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Concert: Rhubarb Sisters – “Rhubarb’s Angels”


Eventbrite - Concert: Rhubarb Sisters

Rhubarb’s Angels features the Rhubarb Sisters and the Burdock Brothers in a new show that opens the Rhubarb Festival Weekend in Lanesboro for one performance only on Friday, June 2, at 7:30 p.m. at the St. Mane Theatre in scenic Lanesboro, Minn. The show is serving up two delicious episodes of “Rhubarb’s Angels.” One, written by Elizabeth Fuglestad, is called “It’s a Rhubarb-ful Life” and is loosely based on a movie of a similar title. The other features the official addition of singer/pianist Valerie Peterson Wilson to the group. She joins current Rhubarb Sisters Elizabeth Fuglestad, Beth Hennessy, and Julie Kiehne. Singing like angels, with tantalizing four-part a cappella harmonies, the Rhubarb Sisters have performed on “A Prairie Home Companion” and have made countless concert appearances in Lanesboro and the region throughout their 11 years as a group.

Former Sister Peggy Hanson will appear for cameo songs and her usual comedy routine. Tim Kiehne and Peter Torkelson of the Burdock Brothers will join as well (burdock, you know, is often referred to as “wild rhubarb”). The group will be accompanied by Valerie Peterson Wilson on piano, Barb Ames on clarinet, and members of the CBB Jazz Combo: Nathan Davidson, saxophone; Jerry Barrett, trumpet; and Steve Sawyer, string bass. Keyboardist Curt Peterson joins the CBB Jazz Combo during pre-show and intermission music.

“What I really love is making people smile. It really is about bringing joy and sharing the things that are true,” says Rhubarb Sister Julie Kiehne. “People want to seek more of the back-home roots to their childhood. Rhubarb brings that out.” Rhubarb Sister Beth Hennessy agrees, “We’re similar to rhubarb. We’re about finding happiness in your own backyard.”

“This goes so far beyond rhubarb,” former Rhubarb Sister Peggy Hanson states. “The group performs for a lot for church groups, mother-daughter teas and that kind of event. The basic message is that rhubarb is a humble thing. It’s just back by the garage.” But just because it’s humble, doesn’t mean it isn’t useful. “It blends with anything. It’s Midwestern values — make do with what you have. And you can hardly find it in stores,” she says. “It’s inherently noncommercial.”

So are the Rhubarb Sisters, who also travel far and wide in their house dresses and vintage aprons, singing about the wonders of rhubarb. “People respond to it. It’s very emotional. They think of home and grandma and homemade desserts,” Hanson says. So what does that sound like? Warm up the pitch pipe and listen to the Rhubarb Sisters sing “This Stalk Is Your Stalk” to the tune of “This Land is Your Land.” “We have a good time,” Hanson says. “We make our fun.”

This concert is presented by LANESBORO ARTS and sponsored by Inspire(d) Media, Commonweal Theatre, and Walter Bradley at Thrivent Financial.

Please note:

  • The St. Mane Theatre box office will open for business at 6:30 p.m. on the day of the event. Remaining tickets will be sold in-person beginning at that time.
  • If you are unable to buy tickets online or need additional assistance, you may try calling 507-467-2446, on weekdays before 5pm, to purchase tickets over the phone.
  • We will have a list of the names of ticket buyers at the box office beginning at 6:30 p.m. If the ticket buyer and their guests arrive together, no receipt or proof of purchase is needed in order to be admitted to the event–we will have a list!
  • Alternatively, attendees can also present a printed copy of the Eventbrite ticket PDF the ticket buyer was sent or simply pull it up and present it on a smart phone.

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