Date:   4/28/2007

Cheryl Wheeler - Poet-Cheryl; Comic-Cheryl

         
The wonderful folk singer-songwriter and extremely funny comedian, Cheryl Wheeler, will be performing at Thrasher Opera House in Green Lake on April 28 at 7:30 p.m., with doors opening at 6:45 p.m. 

It has always seemed as if there were two Cheryl Wheelers, with fans of the New England songwriter relishing watching the two tussle for control of the mic. There is poet-Cheryl, writer of some of the prettiest, most alluring and intelligent ballads on the modern folk scene. And there is her evil twin, comic-Cheryl, a militant trend defier and savagely funny social critic. The result is a delightful contrast between poet and comic.

Poet-Cheryl writes achingly honest songs of love and loss. Contrasting the prosaic landscapes of her native small-town America with the hopelessly rootless life of the traveling performer, she touches the common chords with any who feel the tug between our busy, noisome times and the timeless longing for simplicity and silence. Her deceptively plain-spun songs have been recorded by everyone from Bette Midler, Maura O’Connell, Peter Paul and Mary, Juice Newton, and Garth Brooks. Comic-Cheryl comes on like Groucho-in-a-housecoat; a fiercely everyday woman with a barbed-wire tongue. Shredding the mores of our gossipy, greedy, trend-obsessed culture, Wheeler always aims enough darts at herself to never seem sanctimonious.

With the possible exception of Greg Brown, no modern songwriter comes to mind who can write as convincingly about the sheer, simple-hearted joy of a nice day; whether a warm spring one spent driving down southern back roads, or a chilly gray one spent thinking properly dark thoughts at a bayside hotel. Where others seek the startling image, the "Big Event," Wheeler wraps her songs around the familiar image, the shared event. When it is comic-Cheryl’s turn, the poet simply turns over the mic and allows the comic to be displayed in her native habitat: the stage.

As the two forces smooth their conflict, taking their separate turns and melding into the same artistic vision, Wheeler emerges as a gifted and openhearted songwriter approaching the sure summit of her craft. Her abiding faith in her audience’s ability to find their own life reflected in the sweet spaces of her songs reveals an artist comfortably wearing the austere genius that defines folk music’s best traditions. More confidently and beautifully than ever before, she proves that the poet and the comic are one and the same. - Scott Alarik, www.cherylwheeler.com.

Tickets to see this very entertaining singer-songwriter with an extraordinary gift of humor, sponsored in part by Heidel House and Two Chez,  are only $20 and are available at Thrasher office; Knowledge Emporium; Green Lake State Bank (Green Lake); Ripon Drug and Pick ‘n Save (Ripon); Twister (Princeton); Berlin Chamber of Commerce; or by calling (920) 294-4279.

For more information or to order tickets online, visit www.thrasheroperahouse.com.

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