Though it's been six years since Lorie Line last stepped onto the stage at Detroit Lakes' Historic Holmes Theatre, she says her last visit to the community provided her with an unforgettable memory for her tour scrapbook.
While it wasn't necessarily humorous at the time, Line is now able to chuckle about the mishap that accidentally triggered the theater's backstage sprinkler system and resulted in a complete dousing for her and her fellow performers, just a short time before they were scheduled to take the stage.
"I was soaking wet," Line said in a Wednesday telephone interview regarding her upcoming return for a Dec. 13 show at the Holmes. "Everything and everybody was wet backstage, and the fire department came, and it was quite something."
Holmes Theatre Director Amy Stoller Stearns said that Line had accidentally triggered the sprinklers in her dressing room to go off after hanging one of her heavy stage gowns on one of the sprinkler heads.
"You know those little sprinkler heads that have that warning, don't hang anything from them?" Stearns added. "They mean it."
Stearns said that Line went out on stage in her soaking wet gown, with the dress's train leaving a little trail of water behind her — then proceeded to tell the audience exactly what had caused the delay.
"She was a trouper," Stearns said. "Here she was, 10-15 minutes before she was supposed to go onstage, soaked in dirty sprinkler water. She cleaned herself up, put herself back together and went out onstage in this wet ball gown ... then she told the whole audience what had happened. It was delightful, and she was awesome."
Despite the need to completely redo her hair and makeup at the last minute — and that brief visit from the local fire department — Line and her touring mates were able to start the show a mere 10 minutes late that night, she said with a touch of pride in her voice.
"The show must go on," she added, noting without a trace of irony that she felt their performance that night was "one of the best we've ever had. It was an amazing night."
Line, whose 30th anniversary holiday tour opened Dec. 5 in Des Moines, Iowa, says she has memorable stories from many of the communities she has visited during that three-decade span.
"Every city has one," Line said — but that Detroit Lakes anecdote is truly "one of a kind," she added.
Line said that while her Christmas show consists of a variety of traditional and contemporary holiday fare, even the most familiar tunes will have a unique spin that audiences won't hear anywhere else — because she writes her own, original arrangements for every song she performs.
In addition, Line said, she also writes the arrangements for each musician and singer that accompanies her on the tour. This year, that ensemble includes a five-member pop chamber orchestra, a vocalist and her husband, Tim, who acts as master of ceremonies for the show.
"I first figure out who is going to go (on the tour), then I do all the composition work for the show," she said. "I try to make everybody sound their best ... I write for the team."
Line added that the piano arrangements she writes for each show are made into a book of sheet music that audience members can take home with them afterward.
"It's my niche," she said, adding that the arrangements she writes are "the heartbeat of my music."
Line described her annual tour as "a musical adventure."
"It’s all about the music, and I want to make it the most spectacular and beautiful music I can," she added. "My whole approach to Christmas music is to create a masterpiece of something that might seem simple — to make it memorable, so people walk away saying, 'I loved it'."
If you go
What: Lorie Line's "The 30th Year Anniversary Tour: Celebrating Christmas"
When: Friday, Dec. 13, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Historic Holmes Theatre, 806 Summit Ave.
Tickets: All seats are $60 and may be reserved at 218-844-7469, www.dlccc.org/holmes-theatre.html or at the box office, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday, as well as for two hours prior to the start of the show.
More info: www.lorieline.com