Donate    Find Us    About Us    News    Newsletter    FAQ    Site Map    Home

Events at the Eau Claire Regional Arts Center

Eau Claire Regional Arts Center Events

View other
upcoming events.

Big Top Chautauqua Presents: Tent Show Radio

Friday, May 9, 2014 | 7:30 PM
$35 | $25

Featuring Michael Perry and the Blue Canvas Orchestra with special guests Ronny Cox and S. Carey!

'Culture Under Canvas' comes to Eau Claire as Tent Show Radio celebrates its 20th Anniversary with a special live performance of the show. The show features New York Times best selling author, humorist, songwriter, radio show host and amateur pig farmer, Michael Perry, along with Big Top Chautauqua's Blue Canvas Orchestra and special musical guests. 

Since 1994 Tent Show Radio has been heard every week on 50-plus listener-supported radio stations across the United States and the world on the Internet.  Each week's episode features a live performance recorded from Big Top Chautauqua's summer concert season along with a short monologue by Michael Perry from the 'backstage dressing room with the one-lonely-lightbulb'.

"Taking Tent Show Radio on the road has been a blast," says Perry. "It's a chance for folks who have maybe never made it to the tent to enjoy a taste of what's been going on up at Big Top Chautauqua for decades now. The live music, the stories, and the laughs combine for a straightforward, boots-on-the-ground good time. And as I like to say, it's always fun for us to meet listeners and say thank you right to their face. Plus I get to see if any of my new jokes work."

Perry's bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Visiting Tom, Truck and Coop. His latest book, From the Top, is a collection of his Tent Show Radio monologues, and he recently composed the liner notes for the Blind Boys of Alabama album "I'll Find A Way." His live humor albums include Never Stand Behind A Sneezing Cow and The Clodhopper Monologues. Perry lives with his wife and two daughters in rural Wisconsin, where he serves on the local volunteer fire and rescue service.

The Blue Canvas Orchestra (BCO) is made up of a diverse group of musicians and singers and is known for their musical virtuosity and eclectic repertoire. The BCO is the 'house band' at Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua and has performed at the big blue tent throughout the past 27 summer concert seasons. Their music ranges from burning bluegrass to swing along with classical and Celtic influences.

Tent Show Radio is produced by Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua, a nonprofit performing arts organization located in Bayfield, Wisconsin that operates a 900 seat blue and pearl grey striped canvas tent theater presenting a 50-plus night summer season of variety shows, regional and nation touring acts and original historical musicals.

"Tent Show Radio Live on tour features all the elements of a live radio broadcast plus quite a bit more," says the radio show's Producer Tom Fabjance. "The show is packed with variety and a large 12 plus piece ensemble of performers and musicians. The show was well received last fall in Stoughton and Reedsburg and played to near capacity crowds and folks seem to be responding favorably."

In partnership with American Family Insurance, Wisconsin Department of Tourism and Wisconsin Public Radio, "The Carnegie Hall of Tent Shows" will be on tour throughout Wisconsin this Spring beginning April 25 at the Door Community Auditorium in Fish Creek and the Richland Center High School Auditorium April 26 followed by the State Theater in Eau Claire May 9, Capitol Theater in Madison May 10, Grand Theater in Wausau May 15 and finally the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in Appleton on May 16.

Listeners can tune in every Saturday on Wisconsin Public Radio at 7:00 PM CST to hear the program. The show is also available via free streaming and is now available as a podcast on iTunes. For more information call 1-888-BIG-TENT or visit



Share this event on Facebook

Share this event on Facebook.

Share this event on Twitter

Share this event on Twitter.

Email this event to a friend.

Email this event to a friend.