The Duttons Blow Local Audience Away

By Christine Wise

The Duttons put on a performance at The Clausen Center last Friday evening that was part vaudeville and part old time medicine show. There was a little bit of this; a whole lot of that; some snappy patter; and a sales pitch or two. It was fast paced, crazy, and sweet. There were audible audience “Aaaawwww’s”, as well as raucous laughter, and wild applause.

Where does a person begin? “Orange Blossom Special” is as good as any, I suppose. People would be forgiven if they thought a freight train was right outside bearing down on The Clausen Center. I kept waiting for the violin strings to pop or the drum set to blow up. And the Wizard of Oz section was a rare treat. As one guy said at intermission, “Those little kids – weren’t they something?” They certainly were. The scarecrow could have been made out of rubber bands and the lion was a miniature Bert Lahr. Who knew that such a big voice could come out of a body that small?

The Duttons leaped from one genre to another so quickly, it nearly made the audience’s collective head spin. There was an amazing classical piece for violin; there were dancers tearing up the stage with their clogging shoes; there was Julio, The Latin Heart Throb. And when the men sang “Good Enough For Now”, it felt like they were in Red Green’s Possum Lodge waiting to recite The Man’s Prayer.

The crashing finale was a Bluegrass Extravaganza. I don’t believe cabbage has ever been boiled down that hard before. Everybody from grandparents to babies was on stage singing, dancing, and playing any instrument they could get their hands on. They played fiddles tucked under their chins, over their heads, and behind their backs. They played their own and each other’s – all the while singing and dancing up a storm. It was beautifully controlled chaos and the audience had a blast.

You couldn’t have asked for a more thrilling ending to The Clausen Center’s premiere season. Watch the papers for next year’s line up!