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Willa Cather Foundation - Red Cloud Nebraska (NE)

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Earl Bates as "Will Rogers in the 21st Century"

Earl Bates as "Will Rogers in the 21st Century"

Thursday, September 10, 2015

RED CLOUD, NEB. (August 12, 2015) — The Red Cloud Opera House invites you to suspend yourself in disbelief and come along with Earl Bates as “Will Rogers in the 21st Century.”

This fun show takes a wry look at our crazy world through the bewildered eyes of that beloved long gone cowboy philosopher. Eighty years after his tragic plane crash, Rogers somehow finds himself in RED CLOUD on the PRESENT DAY as he time travels through America’s pop culture. Using selected classic and familiar songs, he recalls the Vaudeville past, pokes fun at the present, and hopes with us, for the future. Assuming the Okie’s persona, Bates combines pre-recorded music with simple props, a few rope tricks, some Broadway song and dance, guitar, harmonica, and audience participation to concoct an event that’s entertaining, informative, thought provoking, and heart-warming.

For over 40 years, award winning actor, musician, educator, and writer, Earl Bates has been performing on stage and screen all across the country. Among many theatrical honors, he received T.A.G.‘s “Best actor in a Musical” award for his performance in the title role of the Omaha Community Playhouse’s production of The Will Roger’s Follies. Long before CNN, Walter Cronkite, FOX News, Judge Judy, Rush Limbaugh, or the Colbert Report, the world looked to Will Rogers for a clever and humorous angle on the truth. Bates borrows from that angle to convey Rogers’ positive message of honor, good will, and tolerance. After all, Will never met a man he didn’t like.

This event is not one to be missed and will delight audiences of all ages. The show starts at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 20. Tickets are $12 in advance and $17 the day of the show and can be purchased online at or by calling the Opera House at (402) 746-2641.

This production is sponsored by South Central State Bank, Mark and Ashley Bostock, Johnny and Bethann Bostock, and Larry and Connie Bostock. Programming for the Cather Foundation’s Red Cloud Opera House is also made possible with the support the Nebraska Arts Council, the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, and the National Endowment for the Arts.