Sisters return to the Paramount; Funds will be donated for expansion

Published 6:24 am Saturday, April 20, 2019

It is more than appropriate that three local theater and music veterans bring their fun — and a fundraiser — to the Historic Paramount Theatre in Austin in May.

After all, their support of the arts has been life long and now they will provide that support for a special project in their own special way.

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The St. Andrew’s Sisters — Penny Kinney, Coni Nelson and Alice Holst — will bring their show, “Just a Little UnCONVENTional” to the Paramount at 7 p.m. on Saturday May 11, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 12, whose proceeds will be donated to a planned expansion of the Paramount. The show has been moved from the original dates of April 27 and 28 due to injury.

Want to know more about the St. Andrew’s Sisters? Then pick up the upcoming Austin Living magazine when it comes out later this month.

“We have a long history in the arts,” said Kinney, adding she and her fellow sisters want to do anything they can to support the project.

“We have all been in the Paramount one time or the other and while the auditorium is beautiful, it’s not good for actors and musicians,” said Holst.

The singing nuns have performed together since 2012, in a girl-group format that is interspersed with lots of humor. Each show is customized to an audience, so every show is new and fresh, although you may hear a song or see a bit that was popular with earlier audiences. The show is family-friendly and “there might be a few surprises as well,” Kinney said. (Hint: Count on it).

All three of the sisters have lots of experience on the stage and that mutual love plays on in their popular act. Kinney, who writes scripts for the shows, has a long history as an actor, and Nelson is well-known for her abilities as a teacher of music, a director and a performer. Holst is also a well-known actor in theater circles.

The St. Andrews sister are up to their old ways in their new show, “Just a Little UnCONVENTional.”

The expansion and renovation, that incorporates office space west of the theater, hopes to provide a larger theatre entrance and wings, main floor restrooms, dressing rooms, practice space and a multipurpose area. The theater, in addition to providing performance space for various groups and musicians, is home to the Matchbox Children’s Theatre.

The building itself is a rare treasure. Built in 1929, it is only one of four atmospheric theaters left in Minnesota. Supporters for the arts came together many years ago to renovate the failing structure and raised thousands of dollars for its rehabilitation. The doors reopened almost 20 years ago. Today, the theater’s activities are overseen by the Austin Area Arts.

“It’s been a long journey, but look where it is now,” said Nelson, marveling at the work done over the years. “But now, there is more to do.”

Tickets can be purchased for $15 in advance online at; at the ArtWorks Center, 300 N. Main St.; and by phone, 507-34-0934. Tickets are $20 on the day of the performances.