Friday, December 23, 2016

Welk Theater visit brings nostalgic memories of 1950s childhood

Lawrence Welk Resort, north of San Diego, California, offers housing options, restaurants, theater, golf and a charming little
museum with artfully displayed memorabilia from the long-running television show, here Welk's accordion. 
Cookie explores the grounds near the theater entrance.
It may be snowing elsewhere in the U.S., but SoCal is lovely.
Christmas under the palms and mesquites appeals!
"Plaid Tidings" ushers in the yule, at
Lawrence Welk Resort near San Diego.



ANYONE WHO grew up in the 1950s and had access to television, remembers "The Lawrence Welk Show."  When the final episode aired in spring of 1982, many families felt they had lost a friend and were saddened -- mine included.
The Welk Resort is an attractive, activity-focused hotel complex with 
luxury villas, a theater, golf course, and many other amenities.
Spending a pleasantly innocent hour with Welk's "Family," as he called it, had become tradition  There were "the lovely Lennon Sisters" with their precise and pleasing harmonies, Myron Floren with his dazzling accordion work, the warbling  "champagne lady" Norma Zimmer, singer and saxophone player Dick Dale, Larry Hooper with his bouncy baritone and Arthur Duncan, the dazzling tap dancer who wowed us with his triple time steps.  Of course, there was Lawrence Welk himself, dancing with the ladies and leading the band, signing off with that famous champagne-cork cheek pop of his finger in his mouth.
The Lawrence Welk Resort has a small but interesting museum in its
theater.  It promises to bring back memories of Welk's popular TV shows.
SINCE I BECAME a part-time Californian, I've wanted to visit the Welk Resort north of our San Diego home.This activity-focused hotel has a variety of housing options, including villas and a comfortable, pretty theater.  It is situated north of San Diego, on 450 acres and is only 15 miles from San Diego Zoo’s famous Safari Park. If you have kids or grandchildren, Legoland beckons, too, just over 17 miles away.
Keller takes a look at  one of the cameras from the long-running
ABC show, which taped its finale in 1982, but is alive and
well in re-runs on Public Television.
Theater buffs, we booked tickets to a winning production of "Sweet Charity."  We arrived in time to enjoy a beverage in the lobby, which is home to an engaging, small museum of Welk memorabilia.  We enjoyed the posters, display cases with musical instruments, and vintage posters tracing Welk's rise from Dakota farm kid to internationally known band leader.
Lawrence Welk's posters adorn the museum.
WE WERE delighted that the production of the Tony-winning "Sweet Charity" featured top-calibre dancing, snappy direction and fine voices.
We're looking forward to "Plaid Tidings" to celebrate the holiday, with a run that began Thanksgiving weekend and continues through to New Year's Eve.
A rousing production of "Sweet Charity" entertained Cookie and Keller.
A tuneful holiday show, "Plaid "Tidings," is on tap through the holidays.
The legendary Plaids, known for their close and "feel-good harmonies," return to planet Earth with a show guaranteed to spread yuletide the promo says, to spread yuletide joy with the greatest holiday hits of the ages. The new show offers the same format as the hit "Forever Plaid,"  featuring holiday standards that have all been “Plaid-erized.”  The harmonious quartet is called back to earth by a heavenly Rosemary Clooney, who tells them their harmonies are needed to help heal our discordant world.
Sprinkled among the yuletide offerings are audience favorites, including a three-minute version of The Ed Sullivan Show with the Rockettes, the Chipmunks and The Vienna Boys Choir, as well as a Plaid Caribbean Christmas that puts the "Day-O" in Excelsis! Sounds like a perfectly mixed holiday cocktail! Check out the holiday show at

Debbie Reynolds, left, and her daughter Carrie Fisher.
whereisCookie reflects on their relationship and contributions next.  
UP NEXT:    The sad news of Carrie Fisher's death, then her mother's, has left their fans -- including Cookie -- deeply
saddened.  Christene Meyers reminisces about Fisher's talent and courage, and her difficult relationship with her famous mum, Debbie Reynolds. The two talents and their complex lives moved millions, including Cookie, who interviewed them both -- 40 years apart. Remember to explore, learn and live, and check us out each weekend for an original take on the arts and travel.

1 comment:

  1. Idaho polka king and queenJanuary 1, 2017 at 1:03 PM

    Brought back delightful memories....still tapping our toes.