Amidst a dark time of the year, “Crow River Radio Show” is returning to the stage to bring some light and laughter to Watertown with its humorous, family-friendly, music-filled production. The show is sponsored by the Watertown Area Fine Arts Council and features the band Hillbilly Cadillac, as well as local talent performing musical numbers and sketch comedy.

The show’s creator Lee Windsperger grew up in Watertown and writes the content for the production himself. His original vision was for the show to be similar in style to Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion but with a local twist. “Music and performing have always been a part of my life and I wanted to share that with the people of Watertown,” said Windsperger, who is a guitarist in Hillbilly Cadillac. He also worked for several professional audio companies before retiring.

Windsperger gets his inspiration for the show from many different places including current events, The Red Green Show (a Canadian sitcom/sketch comedy series), and the internet. “Of course Covid will be mentioned because it’s so timely, but we’ll look for the humor in a serious situation,” said Windsperger. “There have also been a lot of new businesses opening in Watertown so we’ll touch on that as well,” he noted. In addition, Windsperger has written a bit based on a tv commercial. “I got the idea because I got so sick of hearing this commercial. I couldn’t get the melody out of my head so I decided to incorporate it,” he explained.

Two things that will be different this year in comparison to previous shows are a fewer number of performers so the stage is not too crowded and the addition of a backing band. In order to prepare for the show, each of the performers rehearses on their own and then the whole group comes together a few hours before the show to run through the order. They do follow a script, but it is intentionally loose so the performers can add their own spin.

One of the show’s performers, Stacey Lewandowski, joined the show in its second year and is looking forward to taking the stage again. She will perform in three acts and accompany on the piano for two other acts. “There will be some great selections of all different genres of music from bluegrass to pop rock to jazz,” said Lewandowski.

The show will take place on Jan. 16 at 4pm at the Watertown Primary School Auditorium, 313 Angel Ave, NW. Tickets are $10 for Adults and $5 for children under 18 and can be purchased at Marketplace Foods or at the door. The proceeds from the show will help the Watertown Area Fine Arts Council to offset expenses and sponsor future events, such as its summer concert series. More information about the Watertown Area Fine Arts Council can be found on their Facebook page.

According to Windsperger, this show will feature some of the most diverse and difficult musical material that the group has done before. “You won’t find less expensive entertainment of this caliber,” he said. “After taking a year off last year, we’ve got two years worth of bad jokes and you don’t want to miss them.”

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