Funnyman and birder Al Batt is August’s special guest.
“Twins” is the theme of the next Over the Back Fence Community Variety Show presented by Lanesboro Arts on Friday, October 11, at 7:30 p.m. at the St. Mane Theatre in downtown Lanesboro. Songs like “Let’s Get Together” and “When You’re Smiling,” along with skits by twin parents Steph and Drew Hatzenbihler and twin sisters Bonnie Jean and Bettie Jane, will each be part of a doubly fun evening that also includes jokes, stories and sing-alongs.
October’s show features musical guest Ilika Ward, a folk-blues duo out of Minnesota, hailing from both Minneapolis and Rochester. Armed with acoustic guitars and sibling-like vocal harmonies, Ilika Ward’s songwriting is one part modern folk, one part throwback to the sounds of the 1960s folk revival. Their debut record “Many Faces” encompasses the sound they’ve been crafting over the decade and a half they’ve made music together.
The upcoming show also features special guest Al Batt, a writer, speaker, storyteller and humorist from Hartland, Minn. His popular humor and nature column has appeared in countless newspapers, including the Bluff Country Reader, for many years. Author of the book, “A Life Gone to the Birds,” Batt is a columnist for “Bird Watcher’s Digest” and has also written for a number of other magazines and books. He received the Ed Franey Conservation Media Award from the Izaak Walton League and the Thomas Sadler Roberts Award from the Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union for lifetime contributions to birding. Batt speaks to anyone who will listen, including his two wonderful neighbors — both named Bruce — who live across the road from each other. His mother “thinks he is special.”
Host Damon Prestemon continues to propel the 25th season forward with his rapid-fire wit and keen improvisational instincts that keep the show fresh and fun. Nathan Davidson and the CBB Jazz Combo, a quintet comprised of some of the region’s finest jazz musicians, will serve as this month’s house band, accompanying the all-volunteer cast throughout the show. Doors open for seating at 7 p.m. with Nathan Davidson and the CBB Jazz Combo also providing pre-show musical entertainment beginning at 7:10 p.m.
Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased online at www.lanesboroarts.org, in person at the Lanesboro Arts Gallery at 103 Parkway Avenue North, or at the door at the St. Mane Theatre — as available — beginning at 6:30 p.m. the evening of the show. The St. Mane Theatre is located at 206 Parkway Avenue North in Lanesboro. Every show is unique, with a different theme and fresh material. Each show is also broadcast on Winona State University’s KQAL 89.5FM on the Wednesday five days after the show at 6 p.m. (also available for streaming at www.KQAL.org). Additionally, Over the Back Fence is published as a podcast on the iOS Podcasts app and many other podcast services.