For those who have never attended a CLC Cultural Arts Series event, it’s Free Sample Night.
For all who come to the Chalberg Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 6, it’s a night of music, comedy and fun.
“It’s a Wonderful World” combines the talents of David Eicholz and Ted Manderfeld in a show featuring beloved musical standards, spirituals and sing-alongs liberally sprinkled with comedy and wit. Performances of the show at St. Cloud’s Paramount Theatre sold out in hours when the duo introduced the show last spring.
“Dave and I have been working side by side for over 10 years,” said Manderfeld. “We’ve done nearly 1,300 shows together, all over the country. We’ve just about got it down.”
Manderfeld is known to local audiences as the driving force behind the Rock ‘n Roll Xmas Spectacular, and as half of the Billy Joel/Elton John tribute show “Eye 2 Eye.” He’s played with some of the best musicians in the state, and spent time in the studio as a jingle writer, recording artist and producer of both his self-titled gospel CD “Gather Us In” as well as the highly acclaimed Rock ‘n Roll Xmas Spectacular CD ‘Trim My Tree.’
Eicholz, the son of a miner from the northern woods of Minnesota, is a versatile, self-taught musician who plays the piano, guitar, saxophone, harmonica, trumpet and all other brass instruments. He was featured internationally on the Swedish television show “Christine”, which led to his being recruited by Little Ditty’s Dueling Piano Bar at the Mall of America where he performed for five years.
Manderfeld and Eicholz teamed up to form Deuces Wild Dueling Pianos, and together they perform more than 110 shows a year all over the country.
CLC Cultural Arts Series producer Patrick Spradlin learned of the duo’s work through Manderfeld and the shows he’d performed at CLC.
“I so enjoy Ted’s work,” said Spradlin, “that when he told me of this new venture I knew I had to present it. The concert is free ... Although I will use the occasion to interest people in tickets for the upcoming series.”
The Cultural Arts Series for 2012-13 includes four professional theatre companies, folk singers, a bluegrass and country band, Chinese acrobats, blues players, a capella groups, the former guitarist for Paul McCartney and Wings, and a Fleetwood Mac tribute show.
“This is a pretty eclectic season I’ve put together,” said Spradlin. “I’ve got some returning favorites, like the Steeles and some very different talents, like the Peking Acrobats. There’s something for everyone in this season.”
One returning show, Rock ‘n Roll Xmas Spectacular, audiences at “What a Wonderful World” will get a preview of Ted Manderfeld’s talents, said Spradlin.
“What he does with the Xmas show is very different, but this show (Wonderful World) is also top notch,” said Spradlin.
Songs in “It’s a Wonderful World” include “Over the Rainbow,” “Tennessee Waltz,” “16 Tons,” “Amazing Grace,” “America the Beautiful,” “What a Wonderful World” and many more.
The show is free to the public. However, in order to accommodate everyone who wants to attend, Spradlin asks that patrons phone ahead and make a reservation. Those interested in attending should call the CLC Theatre Box Office at 855-8199 and leave the following information: Name, phone number and number of seats needed.
“I only have 270 seats, and I don’t want to turn anyone away if I don’t have to,” he said.
Spradlin said the theatre department will have previews of all the upcoming Cultural Arts Series events that night. The box office will be open to help patrons select single event tickets, packages or season passes.
But the main focus of the night is the show.
“If I don’t sell a single ticket to another event, that’s OK too,” said Spradlin. “The support we’ve received for this series is tremendous. This is our way to give something back.”