Celebrating 23 Years!

Bringing music and comedy to the Northwoods since 1992


2015 Season: June 12 through September 12

  • 8:00 Evening Show - Thursday through Saturday
  • 3:00 Matinee Show - Wednesday and Thursday
  • No Show on July 4th 2015

Ticket Office open 12:00 noon Monday through Saturday

Call 1-218-652-4200 or 1-800-644-6892

Reservations

Call 1-218-652-4200 or 1-800-644-6892

Show Times

Evening Show
8:00pm
Thursday-Saturday
Matinee Show
3:00pm Wednesday and Thursday

Prices

General Admission
$17.50
Senior Rate
$16.50
Teens 13-17
$9.50
Children 7-12
$7.50
Children under 6
Free

Group Rates

Communities, churches, banks, tours, families, check out our group friendly rates to help you fill up your vans and busses.

Group Size Adult Teen 13-17 Child 7-12
14-28 $16.50 $9.50 $7.50
29-42 $16.00 $9.50 $7.50
43+ $15.50 $9.50 $7.50

2015 Show Calendar


June 2015
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July 2015
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August 2015
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September 2015
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The Woodtick Theater Show

The Woodtick Band is back at the famed Woodtick Musical Theatre in downtown Akeley, MN.  They are returning for their 23rd season of foot-stompin', hand-clappin', fun, lively musical entertainment!

Their repertoire of country, bluegrass, folk, gospel and comedy has made their show one of the most sought after attractions in northern Minnesota.

Suitable for all ages, the live 2 hour stage show puts many a smile on faces from grandparents to grandkids.

The streets of Akeley are especially abuzz with chatter and laughter on Wednesday thru Saturday evenings. The bright neons of the theatre light up the evening skies.

Afternoons on Wed. & Thurs. are exciting with the roar of packed tour busses rumbling into town for the  3 p.m. matinees, from destinations encompassing the five state area & Canada. I hear they've even had International visitors from Germany, Australia, and Japan, to enjoy the musical talents of this band.

The band consists of musicians from the local area who come out of the winter woods each spring to entertain. And entertain they do! Each bringing their own fresh flavor of music, which combined makes up a great variety show.

The show is often compared to what you might find in Branson, MO, but with a Northern Minnesota charm.

So, climb aboard the music train, and let them take you for a ride!

Our Cast

BRIAN BASS

(Drums and Guitar)

Hi my name is Brian and this is my 3rd year back at the Tick. It has been an eventful time since last season as I recently completed my first full year in college at Bemidji State University. Adapting to a college environment has been challenging and exciting. I have had many wonderful experiences already including a trip to Dallas with the Bemidji State University jazz band, and playing in many fun and exciting ensembles. I hope to share what I have learned with the wonderful audience at the Tick!

GREG GASTON

(Drums)

Following in his father’s footsteps, Greg started playing drums professionally at age fifteen. After attending college in the late 1970’s at Northern Illinois University, he toured nationally from 1980-1985, playing all styles of popular music with regional musical groups. Some artists he has performed with include, Mickey Rooney, The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, The Drifters and The Diamonds.

In 1985 Greg settled in “God’s Country” to marry his soulmate, Donna, & raise their two daughters. From 1989-1996 he composed, orchestrated andperformed original instrumental music for eight PBS-TV “Backroads” television shows.

After receiving a Region 2 Distinguished Artist Award from the McKnight Foundation in 1995, Greg released a compact disc of his all original contemporary instrumental compositions titled "Serious Fun". Since 1996, he has been an adjunct instructor of music, specializing in music technology and percussion at Bemidji State University.

Upon finishing the 1995 season for the late Frank Haas and the Woodtick Jubilee, Greg took an eleven year ’Tick vacation before briefly filling in to help finish the 2006 & 2007 seasons and completely returning to the Woodtick Theater in 2009.

JAN LUNDSTEN

(Bass Guitar and Vocals)

My memories take me back to my early days of music, being involved in various school & church groups, duets, trios, quartets and choirs. My mom was a skilled pianist but to me it was frustrating to have piano lessons. I found I enjoyed playing my trumpet through high school & college much more.

After 32 years of joyful public school teaching, I decided to learn the bass guitar which is a blast! I am so blessed to be a part of the musicians (who have become terrific friends) here at the Tick and Mike & Cindy, our awesome leaders! Here's to you, our great audiences, who always inspire us. Thank you, we love you - ENJOY THE SHOW!

JEFF MENTON

(Fiddle and Vocals)

Raised and educated in Mankato, MN, Jeff began playing the violin when he was seven years old. Classically trained, he graduated with honors from the University of Minnesota, Mankato, in 1978, with a music degree in Violin Performance. Following that, he took graduate courses in Education at colleges in Texas and Minnesota. He has performed with several symphony orchestras, and played professionally with Mariachi Estrella in Austin, Texas in the 1980s. He returned to Minnesota in 1985, where he has been performing and teaching private and group lessons to the present day. Jeff was awarded “Instrumentalist of the Year,” “Best Classic Country Performance,” “Best Band” (The Radio Flyers,) and “the Archie Hill Horizon Award,” at the Minnesota Country Music Association competition in 1995.

