Decorah musical duo Eggen & Hippen are September’s musical guest. Photo courtesy of artist.

Over the Back Fence explores ‘Fifty Nifty States’


Peggy Hanson jokes about corn in a Fun with Food sketch at last month’s show. Photo by Kara Maloney.
Peggy Hanson jokes about corn in a Fun with Food sketch at last month’s show. Photo by Kara Maloney.

“Fifty Nifty States” is the theme of the next Over the Back Fence Community Variety Show presented by Lanesboro Arts on Friday, September 13, at 7:30 p.m. at the historic St. Mane Theatre in downtown Lanesboro. Songs like “I’ve Been Everywhere,” “Georgia on my Mind” and “Aloha ʻOe” will each be part of a place-based evening that also includes jokes, stories, and sing-alongs.

September’s show features musical guest Eggen & Hippen from Decorah, Iowa. Singer Kristen Eggen’s golden voice captures audiences with its depth and tells the story of pianist Ben Hippen’s compositions, soulful songs that leave listeners pondering love, loss, climate change, pirates and more. The duo is an Indie act that draws inspiration for their original songs from a wide array of music genres including soul, pop, jazz, blues and punk.

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. Music educator Regina Noel-Downing of Decorah will serve as this month’s musical director, accompanying the all-volunteer cast on keyboard throughout the show. Doors open for seating at 7 p.m. with Joshua Vorvick, a singer-songwriter also from Decorah, providing pre-show musical entertainment beginning at 7:10 p.m.

Over the Back Fence is produced by Lanesboro Arts and is staged at the St. Mane Theatre on the second Fridays of March through November in 2019. Upcoming shows include “Twins” on October 11 and “Blue” on November 8. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased online at, 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 Additionally, Over the Back Fence is published as a podcast on the iOS Podcasts app and many other podcast services.

Over the Back Fence sponsors help to make the affordable ticket prices possible.

Lanesboro Arts’ mission is to serve as a regional catalyst for artistic excellence and educational development in providing diverse art experiences for people of all ages. For more information, call 507-467-2446, email, or go to

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board operating support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.


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