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Holmes' new season promises bit of everything

Musical group GrooveLily will bring their jazz-rock-classical sound to the stage Nov. 21.

Music, comedy, drama... the upcoming season at Detroit Lakes' Historic Holmes Theatre promises to be its most entertaining to date.

Season ticket packages for 2009-10 went on sale this Monday, Aug. 17, with individual show tickets becoming available Aug. 31.

"Step inside our theater, and see the world," said Amy Stoller Stearns, executive director of the Historic Holmes Theatre.

International acts like West Africa's Kusun Ensemble -- which officially kicks off the 2009-10 season on Oct. 1 -- are on the schedule along with some of the lake region's best up and coming talent, as showcased at the theater's monthly Cabaret Nights and in two upcoming Reader's Theatre productions (Oct. 30 and Dec. 6).

Established acts like the popular "kings of a capella," The Nylons (Dec. 19 Christmas show) and George Winston (Oct. 10) will be featured along with up-and-comers like country singer-songwriter Trey Hensley (Oct. 8) and Celtic rock band Gaelic Storm (March 25).

There will also be a few returning favorites, "back by popular demand," according to Stearns. Keri Noble returns to the Holmes Theatre for a Dec. 5 Christmas show, and the Deuces Wild Duelling Piano show, another popular addition to last year's lineup, returns Jan. 14.

The Southern Fried Chicks, whose 2008 performance at the Holmes Theatre was sold out, make their second appearance there on Nov. 6, and the Pushcart Players will be bringing another of their touring dramatic productions, "Happily Ever After... A Cinderella Tale" to the Holmes on March 10, as part of the family-oriented Discovery Series.

Other children's productions coming to the theater as part of the Discovery Series include "The Jungle Book" on Oct. 24, "Click, Clack, Moo" on Nov. 3, "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing" on Feb. 26 and "Seussical" on March 28.

New to the Discovery Series shows this year will be two arts activity events, starting at 4 p.m. on the day of the "Jungle Book" show on Oct. 24 and at 3 p.m. prior to the "Seussical" production on March 28. The theater is collaborating with the Art Masters programs at Detroit Lakes' two elementary schools, Roosevelt and Rossman, to showcase student art in the Holmes Ballroom as well as other arts-oriented activities.

Three of the scheduled Showcase Series performers, The Dallas Brass (Feb. 18), Robert Post of "Post Comedy Theatre" (Jan. 28) and the aforementioned Gaelic Storm, will be working with area youth as well. Robert Post will be working with local theater students during the day preceding his performance, and Dallas Brass will spend part of their visit to DL working with and teaching master classes to local middle school and high school band students, who will join them on stage to perform during their evening concert. Gaelic Storm will be doing additional daytime performances at area schools leading up to their Feb. 18 evening show.

Comedy acts like the one-man show Post Comedy Theatre, C. Willi Myles (Feb. 11) and The Passing Zone (April 9), as well as a wide range of musical acts from the big-band sounds of "In the Mood" (Nov. 7) and "A Tribute to Woody Herman" (April 30), to the unique stylings of jazz-rock-classical performers GrooveLily (Nov. 21) will lend considerable diversity to the lineup.

Local talent will take the stage in the Thursday Cabaret Nights series, which begins Oct. 15 and continues on Nov. 19, Jan. 21, Feb. 25 and April 22. New this year is an "open mic night" feature, in which local talent can "show us what you've got" on the Holmes Ballroom stage. The open mic nights will be part of the "Next Generation" performances on Oct. 15 and April 22, which showcase some of the area's most talented young musicians.

The Cabaret Series is part of the Community Connections series sponsored by BTD Manufacturing, which includes the Summit Productions Reader's Theatre events on Oct. 30 and Dec. 6, performances by the Lakes Area Community Concert Band on Nov. 22, Dec. 12 and April 17, Heart O'Lakes Harmony (local barbershop chorus) on April 24, the Holmes Art Show on Nov. 19-22, Christmas Marketplace on Dec. 5, Daddy's Little Sweetheart Dance on Feb. 12, and the spring arts event Mosaic Mania.

Community theater group Summit Productions will also be doing a spring comedy production, 'Over the River & Through the Woods," on March 6, 7, 13 and 14, and the annual Motion arts fund-raiser is set for Feb. 6.

The Edge music series, sponsored this year by SJE Rhombus, includes the aforementioned Trey Hensley, Keri Noble and Gaelic Storm. GrooveLily, which Stearns unabashedly admits is a personal favorite, will also return to the Holmes on Nov. 21 as part of the Edge series.

The season officially concludes on May 7 with a performance by the Beatles tribute band Revolution.

"Come to our theater this season -- I guarantee you're going to see something interesting, something challenging, something new, something entertaining," Stearns said.

For more information, call the Holmes Theatre Box Office at 218-844-SHOW (7469), or visit the web site, Tickets are available for purchase through the web site or at the box office.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454