CALUMET -- The Red Metal Radio Show will hit the airwaves for the fourth year in a row at 7 p.m. on Thursday, August 16, live from the Calumet Theatre. This annual radio program, sponsored by Main Street Calumet as part of its August Heritage Celebration, focuses each year on a different aspect of Keweenaw history and culture -- and this year will feature a look at local humor. The show will be broadcast on K-Bear Radio, 102.3 FM, and streamed on the internet from the K-bear website.
Oren Tikkanen -- the show’s writer, producer, and host -- says, "Our audience has been very receptive and supportive, but one question we always get is -- why don’t we have more of the local humor? Next year’s show is planned to be about the 1913 Strike so that one will be pretty serious, and we decided we’d better do a light-hearted program right away."
Tikkanen will be joined by local humorists and singers Kris Kyro and Glen Johnson, with music by Dave Bezotte, Tom Hiltunen, and the Backroom Boys Jazz Band.*
"We’re going to be presenting a great variety of funny stuff," says Tikkanen. "Some of it goes back over 100 years, and some of it is pretty current -- but it all has a local slant. It’s an affectionate look at the funny side of life in the Keweenaw and the UP, from immigrant times to the present."
Tikkanen says that he is very pleased with the cast he has lined up for the show.
"Kris and Glen are both very experienced performers and are very funny people," Tikkanen notes. "Dave Bezotte will sing a humorous French-Canadian song, with simultaneous translation. Tom Hiltunen will be singing comic ditties he learned from the great Art Moilanen, and others. We’ll have some original songs and parodies based on historical events. And jokes -- lots of jokes."
The show, as always, will be performed before a live audience, and everyone is invited. Those attending are asked to be in the theater by 6:50 p.m. for the on-air start time of 7 p.m.
Come find out the facts about Heikki and Hilma in the Model T, Cousin Jack's and Cousin Jenny's 50th Anniversary, and Petit-Jean and the bear. Get the whole story about Perrine (the priest's housemaid), and about the Finnish women taking the law into their own hands during the 1872 Calumet strike. Discover for yourself the quick wit of Big Erick Erickson, and the legend of Big Joe Mufferaw (Joseph Montferrand).
Tickets are only $10.50 for adults, and $8.00 for children or people as old as Oren Tikkanen (senior citizens). For those who have even less money than Oren Tikkanen, the show will be broadcast on K-Bear Radio, WHKB-FM, 102.3 MHZ, and streamed live on the K-Bear website (contact all your family and friends who live away from here, and tell them to listen online).
*Editor's Note: Click here to see our 2011 video of Kris Kyro and the Red Metal Radio Show musicians performing "Alexander's Ragtime Band" in last year's show.