The third annual Central Lakes Community Performing Arts Center fundraiser will feature Deuces Wild Dueling Pianos in concert on Saturday, June 4. The event will be held at the Centre at Cragun’s Resort. A 6:30 social hour precedes the 7:30 p.m. show.
CLC’s Director Patrick Spradlin says bringing back Deuces Wild for the second year in a row was an easy decision. “Last year, the audience was just amazed at how much fun this show is,” says Spradlin. “This show is so audience –interactive that everyone feels a part of it, rather than just being a spectator.”
The show features the talents of Ted Manderfeld and Dave Eichholz, both of whom have impressive individual resumes as well as their combined efforts with Deuces Wild. Ted got his start in Deuces Wild by walking out of his day-job and demanding an audition. Although he hadn’t previously played in a dueling piano style show, his showmanship and musical talent made him a natural. Since then he has played thousands of dueling piano shows with performances all over the country. Ted’s also known to local audiences for his popular annual Rock ‘n Roll Christmas show, which he co-produces along with former Jonny Lang guitarist Paul Diethelm.
Dave Eichholz is a versatile, self- taught musician who plays the piano, guitar, saxophone, harmonica, trumpet and countless other instruments. He was featured internationally on the Swedish television show ‘Christine’. He was then recruited by Little Ditty’s Dueling Piano Bar at the Mall of America in Minnesota where he performed four nights each week for five years.
Funds raised at the event will go toward providing performance opportunities to local youth. “We made a commitment two years ago to bring more youth-oriented programming to the area, and to provide more chances for young performers to use their talents,” says Spradlin. He points to CLC’s hosting of a children’s theatre performance on May 11 for all of ISD 181’s second graders as an example. “We brought a professional actor based in Toronto in to perform for area kids. He was tremendous, and the kids were so entertained and moved by him.” Spradlin notes that more such programming is in the works for the Center’s 2016-17 season.
The Performing Arts Center has also been able to subsidize theatre classes for young performers. “We’ve been working with local writer Mary Aalgaard, who has been teaching acting and playwriting classes,” says Spradlin. “She’s been holding acting classes for grades 1-4 and 5-8, and playwriting classes for older kids. The money we’ve raised has gone a long way in keeping the costs of these workshops to an affordable level.”
Tickets for the Deuces Wild Dueling Pianos show are $40 per person. The cost includes the show and a dessert buffet. The event will also feature a raffle as well as some other fun games intended to raise money for the Center. “We hope people come and have a terrific time,” says Spradlin, “and that having fun will also increase their generosity.”
Tickets for the event are available from the CLC Box Office at (218) 855-8199 or online at www.clcmn.edu/arts.