DASSEL, COKATO, MN After eclipsing a decade of providing low cost, high quality, family friendly expositions of the arts last year, the Dassel-Cokato Arts Association continues churning out opportunities for community engagement.
The 2015-16 entertainment calendar begins with the comic magician Tim Gabrielson Saturday, Oct. 10 at the Dassel History Center at 7 p.m. Gabrielson, a Minnesota native, and his “The Magic of Comedy” show with magic stylings billed as “interactive,” is the first magician to grace either the Performing Arts Center or Dassel History Center stage for DC Arts.
Dassel-Cokato Arts Association Executive Director Colleen Compton, a charter participant in the organization, said that, while watching a truncated version of Gabrielson’s show before booking his act, she didn’t immediately recognize him as a magician, but concentrated on what she called his “excellent” comedy. “We really enjoyed it,” Compton said of her and her colleagues’ experience, noting the show is “not a typical magic show with a black covered table and props,” but a “great combination” of comedy and magic, and the organization is excited about booking the event. Compton also characterized the comedy as “very clean, clean humor,” that “would be appropriate for youth, as well.”
Garbielson, who has been touring the Midwest since 1989, will perform at the Dassel History Center instead of the PAC because it provides a more intimate setting, Compton said. DC Arts will utilize what Compton called the “great facility” inside the history center, putting up a temporary stage that will be close to the audience, something the art form of comedy requires, according to Compton. “With a comedian,” she said, “you need to be close to the performer. You need to see their face.”
The organization did the same for comedian Louie Anderson, Compton said, to great atmospheric success.
The venue allows DC Arts to be able to have the Cokato-Dassel Lions Club serve wine and beer, as well as soft drinks. The show is family-friendly. Adult admission is $20, and the youth price is $7. The seating is general admission.
With one decade in the books, DC Arts embarks on its second with the same priority of providing affordable, “available and accessible” entertainment, as Compton put it. In years the non-profit organization yields a profit, any surplus is funneled into the subsequent year’s expenses to keep ticket prices low.
DC Arts also widens the scope for those considered eligible for youth ticket pricing. Often, youth prices are reserved for those under the age of about 13; DC Arts allows all those under the age of 18 to be admitted for the youth price. “We encourage youths to come to events,” said Compton.
The rest of the 2015-16 events schedule includes:
• New local organization Discover Dassel introduces its inaugural art crawl; the Fall Art Tour 2015, Saturday, Oct. 24 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The tour features 27 artists showcasing work either at the artists’ studio or business, or at the Dassel History Center. The theme of the tour is art by artists with any connection to Dassel; familial, professional, or otherwise.
• “A Rocky Mountain Christmas” will be performed Friday, Nov. 27 at 7 p.m. The show is comprised of renditions of holiday music by John Denver performed by vocalist and guitar player Jim Curry. “He not only looks like John Denver,” Compton said, “he sounds exactly like him.” Adults $25, youth $7. Reserved seating at the PAC.
• The a capella quartet, Vocality, will be performing Saturday, Jan. 16 at 7 p.m. The group will sing a wide variety of genres, from “classic gospel, to ‘70s classic rock tunes, to barbershop,” reads the event schedule. Adults $15, youth $7. Reserved seating at the PAC.
• Theatreworks USA presents “Curious George: The Golden Meatball” Saturday, April 2 at 10 a.m. The show is centered on the well-known cartoon monkey from children’s books, movies, and television, who comes to life in this musical theatre production. Adults $10, youth $5. Reserved seating at the PAC.
• Songwriter and storyteller John Berry performs Saturday, April 23 at 7 p.m. Berry returns to the PAC to sing his hits and more, including his Billboard chart topping song “Your Love Amazes Me.” Adults $25, youth $7. Reserved seating at the PAC.