Special Guests
Saturday, December 20, 2008

Walter Bobbie

Actor and director Walter Bobbie is known for his work on Chicago (for which he won the Tony, Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics Circle Award), Sweet Charity, Footloose, High Fidelity among others. After graduate school at Catholic University, Bobbie hit New York, where he did a few shows before landing a spot in the original cast of Grease in 1972. He acted in Guys and Dolls, Assassins, Anything Goes and Driving Miss Daisy, and in movies and television. He was Artistic Director of New York City Center's Encores!, and his stage adaptation of Irving Berlin's White Christmas — a staple in multiple cities for years — is now on Broadway at the Marquis Theatre through January 4th.

The Pavlishyn Sisters with Alla Kutsevych

The Pavlishyn Sisters — 16-year-old Nadiya and 14-year-old Natalya — were born in the city of Sambir, in the foothills of Carpathian Mountains in western Ukraine. Their family came to the U.S. in 2000 and settled in Astoria, Queens. Since then, the sisters have performed more than 300 concerts and gained a loyal following for their singing of traditional Ukrainian songs. They have also recorded two albums: Dvi Sestrychky and Stivaye Chyste Dzherelo. Alla Kutsevych plays the bandura, the national instrument of Ukraine. She graduated from the Lysenko Conservatory in Lviv (western Ukraine), majoring in bandura and conducting. Since coming to the U.S., she has been active in New York's Ukrainian cultural scene and has performed at festivals in the U.S. and Canada.

Jennifer Rivera

While still a student at Juilliard, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Rivera was invited to join the roster of the New York City Opera. And after winning their prestigious Debut Artist of Year award, she went on to sing several roles with the company, including Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Lazuli in L'Etoile, Hansel in Hansel and Gretel, and Nerone in Handel's Agrippina. She created the starring role of Sharon Falconer in the Nashville Opera's 2007 world premiere of Robert Aldridge's Elmer Gantry. In addition, she has sung with companies from the Lyric Opera of Kansas City to Ópera de Colombia in Bogotá . Jennifer Rivera is a native of California, and currently lives in New York City.

Robin and Linda Williams

"Individually their voices can melt cheese, and in duet they can do all-purpose welding," Garrison Keillor has said of Robin and Linda Williams. And while their fans might not put it quite that way, they'd certainly agree. Singing the music they love, be it bluegrass, folk, old-time, or acoustic country, these two have carved out a three-decade career that has taken them from Carnegie Hall to the Hollywood Bowl. And they have written dozens of terrific songs, ones that have been covered by Emmylou Harris, Tom T. Hall, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Kathy Mattea, and many others. Radio Songs, a collection of favorite APHC performances, was released last year. Their latest CD is Buena Vista (Red House Records).

Erica Rhodes

Guy's All-Star Shoe Band

The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band is led by A Prairie Home Companion music director Richard Dworsky. A masterful keyboard player, composer and improviser in any style, he writes all the script themes and underscores, and he has accompanied guests from James Taylor to Renée Fleming. His latest CD is So Near and Dear to Me.

Chet Atkins called Pat Donohue (guitar) one of the greatest finger pickers in the world today. And he writes songs too — recorded by Suzy Bogguss, Kenny Rogers and others. Freewayman (Bluesky Records) is the most recent of Pat's nine albums.

Gary Raynor (bass) has performed with the Count Basie band, Sammy Davis Jr. — with whom he toured for several years — and the Minnesota Klezmer Band. He teaches jazz bass at the McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul.

J.T. Bates started playing drums when he was seven. By the time he was 15, he was sitting in with his dad's big band. Since then, he has backed up countless musicians, as well as working with his own bands — Fat Kid Wednesdays and Poor Line Condition.

Andy Stein (violin, saxophone) definitely has far-flung musical leanings. He collaborated with Garrison Keillor to create the opera Mr. and Mrs. Olson, and he has performed with artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Eric Clapton, Smashing Pumpkins, Billy Joel, Tony Bennett, Ray Charles and Bob Dylan.

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

Available now»

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