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Over the Back Fence Community Variety Show

Produced by LANESBORO ARTS, Over the Back Fence is a monthly variety show that has recorded in front of a live audience since 1994! Hosted by Damon Prestemon and showcasing a talented local cast, regional musicians and other guests, Over the Back Fence features a new theme and material each month with music, jokes, skits, poems, stories, sponsor interviews, audience participation, spontaneous humor, sing along songs and more. For more, visit: http://lanesboroarts.org/st-mane-theatre/over-the-back-fence/
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Over the Back Fence Community Variety Show
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Aug 13, 2019

Our Anniversaries show celebrates 25 years of Over the Back Fence, with host Damon Prestemon, co-host Hal Cropp, and guest musical director Maria Klingsheim! The show features songs like "Anniversary Waltz," "Anniversary Song" and "May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You." Bill & Diana get the crowd giggling with anniversary-themed jokes. Special musical guest Eric Carranza, a St. Paul musician with a mobile rig of instruments and devices, invites members of the cast to provide accompaniment on a cover of a Leslie Feist song. Sponsor interviews are Tim Kiehne from the IGA Foods and Chuck Aug from F&M Community Bank. The show wrapped up with a heart-warming rendition of "May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You."

Jul 16, 2019

Our totally Rad SURFIN' USA show features songs like "Surfer Girl," "Surfin' Safari" and "Surf City." Andrzej from the Chamber shares some humorous limericks while Bill & Diana demonstrate their wit in a skit as "babies." Musical guest Jillian Rae, a celebrated Twin Cities singer-songwriter and violinist drawing upon roots, rock, and Americana, invites members of the cast to provide vocal accompaniment on her song "Chains." Sponsor interviews are Travis Dundore from the Old Barn and Mark Bishop from Niagara Cave. A Beach Party Quiz Show and a sing along of the eponymous "Surfin' USA" round out the show.

Jul 12, 2019

In this pop-up Lanesboro Arts episode, you’ll hear from past Lanesboro Arts artist-in-residence Rini Yun Keagy talking about her experimental film “North/Central”. Through intentional outreach and personal interviews, especially with area residents engaged in farming, cattle ranching and auctioneering, Rini invited the Lanesboro community to inform and help shape her experimental work-in-progress film, “North/Central” in March & April of 2018. The film explores her father’s experiences as a Guatemalan-American farmer and cow herder in rural Colorado, while raising the question of what it means to be an ethnic or cultural minority in agrarian and small-town America.

Supported by the Jerome Foundation, the Lanesboro Artist Residency Program awards two to three residencies per year to emerging artists with projects that activate the people & places of Lanesboro while instigating positive change. The annual deadline to apply is July 31st. 

Jul 3, 2019

In this pop-up Lanesboro Arts episode, you’ll hear from past Lanesboro Arts artist-in-residence Erin Lavelle talking about her public art exchange project “Something Good”. In August 2018, Minneapolis performance artist Erin Lavelle led the Lanesboro area community in ‘Something Good,’ which engaged community members in conversations about value, commodities, sustainability, and the power of the stories embedded in an object’s history.

Supported by the Jerome Foundation, the Lanesboro Artist Residency Program awards two to three residencies per year to emerging artists with projects that activate the people & places of Lanesboro while instigating positive change. The annual deadline to apply is July 31st. 

Jun 18, 2019

 

Lanesboro's own variety show goes ON BROADWAY with songs like "There's No Business Like Show Business," "Lullaby of Broadway" and "Something to Believe In." Bill and Diana have fun as "George & Gracie," while Maria gets wicked with "Popular." Musical guest the Burke Band from uses vocal harmonies, acoustic guitars, tin whistle, fiddle, harmonica’s and a unique drum to weave a unique blend of Celtic folk and acoustic rock. Sponsor interviews are Aaron Young of Great River Shakespeare Festival and Tara Johnson from Lanesboro Public Library. A triumphant, Broadway-themed return of the Quiz Show and a sing along of "Give My Regards to Broadway" round out the show.

