The Live Lawrence Welk Show
--Max Sparber
citypages.com - St. Paul, MN
Sure, you can't get much squarer than Lawrence Welk, whose long-running variety show made extensive use of the despised accordion.
 
But it was an honest squareness. His was, after all, a show so nervous about performing Prince Leleiohuko's "Hawaiian War Chant" that the scene was tempered by having the cast chant the original Hawaiian lyrics (a love song!) on a florid beach setting dressed in tropical print shirts, smiling tenderly at each other.
 
At least that's my memory, and like all things Welk, it is a memory tinged with surreality.
 
As an adult I have been watching repeats of the show without a trace of camp, as there are real pleasures to be found in performers such as singer and all-around country gal Ava Barber. Or what of the long-faced, tap-dancing marimba magician Jack Imel? Need I even mention the legendary gospel singer Ralna English, whose vocal career began from the back of a flatbed truck?
 
I could go on, but I don't need to, as direct from Branson, Missouri, come all of the old favorites, along with the Lawrence Welk Orchestra, to remind us of some very square--but very happy--memories. $35-$39.50. 7:00 p.m.
 
Fitzgerald Theatre
10 E Exchange St, St. Paul; 651.290.1221
 

 

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