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The Tweaksters' zany style to brighten Holmes Theatre

The 2008-09 performance season at the Historic Holmes Theatre begins winding down this weekend -- but not without an appearance by one of the most unique performance groups this country has to offer.

Regan Patno and Julia Snyder, better known as "The Tweaksters," have been performing together for more than a decade now.

The acrobatic dance duo, oft-described as "the Blue Man Group without the paint," will be in Detroit Lakes this Thursday through Saturday, April 17-19, for a series of performances and workshops geared toward audiences of all ages.

On Monday, they sat down for a telephone interview from their most recent tour stop in Utah.

"This will be our first show in Minnesota, and we're excited about it," said Regan.

"My mother's family is from Rockville (near St. Cloud), and we've been trying to get my cousins to come to a show," Julia added. Now, with the duo touring so close to home, they will have their chance to see them perform.

The Tweaksters have actually been together for about 15 years, but they've only been touring for the last five of them.

"It took us about 12 years to develop a full theatrical-length show," Regan noted.

"We don't work quickly," he explained. "But if you go to a show, you can see the physical discipline, the choreography that each routine really did take quite a long time to develop (the show)."

So how did they come up with their unique name?

"We were brainstorming names, adding suffixes to just about every word that came across our path, when we both came across the word tweak in the same week," said Julia.

The name just seemed to fit, she added.

"To tweak something means to adapt or change it," Julia said. "That's just what we do -- We take ordinary objects and everyday props and try to adapt and tweak them for use in novel or fresh ways."

The Tweaksters also have a self-proclaimed mission -- to encourage people of all ages to live a healthy lifestyle that includes being fit and active.

Their shows and workshops in Detroit Lakes will be geared toward just that.

On Thursday, April 17, they will be performing two shows for area school children with the theme, "Being Fit is Fun!" The shows will both take place at the Historic Holmes Theatre at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Then, on Friday, they will give a public show for all ages at the Holmes Theatre, starting at 7 p.m. Tickets for this show are $20 for adults and $10 for students, and can be purchased online at or by phone at 218-844-SHOW (7469).

Finally, on Saturday, the Tweaksters will be gtving two family workshops in the theater, at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

According to Regan, the workshops are something they have begun to develop the last few years, to support the idea of families being physically active.

In their workshop, they will show parents some fun exercises that they can do with their kids, or with each other, Julia noted.

Call the theater to signup for the workshop, or purchase tickets for one of the other shows.

(Vicki Gerdes can be reached by e-mail at

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