 

May 15, 2019

We show you the money on the CA$H show with songs like "If I Had a Million Dollars," "Brother Can You Spare a Dime" and "Saginaw, Michigan." Richard shares one of his classic stories while Bill & Karen break out the ukulele for a duet of "(If You Ain't Got the) Do Re Mi." Musical guest Larry Long and the Back Fence gang debut "Lanesboro's the Town For Me," a song Larry wrote collaboratively through outreach events with Lanesboro community members. Sponsor interviews are Jane and Tanya from the Whalan Stand Still Parade and Ken Graner from Merchants Bank. A sing along of The Gold Diggers' Song (We're in the Money) wraps up the show.

Apr 15, 2019

Over the Back Fence hits a home run with songs like "Centerfield"  and "We're Gonna Win Twins" during our TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME edition. Musical guest Turnip Truck gets the crowd singing along with classic covers. Tom Sayre teams up with Connor and Kara for a humorous rendition of "Right Field". Joel and Damon get confused during "Who's on First". Sponsor interviews are Andy Batsone from Batstone CPA and Jason Sethre and Michelle Quanrud from SMG Web Design. The show wraps up with a rowdy rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game".

Mar 12, 2019

The 25th anniversary season kicks off with a trip to the GRAND OLE OPRY with songs like "Ring of Fire," "I Fall to Pieces," and "Big Bad John." Elaine channels the spirit of Minnie Pearl, while Paul & Jeff pay tribute to Hee Haw. Musical guest The Medicine Brothers, a country and roots music quartet from Viroqua, Wis., wow the crowd with distinctive vocals & powerful group harmonies. Classic country vocalist Janine Sherry visits the show and performs a duet with Damon! Sponsor interviews are Barb Jeffers of the Lanesboro Area Community Foundation and Lori Bakke from Granny's Liquor. A sing along medley of "I Saw the Light / I'll Fly Away / Circle Be Unbroken" rounds out the show.

Nov 13, 2018

BRITISH INVASION closes out the 24th season of the show with songs like "When I'm 64," "I Go To Pieces," and "I'm Into Something Good." The Back Fence Gang reenacts a scene from James Bond, while Diana becomes Dr. Who. Musical Guest The Vintage Tones, a five-piece rock band from Rochester that specializes in the music of the early Beatles, summons the spirit of the British bands of the 60s and 70s. Featured sponsors are Estelle's Eatery & Bar and Thomas Manion Law Office. A sing along of "Those Were the Days' rounds out the show.

Oct 16, 2018

No good deed goes unpunished at the SEVEN DEADLY SINS show with songs like "You’re So Vain,” “If I Were a Rich Man” and "I Cain't Say No." The Back Fence Gang stage a skit about virtue and vice written by Scott Dixon of Lanesboro while Bonnie shares some poems. Musical guest the Lost Faculties, a five-piece band formed in 1997 with a classic rock ‘n roll repertoire that includes a touch of country and swing. Sponsor interviews are Dan Christainson of F & M Community Bank and Chelsey Clausen & Nolan Anderson of The Bite Restaurant. A sing along of "There’s a Hole in My Bucket" rounds out the show.

Sep 17, 2018

Locksmiths, blacksmiths & goldsmiths – oh my! FOLKS NAMED SMITH visit the St. Mane Theatre with songs like "People in Your Neighborhood” and "Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough." A preview of the upcoming History Alive pop-up plays are staged while Kay and David share some jokes. Musical guest Joel Ward is a veteran vocalist and guitarist based in Rochester, MN that specializes in original blues, folk and soul tunes. Sponsor interviews are Paul and Louanne Hamann of High Court Pub and Ken Graner from Merchants Bank. A sing along of "God Bless America" rounds out the show.

Aug 13, 2018

The St. Mane Theatre hosts a YARD SALE this month with songs like "Where Did You Get That Hat?" and "Who Will Buy?" Ole & Lars reprise a classic post-Buffalo Bill Days skit while the Back Fence Gang shares their weirdest yard sale finds. Special guest Al Batt, a popular writer, speaker, birder and humorist from Hartland, Minnesota, shares an expertly crafted story about a fateful trip back home with his parents from a family reunion. Musical guest The Singing Lawyers return for their 1st appearance on the show since 2013. Sponsor interviews are Mark Bishop from Niagara Cave and Erin Lavelle, artist in residence at Lanesboro Arts. A sing along of "Summertime, Summertime" rounds out the show.

