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Backus set to launch new season

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This Friday (Sept. 14), the Backus Community Center in International Falls will host a “members only” ice-cream social, with music played on the concert Steinway grand piano on stage, as a launch to its 2018-19 performing arts season.

Members, contributors, sponsors, and those wishing to become Backus members are welcome to attend.

The evening starts at 7 p.m. and will run for about an hour, with music to be performed by Vicki Davis, Jake Erickson, and Donna Frederickson.

“We host these events to encourage people to become members of Backus, which helps the community center in many ways,” noted executive director Ward Merrill.

“It is also the beginning of season ticket sales, so we encourage folks to save money and purchase their tickets early.”

The lineup for the 2018-19 season includes many family-friendly performances, including youth-generated music, high-energy dance, and a comic stunt juggler.

“This season is very kid-friendly," said event co-ordinator Robin Bjorkquist. ”Everyone should find at least one or more shows they can enjoy.

“We are trying to engage the younger demographic, encouraging them to enjoy live performances that they won't have to drive far to see,” she added.

The 2018-19 lineup includes:

  • Ishmael (Sept. 22)

Drawn from Herman Melville's classic novel, Moby Dick, Ishmael tells the tale of a restless schoolteacher still haunted by the incredible and tragic adventure of his youth.

A shape-shifting actor and three bluegrass musicians conjure a funny, thoughtful, harrowing play about one man's drive to see the world and another man's insatiable quest to destroy it.

  • Borealis Bards' “Little Shop of Horrors” (Oct. 26-28)

A nerdy florist finds his chance for success and romance with the help of a giant man-eating plant who demands to be fed.

Directed by RaeAnne Conat and featuring local acting talent.

  • The Hunts (Nov. 9)

With a harmony-laced take on alt-folk that's both breathtaking and sweetly ethereal, The Hunts are a Chesapeake, Va.-based band made up of seven brothers and sisters who have been playing music together almost their entire lives.

Ranging in age from 16-24, the siblings all learned to sing and play violin as little kids and spent much of their childhood performing throughout their community.

After widening their following and playing at theatres and festivals around the country, as well as teaching themselves to play instruments like the mandolin, piano, ukulele, banjo, and drums, the Hunts started experimenting with songwriting and soon brought to life a batch of songs that reveal their sophisticated sense of melody and undeniably dreamy innocence.

  • Rhythmic Circus: The Holiday Shuffle (Nov. 27)

This season, don't miss out on a wildly-imaginative, not-so-silent night the whole family can celebrate together.

A perfectly un-traditional holiday experience for the entire family.

Four world-renowned hoofers and a swinging seven-piece band inject the signature Rhythmic Circus style of rapid-fire tap into upbeat holiday classics.

  • Tuey Wilson, Comic Juggler (Feb. 1)

Tuey Wilson always has had a passion for physical skills. He grew up skiing, skateboarding, waterskiing, and anything else that satisfied his self-described personality: introverted show-off.

He learned to juggle in eighth grade from his older brother but didn't take it seriously until he was a senior in high school after a friend let him borrow some professional juggling equipment.

His life has never been the same!

Wilson performs at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival each year.

  • Sam Miltich & Friends: Mental Health through Jazz (April 12)

Sam Miltich brings greater awareness, tolerance, and education focused on mental health issues through the lens of his own life experience and music career.

He uses his personal story of recovery and management of his own condition to help inspire light and hope for a meaningful life.

Season tickets are available only at the Backus Community Center, located at 900 5th St. in International Falls.

Available for all six shows, or a package of four, discounts are offered for Backus members.

Individual show tickets are available 30 days in advance at Backus and City Drug in the Falls, J&D Foods in Littlefork, and Betty's in Fort Frances, which cost $12 for adults and $5 for children aged six-18 $5 (those five and under are free).

For more information, contact Backus Community Center at 1-218-285-7255 or visit www.backusab.org

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