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Concert association season gets under way: Davidson part of season offerings

WORTHINGTON — In the late 1970s and early 1980s, John Davidson was a well-known television personality, hosting such shows as “The New Hollywood Squares” and “That’s Incredible!” He even had his own variety show and played Sally Field’s husband in a short-lived sitcom, “The Girl with Something Extra.”

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At age 72, Davidson is still an active performer and recently signed on for the national touring company of the popular Broadway musical, “Wicked,” playing the wizard. He’s currently in the Twin Cities on that tour and will be back in Minnesota next spring —with an engagement in Worthington.

Davidson’s performance is one of four to be offered through the Worthington Concert Association 2013-2014 series.

“Do you know how much you have to pay for tickets to see ‘Wicked?’” noted Worthington Concert Association President Brenda DeSmith. “And we’ll get to see him here for the inexpensive cost of our season ticket.”

Davidson isn’t on the schedule until May 2014, but there are three other concerts in the meantime, beginning with the Abrams Brothers on Oct. 15. The Abrams Brothers are a Canadian bluegrass, country and folk-rock band.

Each year, the concert association’s board tries to line up a well-rounded variety of offerings for its patrons.

“It’s a hard process,” said DeSmith about picking out the season’s lineup. “There are so many good choices. We like to have at least one classical group, because that’s what the association was founded on, to bring that to our town. And then we like to have an instrumental thing and some sort of variety show thing —and that’s where we got John Davidson.”

Davidson’s performance will be true variety, as he’s an actor, singer and “fantastic banjo player,” according to DeSmith. The other offerings this season are: Aureole Trio, a flute, viola and harp trio; and pianist Charlie Albright, a graduate of the Julliard School of Music.

“I’m actually looking forward to Charlie Albright the most,” said DeSmith. “I’ve heard clips of him, and he sounds incredible.”

In addition to the Worthington events, season membership also entitles ticketholders to attend reciprocity concerts with the concert series in Slayton, Windom and Sheldon, Iowa.

“It’s a great bargain, because potentially there are 16 concerts that you could attend,” DeSmith explained. “Sometimes there are duplicates, and if there’s someone really good, you can go and see them again.

“We need cultural activities in town, and this gives us a venue so we don’t have to drive to the Twin Cities or Sioux Falls to see them,” DeSmith continued. “These entertainers are the same ones who are performing in larger venues, who perform in New York and Minneapolis, and we get to bring them here for a really reasonable rate.”

The first concert will be at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 15 at Memorial Auditorium Performing Arts Center, 714 13th St. Memberships can be purchased at the door; or contact Shirley Rempel, 376-6748, or DeSmith, 376-4862. Student memberships are also available.

Beth Rickers

Beth Rickers is the veteran in the newspaper staff with 25 years as the Daily Globe's Features Editor. Interests include cooking, traveling and beer tasting and making with her home-brewing husband, Bryan. She writes an Area Voices blog called Lagniappe, which is a Creole term that means "a little something extra." It can be found at  

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