Jul 17, 2018

Arr Matey! PIRATES invade the St. Mane Theatre with songs like “Davy Jones” and “A Pirate’s Life for Me.” Phil, Robin & Jerry stage a pirate-themed skit penned by Scott Dixon while Elaine & Mark share some swashbuckling jokes. Musical guest Chris Koza of Minneapolis performs a pair of original Americana-pop tunes before being joined by the Back Fence gang on his song "Wolves and the Ravens." Sponsor interviews are Eileen Moeller of Great River Shakespeare Festival and Tara Johnson of Lanesboro Public Library. A sing along of "Yo Ho" rounds out the show.

Jun 12, 2018

The Letter Z buzzes its way into Lanesboro with songs like “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah,” "Zorro," and "Zoot Suit Riot." The Brokken & Davis Comedy Minute returns while Sandy shares a reflection on the Lanesboro Phone Booth. Musical guest Namoli Brennet of Decorah has been touring with her own brand of moody and inspiring folk-rock music since 2002. Sponsor interviews are Matt Spencer of Singing Hammers Construction and Steve & Susie Harris of Anna V's Bed & Breakfast. Steve also chats about his new book "Lanesboro, Minnesota." A sing along of "Hot Diggity (Dog Ziggity Boom)" rounds out the show.

May 14, 2018

PURPLE pride comes the St. Mane Theatre with songs like “Purple Rain,” “Sweet Violets" and “Barney, the Purple Dinosaur.” Bill & Karen share some jokes and Damon tells a story from his youth. Musical guest is Savannah Smith, an Eau Claire native currently living in the Twin Cities that wields only a ukulele, heartbreaking lyrics and a vocal prowess that excels at crafting beautiful melodies. Sponsor interviews are Travis Dundore from Old Barn Resort and Dave Harrenstein from the Whalan Stand Still Parade (courtesy of Cedar Valley Resort). A sing along of "The Purple People Eater" rounds out the show.

Apr 16, 2018

 

The gang goes far out on the STARS & PLANETS show with songs like “I’ll Follow the Sun,” “Venus” and “Starry, Starry Night.” David channels the spirit of Carl Sagan while Adrienne shares the story of 'Silent Sky.' Musical guest is Dan Israel, a veteran folk and roots rock singer-songwriter from the Twin Cities with a new album out entitled "You're Free." Sponsor interviews are Scott Taylor from Pedal Pushers Cafe and Jason Sethre from Fillmore County Journal. A sing along of “Swinging on a Star" rounds out the show.

 

Mar 12, 2018

A trip to IRELAND kicks off 24th season featuring songs like “Johnny Jump Up,” “The Parting Glass" and "Song for Ireland." The gang becomes Leprechauns to search for a pot of gold while Diana gives an epic Irish pub toast. Musical guest is Barbaro, a progressive bluegrass act from Minneapolis with a dynamic and captivating set for audiences of all ages and musical tastes. Sponsor interviews are Lori Bakke from Granny's Liquor and Walter Bradley from Thrivent Financial. A sing along of "The Rattlin' Bog" rounds out the show.

 

 

Nov 13, 2017

There's no play like it on our FUN & GAMES show with songs like "Somebody Come and Play with Me," "Follow the Leader," and "Fun, Fun, Fun." The Brokken & Davis Comedy Minute returns and The Lanesboro Innkeepers share a witty story in advance of the annual Christmas Inn Tour. Musical guest is Lanesboro's own Rutabaga Brothers, an upbeat and danceable R & B combo that puts taps in your toes and smiles on your faces. Sponsor interviews are Coffee Street Fitness and Preston, Harmony, and Rushford Foods IGA stores. A quiz show and a sing along of "See You Later Alligator" round out the show.

