Michael Veldman is back for a performance at the Paramount on Saturday. - File photo

Archived Story

Veldman is back, and tickets are hot

Published 10:14am Friday, December 7, 2012

The Austinaires, Choralaires and a host of singing, dancing and prancing performers will swing into Austin this weekend.

“Swingin’ Into Christmas,” the 1940s-style radio show, will play to a sold-out crowd this Saturday, though residents can see the show’s final dress rehearsal free of charge Friday night.

“We just decided to do that,” said Jennie Knoebel, Paramount executive director. “There’s so many parents who wanted tickets to the show but couldn’t get them, and so many people who wanted tickets but couldn’t get them.”

The show sold out last week, in part because of the announcement that Michael Veldman and Erin Schumacher would sing one number in the show. Veldman and Schumacher used to be part of the annual Veldman and Friends performance every Christmas until a few years ago, when the participants decided to retire.

But “Swingin’ Into Christmas” will be different from a Veldman and Friends show; With more than 100 participants and a radio-style performance, including “commercials,” the show will stick to a ‘40s and ‘50s type sound.

“It’s great to have the [Veldman and Friends] name recognition, because there’s a lot of people in Austin that miss him and his holiday show,” Knoebel said.

The final dress rehearsal takes place at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, with doors opening to the public at 6:45 p.m. There will only be general seating for the rehearsal, however, and it may start and stop depending on what the performers need to practice. All proceeds and donations from the show will go to the Freeborn-Mower County Red Cross.

Christmas time is here

That’s not the only Christmas celebration going on at the Paramount, however.

“Home Free Christmas” starring the Home Free Vocal Band will hit the Paramount at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, with an a capella holiday performance.

Fans of Tonic Sol-fa will enjoy the stylings of Home Free Vocal Band, which some may have seen in Osage, Iowa, in October. Tickets are $15 for adults in advance, $17 at the door, and $5 for students.

SimpleGifts featuring Billy McLaughlin will come to the Paramount at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13. The show, a six-piece group featuring renowned composer McLaughlin, will feature traditional Christmas music. Tickets are $18 in advance, $5 for students, $16 for members, and $20 at the door.

Well-known Elvis impersonator Joe Sir will be on hand to croon a few of the King’s famous tunes and sing a few Christmas songs during an Elvis Christmas show taking place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15. Tickets are $14 for adults, $5 for students, and $16 at the door.

The shows, according to Knoebel, were designed to offer a little bit of everything to local residents during the holiday season.

“We really tried to make sure we have a variety of different performances for everyone to enjoy,” she said.


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