Jeff operates the Pine-to-Prarie School of Music, and has been teaching string instruments to students of all ages for almost 30 years. Some of his high school students have been accepted into the Minnesota All-State Orchestra.

When Jeff isn't teaching or entertaining audiences, he likes best to go fishing, tend his vegetable garden, visit with his children and grandchildren, and relax with his wife, Randi, at their home near Park Rapids.

PAUL NYE

(Guitar and Vocals)

Paul Nye started his professional music career playing in rock-n-roll bands and folk groups while attending Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis. During his college years, Paul toured throughout the U.S. and Canada with a variety of music groups. This experience broadened the scope of his musical interests.

Paul graduated from Bemidji State University with a BS degree in journalism and worked for 10 years in television, and for nine years as a newspaper editor before opening a small bicycle shop in Walker. He has stayed actively involved in music throughout his life, and has released six recordings of original music during that time. Most recently, Paul's musical interests have focused on writing, recording and performing children's music.

In 2012, he recently released his 2nd kids CD entitled, “My Favorite Teddy Bear Is You!” Several of Paul's CDs are available in the Woodtick lobby. He is presently working on his 3rd children's CD to be entitled, “Who Put Mascara On My Zebra,” set for release this fall. Paul is also recording a collection of old hymns for instrumental guitar, tentatively to be released late this summer.

During the school year, Paul works as a paraprofessional with elementary school kids at Walker-Hackensack-Akeley School where he teaches a Music Activity class to Kindergarten, first and second grade students.

If Paul isn't playing music, he's likely working in his bicycle shop, located in Walker. In his spare time, Paul also enjoys playing worship music for his church in Walker, bicycling, or walking with his wife, Linda and their “cross-species” dog, Zoey.

Paul and his wife, Linda, reside in Walker, and have two children, Taylor and Jessica, who both live in Denver.

This is Paul's 11th season at the 'Tick.

DIANE SAUER

(Banjo, Guitar and Vocals)

Diane lives in the woods near Lake George with her husband Mike. This is her 14th season at the Woodtick.

Music was an important part of her childhood. It seemed someone was always whistling or singing. She learned to love harmony while singing with her sister Susan, and later with her brother Dave. Her ability to harmonize won praise from the high school girls sitting in the back seats of the school bus and she was invited to join them, happily singing “Last Kiss” and “TeenAngel”.

When her mother bought a $5 guitar at an auction Diane used her babysitting money to buy a lesson book and spent every spare minute that summer learning chords and lots of folk songs. In college she bought a used banjo for $20 and fell in love with bluegrass music.

Playing with the Woodtick band is a highlight of her musical career, but a very close second is when she sang with Garrison Keillor during the “A Prairie Home Companion” show in Bemidji last November.

In the off season Diane works part time with Laporte School’s Community Education programs. Diane and Mike are the proud grandparents of Ari Michael and Isla Mae.

Who We Are

The Woodtick Theater personifies the spirit of music and comedy of the popular public radio show, Prairie Home Companion. And though it may not look like Nashville's Grand Old Opry, the talent of its performers seems to leave audiences just as satisfied.

Cindy and Mike Chase purchased the Woodtick Theater in 1999 from the original owner, Frank Haas. Mike, an affable man with a friendly grin and a ponytail, is producer-director. He selects half a dozen songs and lets the Woodtick Band add their own songs to fill out the act. Cindy handles the business end. She also researches songs all year long, trying to discover what is popular each season.

The theater itself is a labor of love. Privately owned, it depends on ticket sales to stay open. There are no grants involved, and much of the profit goes back into the theater. Music and entertainment are very important to them, Mike and Cindy agree. They are fulfilling their dreams through the Woodtick Theater. "Akeley is this little diamond-in-the-rough where we can do it," Mike says.

Woodtick Theater's two-hour show features beautiful gospel music, comedy skits, lighthearted instrumentals, harmonicas, fiddles, and guitars. The show appeals to all ages -- families take their children and grandchildren for an afternoon or evening of entertainment.

A typical performance starts with a warm-up band, or, if you're lucky, Ryan Pels ambles onstage. A tree trimmer and Army Reservist in private life, Pels claims to be uncomfortable up there behind the lights. Somebody calls out "You seem awfully skittish!" "I have stage fright!" Pels hollers back. "I don't mind you people, but these stages are scary."

The audience loves the rapport and the performers encourage audience participation. Even usher Les Showalter is an essential part of the act. Frequent guests look forward to his warm greeting; he claims to know every guest personally. Showalter happened onto his part accidentally. He moved into the house in back of the theater, and he wandered over so often, he became a regular. He can spot a media person in the crowd and enthusiastically explains every detail of the theater and gushes over how wonderful Mike and Cindy are to keep it going.

We would like to thank the many people who make this show possible. First to our family and friends for their continued support and efforts, and to the founding fathers for their dreams. Also to the musicians who make the show "Come Alive" and lastly to you, our guests, who make it all possible! Thank you!