Oct 16, 2017

SPIRITS will lift you up with songs like “Spirit in the Sky,” “The Cat Came Back," "I Put a Spell on You" and “Cigarettes, Whiskey and Wild Women.” Steph & Drew share some spooky jokes, while Sandy shares a bit of "The Essex Serpent." Musical guest is Ray Sands & the Polka Dots, a MN polka legend that has played the Kennedy Center, A Prairie Home Companion and the International Polka Festival in Austria. Sponsor interviews are Green Gables Inn and Paul Hamann from the High Court Pub. A quiz show and a sing along of "Beer Barrel Polka" round out the show.

Sep 11, 2017

SUMMER LOVE comes to Lanesboro with songs like “Sealed with a Kiss,” “Walking on Sunshine” and “Summertime Blues.” Steph shares a story about "Camp Love," while Heidi, Phil and Aleah preview History Alive! pop-up plays. Musical guest is the CBB Jazz Combo, a group of members of the Chatfield Brass Band that have been active performers in the area since 2011. Sponsor interviews are Chelsey Claussen of The Bite and Chuck Aug of F&M Community Bank. A quiz show and a sing along of “In the Good Old Summertime” round out the show.

Aug 14, 2017

We going straight to the wild WILD WEST with songs like "Cattle Call," "Don't Fence Me In" and "Rawhide." Bonnie and Joel share some sage western witticisms, while Gary brings us to Cowboy Church. Musical guest is the Iowa Cowboy Orchestra, a reunited country and western band with roots at Wartburg College. Sponsor interviews are Ken Graner from Merchants Bank and Annie Hejny, artist in residence at Lanesboro Arts. A quiz show and sing along of "Home on Range" rounds out the show.

Jul 17, 2017

Childhood is the bee's knees with songs like “Where the Toys Are,” “Playmate” and “Mama’s Soup Surprise.” Mark, Elaine, Bill, Karen, Steve, & Susie share their favorite television memories from childhood while Glen, Bonnie, Maureen, Diana, Karen, & Eve have a new take on nursery rhymes.  Musical Guest is Ginger Bones, a folk and blues-inspired Americana singer-songwriter from the Twin Cities. Sponsor interviews are Tara Johnson from the Lanesboro Public Library and Barry Churchill from Bluff Country Computer Works. A sing along medley of children's songs rounds out the show.

Jun 12, 2017

 

The dirty 1930s return with songs like “Puttin' On the Ritz,” “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “Goodnight, Irene.” Harvey shares his wisdom while Diana, Bill, Bonita, Mark and Elaine stage a radio drama. Musical Guest Shen Teh, a piano-driven indie rock quartet from La Crosse, WI with a new album out, is led by vocalist and pianist Lara Olson, who moved from her home country Germany to live in the United States in 2011. Sponsor interviews are Mark Bishop of Niagara Cave and Eileen Moeller of Great River Shakespeare Festival. An animated quiz show and a sing along of "You Are My Sunshine" round out the show.

 

May 15, 2017

Cut loose at the prom night show with songs like “Born Too Late,” “It's Raining on Prom Night” and “In the Still of the Night.” Musical guest Sleeping Jesus, a sunny indie rock band from Winona, MN led by soft-spoken hopeless romantic Nick Elstad. Sponsor Interviews are Jason Sethre from Visit Bluff Country Magazine, Jennie Deiterman from Eagle Bluff Skills School, and Tammy Hughes of the Whalan Stand Still Parade. A prom quiz and a sing along of  “I Could Have Danced All Night” round out the show.

Apr 27, 2017

"Hats & Shoes" adourn the show with songs like Songs like “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Put on Your Old Grey Bonnet” and “Little Old Lady.” Bonnie and Joel share some fashionable poetry and Ole & Lars show their sense of style. Musical guest is The Medicine Brothers, a talented roots music group from Viroqua, WI with distinctive vocals and powerful group harmonies. New York City based composer and guitarist Jacinta Clusellas, an April artist-in-residence at Lanesboro Arts, will also join the Back Fence ladies on stage for an original arrangement of “Night in the City” by Joni Mitchell. Sponsor interviews are Scott Taylor from Pedal Pushers Cafe and Andy Batstone from Batstone CPA. A fashion show and a sing along of "Easter Parade" round out the show.

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