Warren Nelson is Back

August 3, 2012

I think that is it. That’s all that needs to be written for this entire blog…..Warren Nelson is back and back in a big way!!!

Okay, perhaps I should explain myself a little more. Last night I ventured again to the Big Top in Bayfield for my volunteer duties. I had my fingers crossed that this was going to be a good show despite the fact that Dairy Queen would not be open in Washburn and my game would therefore be “off”. Oh, I was far from disappointed.

For those of you who do not know of Warren Nelson, you have missed an icon over the years. He is a musician but so much more. He is the man under the big top. He reminds me of the barker at the circus. I’m not exactly sure why – the mustache, the exuberance for all he does, the knowledge he imparts as the weaves a tale and draws you in. No, I’m not sure what it is but that doesn’t really much matter. What matters is how he makes you feel. I know Warren from watching his shows over the past decade or more that I have been in the area – Riding the Wind, Keepers of the Light, Wild River, Take it to the Lake. The list goes on and on. But Warren has been gone the past two years and so has the Lost Nation String Band and Don Pavel. At the same time Warren left, so did the stage manager, Lisa Sandholm, and Chris her sidekick. I don’t know how many shows I watched from back stage with these two as I guarded the back stage door, but the Big Top hasn’t been quite the same without them.

Last night, however the stars aligned. Last night Warren Nelson was back with a new musical called Play Ball. It was Warren at his best. He brought back Lisa and Chris. He filled the band with musical friends and the mixture was magical. The audience was blessed with two hours of story telling, rousing musical numbers, audience participation, and incredible visuals (photographs and news clips). At the end of the night, a standing ovation was palpable before it occurred. It wasn’t a standing ovation out of habit or because “isn’t that what you’re suppose to do” it was a heartfelt showing of appreciation for a job more than well-done.

Bottom line: Warren Nelson is back and at the top of his game. Play Ball is fabulous and well worth traveling to see. Unfortunately it is only at Big Top Chautauqua one more night….tonight. However if you have a PAC (performing arts center) and Warren is willing to bring the show to you….snap it up fast. Don’t miss the opportunity. You will not be disappointed.

Oh, and Warren, congratulations!!!!!!

-Dayle Quigley