Linda Lang to take the stage for 'Life in Love'
WORTHINGTON -- Since she moved back to her hometown a few years ago, Linda Lang has largely worked behind the scenes. "There are a number of churches I'm at as choir director, musician, organ piano," she said, "and I've also been working at a few...
WORTHINGTON - Since she moved back to her hometown a few years ago, Linda Lang has largely worked behind the scenes.
“There are a number of churches I’m at as choir director, musician, organ piano,” she said, “and I’ve also been working at a few restaurants.”
But now Lang has decided to put herself in the spotlight with a dinner theater production set for Nov. 14 at BenLee’s in downtown Worthington. Called “Life in Love,” it is a variety show featuring Lang’s music and some guest performers.
Lang grew up in Worthington, the daughter of Michael and Olive Lang, who for decades ran the renowned Michael’s Restaurant, famous for its steaks, seafood and onion rings. It’s not surprising that her first musical performances took place at the restaurant.
“I started playing the piano - Mom got me started in third grade - and then they wanted me to do organ at the restaurant, so I started playing in the seventh grade,” she recalled.
After 10 lessons, Lang began providing musical accompaniment for the dining experience on the organ then situated between the restaurant’s Capri Room and Pink Room. After a remodel, it was relocated under an archway toward the front of the restaurant. Shortly thereafter, she also learned to play the church organ and took over those duties at Emmanuel Methodist Church.
“They had a reed organ with real chimes,” she said.
Lang’s musical endeavors continued through her high school career - she notably shared the role of Maria in the school’s production of “The Sound of Music” with a German exchange student - and into her adult career.
“I was going to school for a while in Arizona, and ended up in Los Angeles in the 1980s,” she detailed. “I was there doing music - was a music contractor in numerous churches and schools and also did some studio work, and then I was writing my own music and children’s stories.”
For the upcoming musical production, Lang has drawn from the archives of her musical endeavors.
“I have music that I’ve written that I’ve been wanting to perform,” she said. “... “‘Life and Love’ is the title of what I hope will be my CD if I ever get these songs all on one tape.”
The logo for the production is a bouquet of roses, which has a special meaning to Lang.
“There are many different kinds of love we experience in our lives - the love of our children, the love of our parents, romantic love, love of nature, love of country, love of animals and pets, religion,” she explained. “I’m going to have a bouquet of flowers on the stage, and each rose will be for a different kind of love that will connect either with a poem I’ve written or a song.”
Among the guest performers will be Randi and Jeff Mimick, who will perform a dance to one of Lang’s songs. A quartet of singers - Dan Roos, Steve Rubis, Dawn Gordon and Brenda DeSmith - will perform another of her compositions. Musicians Candace Joens on autoharp and flutist Louise Clausen will also lend their talents to the endeavor.
At the end of the evening, Santa and Mrs. Claus will make an appearance to kick off the holiday season.
A social hour will begin at 5 p.m., with a sit-down meal of pork loin, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans, salad and dessert served at 6 p.m. The show gets under way at 7 p.m.
The show is appropriate for all ages, according to Lang, with a number or two especially suited for children.
“There will be a child’s price and an adult price” for tickets, she noted. “Special meals will also be available if needed.”
For reservations, call 343-3400.