Fargo stage for the first time.

"Then there's the tradition of the girl singer who's sort of treated like a pet. The whole culture is very sexist, but old-timey sexist, not mean sexist. It's just a part of the culture, part of that generation that produced that, but nonetheless, we play up that sexism and rah, rah patriotism a lot in our show," he continued.

The quaintness of the material is fun, but when put into today's culture and entertainment world, it comes off as silly, he said.

"The old southern soap opera gothic aspect to the things that they sang about and then their tabloid private lives, all of that was just great fodder for satirization."

Arntson's family and friends are still in the lakes area, including Merrill Piepkorn, who asked Arntson to bring the Doyle & Debbie Show to Fargo last year and this year as well.

The Doyle & Debbie Show is Thursday, May 14, at 8 p.m. in the Fargo Theatre. Piepkorn's band, The Radio Stars, opens up the show at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are available at the Fargo Theatre at 701-235-4152. Reserved tickets are $27.50.