By Kristen Miller
DASSEL, COKATO, MN For those interested in a night of good, clean humor, the Dassel-Cokato Arts Association is hosting a Comedy Cabaret with comedian Jason Schommer Saturday, Oct. 15 at the Dassel History Center.
“I’ve never ever seen a comedian who is completely clean, which was enjoyable and delightful,” said Penny Newsom, an arts association board member and wife of a recently retired pastor. Newsom, along with two other board members, previewed Schommer’s show prior to his booking.
Schommer, a theater arts graduate from the University of MinnesotaMorris, is a stand-up comedian whose career took off in 2011, opening for Minnesota’s comedy legend Louie Anderson at his annual New Year’s Eve show.
“Jason Schommer is someone who will make you laugh and make you hungry for more,” Anderson said. Schommer recently moved to Las Vegas, where he opens for Anderson at his show, “Louie: Larger than Life” at Excalibur Hotel and Casino.
His talents were recognized while working as a production assistant for “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” in New York City. The show’s writers found him funny and signed him up to perform at the New York City Comedy Club.
“It’s family entertainment that is clean and not offensive,” Newsom said, who was “very pleasantly surprised” when she watched him perform.
His comedic style ranges from “observational humor based on his life and family, to recounting hysterical encounters with infamous celebrities and hilarious commentary of pop culture,” according to his biography.
Schommer has been featured on K102 Country Music Morning Show with “From the Trailer,” and KFAN radio as the gossip and entertainment reporter.
The Salty Doggs also to perform
Other than community theatre productions co-sponsored by DC Arts Association and DC Community Education, this will be the first time the arts association will present an event at a venue other than the Performing Arts Center, according to Colleen Compton, executive director.
“The PAC is a wonderful place for large performances, but not very ‘intimate,’ especially for a stand-up comedian,” Compton commented.
“We are also hoping to make the Comedy Cabaret a very fun ‘night out’ by offering our audience great music in addition to Jason’s hilarious performance,” said Compton.
The Salty Doggs, a local bluegrass group, will be providing background music before and after the stand-up comedy show.
Audience members will be seated at large tables, rather than traditional theatre seating, and encouraged to walk around and talk with friends and neighbors while the music is performed in the background.
Free coffee and pretzels will be provided, and beer, wine and soft drinks will be available for purchase, provided by Thirsty’s Tavern.
Season seven entertainment
The Dassel-Cokato Arts Association is offering five other opportunities to enjoy local entertainment this coming season.
“We are very excited about this year’s schedule,” Compton said, adding that there are two shows returning, as well as two new shows.
The Butch Thompson Jazz Trio will perform at the Performing Arts Center Saturday, Jan. 21.
The trio is best known for its long run on public radio’s “A Prairie Home Companion” with Garrison Keillor. Their concerts include jazz, blues, ragtime, and pop songs with Thompson’s celebrated piano playing as the centerpiece. This will also provide an educational opportunity for DC jazz band students.
In March, Dassel-Cokato Community Theatre will present the classic comedy, “Arsenic and Old Lace.”
Tonic Sol-fa is also coming back for its third time at the PAC. The a capella group is scheduled to provide an energy-packed holiday show in November.
Christian singer and songwriter Mark Schultz is also returning. He will be performing a solo concert in May.
In addition, a summer musical is planned, though the production and dates are to be determined.
More information will come on these future programs.
Tickets on sale now
Tickets for the Saturday, Oct. 15 Comedy Cabaret at the Dassel History Center are on sale now for $15 and can be purchased through DC Community Education at (320) 286-4120 or in the office.
Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show begins at 7:30 p.m.