Last week we talked about family reunions. Well there is a big one coming up next week. It is the 100th Annual Baker Family Reunion. What an amazing feat! For 100 years they have been getting together. I applaud their dedication to family. The event takes place at noon on Sunday, Aug. 18 in the Silver Lake City Park in Lake Park. All the Baker family members have to do is bring a food item for the potluck, their own beverages and table service. I hope they have an incredible turnout for this milestone event.
I want to take time here to applaud Ruth Ann Burke, executive director of Okoboji Summer Theatre, and Stephen Brotebeck, OST's artistic director, for the courage to bring a much newer musical to our area. Their final production of the season comes up next week with “Urinetown: The Musical.”
My daughter and son-in-law saw this show on Broadway in New York City and said it was highly entertaining. They are hoping to come over from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to see it done here at OST.
Many people around here seem to be turned off by the title. Don’t be. It won several Tony awards because of its great music and funny story. Usually the final musical of the season is sold out by now. I guess people around here seem to shy away from something they are not familiar with. I am really looking forward to seeing this show. I like to laugh, I love music and I get to see Rob Doyen perform once again. What a perfect formula for a great evening of entertainment!
How many of you remember when the Beach Boys did an outdoor concert where Okoboji GM Toyota in Spirit Lake is located? The Ramada Inn was at that time a grassy area, and we brought our lawn chairs for the show. Their plane was delayed due to a storm in Michigan, and we had to wait I think it was almost two hours for them to get here.
I remember John Stamos was a drummer on stage that night about two decades ago for the opening band. The Beach Boys are coming back to Preservation Plaza next Tuesday evening. I would anticipate their plane will more than likely be more punctual than the last time. It was a good show then and will be again this year.
Sean Benz is returning to the Iowa Great Lakes Region to perform once again. He started as a youngster in 2007 in his home state of Minnesota. He came here to sing some of our favorite Johnny Cash songs at Rock the Roof while he was in high school. Then he went to college, making an appearance here each summer. He became a music teacher and really started to expand his singing career as well. This year he is bringing his wife with him (see accompanying photo). Brannon and Sean were married last October. Theirs is a romantic story beginning with an online dating service, going through a long distance relationship involving a musical career and finally setting down roots together. I hope she enjoys us and our area as much as her husband does. Sean and his band, the Misfits, will play at Rock the Roof next Thursday night in the Roof Garden Ballroom.
Another favorite group is returning on Aug. 13. Gaelic Storm will be on stage in the Roof Garden that evening. This group has had seven No. 1 Billboard charting albums. They are a lively group and are very accomplished musicians. Their manager told me they love to perform for the audiences around here because we know how to make them feel welcome and are enthusiastic during their shows.
Those of us who live here or visit here are so lucky to have so many nationally known musicians come to the Lakes Area to perform. We are also blessed with many fine musicians living in this area. It is never dull around here!
If you have a reunion, family party or special event coming up this summer, let me know. You can email the information to firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call at 712-320-2850. Have a safe and enjoyable week!