Bringing music and comedy to the Northwoods since 1992
2016 Season: June 10 through September 10
Ticket Office open 12:00 noon Monday through Saturday
Call 1-218-652-4200 or 1-800-644-6892
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|
The Woodtick Band is back at the famed Woodtick Musical Theatre in downtown Akeley, MN. They are returning for their 26th 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.
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!
Brian Bass recently completed his 4-year bachelor’s degree at Bemidji State University with a major in music performance. Throughout his college career he has had the pleasure of sharing the bandstand with many great musicians such as Jeff Coffin of the Dave Matthews Band, Steve Smith of Journey and many others. Last January, Brian performed with the Blue Ice Jazz Combo at the International Jazz Education Network Conference in Louisville, Kentucky for clinician Victor Wooten. He has also played in many different college and local groups playing drums and guitar, and enjoys composing music as well. Now looking towards his future, Brian is continuing to hone his craft and hopes to pursue a lifelong career in music.
Louise loved music from childhood. Growing up in Sioux Falls, she began piano lessons at 12 years old and in 1984 earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in piano performance with a K-12 choir teaching license from the University of Sioux Falls. After teaching 7 years in South Dakota, she moved to Minnesota, earned a K-12 band teaching license from Bemidji State University, and has taught music at Laporte school for 25 years. Louise, her husband, Dan, and son, Brian, formed "Northern Bass Family Band" in 2007. The band still performs locally during the summer. In her spare time, Louise enjoys bicycling, walks in the woods, baking, and listens to Big Band Swing music.
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.
Daniel Nelson became interested in the electric guitar after having watched the movie “Back to the Future”. The scene where the main character “Marty McFly” plays Johnny B. Good for a high school dance caused Daniel to become crazy about the instrument, and Rock and Roll music. His parents bought him an Epiphone Les Paul Junior electric guitar for his 13th birthday, and through constant inspiration and curiosity he taught himself the fundamentals of guitar.
He began his formal study of guitar at Bemidji State University in 2013 under the direction of Lou Samsa. Dan plays guitar in the Jazz Band at BSU as well as plays clarinet in the Wind Ensemble. By this time next year, Dan hopes to have his bachelor’s degree in performance to be preparing to attend a Graduate School to further develop his playing.
Music has been the gift that keeps on giving for Dan. Through music he has met his greatest friends and mentors. He is so grateful for the encouragement, support, and exposure to music he has gotten from his parents, Ross and Marta. When he isn't’ playing his guitar, he is enjoying spending time with his friends and family.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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!