If you are old enough to remember “champagne music,” you might have watched the Lawrence Welk Show airing every Saturday night on television for over 30 years. Those memories will be reenacted on Saturday, Feb. 29 when the Quirky Engine plays host to a hilarious tribute to the Lawrence Welk Show on the Utah State University Eastern Geary Theatre stage at 7:30 p.m.
The one-of-a-kind act features The Rustmonger Big Band and Bob Bedore as Welk to delight audience members young and old.
“I love playing Lawrence Welk on stage,” Bedore, a stand-up comedian by trade, said. “[I] absolutely recognize his campy nature. Although I take a comedic approach to filling his shoes [which are large indeed], Mr. Welk’s genius is not lost on me. I have deep respect for the man’s talent and contributions to entertainment. My goal is to make you laugh while maintaining the mystique of the man who brought the world his ‘champagne music.’”
The audience will be treated to familiar classic tunes, as well as some original compositions, much in the style of the “Master of Champagne Music.”
The “champagne music” came from the show opening with bubbles floating around and accompanied by a sound effect of a bottle of champagne opening. Each week, Welk would introduce the theme of the show, which usually inspired joyous singing and/or patriotic fervor.
Craig Nybo, a composer/arranger and member of the band, said, “I grew up on Lawrence Welk. My parents played it weekly. During my childhood, I appreciated the bright colors, the dancing plush animals, the bubbles and all of the surrealism. However, as a music composer/arranger, I go back to the reruns and am baffled by how his band kicked butt week after week. Welk had some of the biggest musical muscles in the business and he wasn’t afraid to flex them.”
Tickets are on sale at https://usueastern.edu/lawrence-welk/ and if you take advantage of the early bird special, you can save $3 off the regular-priced tickets.
“Don’t hesitate, because you will not want to miss this amazing, hilarious and heartwarming show,” Braden Nelsen, USU Eastern special events technical coordinator, said.