John Wambeke & Friends are pulling out all the stops for the 10th annual Cabin Fever shows.
Described as a delightful mixture of music and humor, the Hermiston man rounds up local talent to present the yearly event. Wambeke, whose mind-numbing day job includes washing windows, admits he has way too much time to think.
“The main motivator is it’s a giant diversion. It takes my mind off what I have to do for a living,” Wambeke said with a guffaw. “It’s just for fun.”
Speaking of fun, Wambeke said a decade ago that he’d continue to wrangle people in as long as everyone was still having a good time.
The enjoyment is so contagious that Wambeke’s younger brother traveled from Montana to check out the show. Chris Wambeke, who is 18 years younger that his brother, even played the part of a bachelor during a sketch resembling “The Dating Game,” a TV game show that was originally produced on ABC in 1965.
“Chris said, ‘I just came out to see if it’s still fun,’” Wambeke said. “It’s still fun.”
During the 2016 Cabin Fever shows, Wambeke polled the audiences to find out their favorite acts over the years. A surprise drumline got rave reviews. Wambeke has been doing double-time in trying to drum up something equally as exciting.
Wambeke gets giddy with excitement when he talks about sketches for the upcoming show.
“We have a ventriloquist act — sort of,” Wambeke said with an even more exuberant guffaw.
With little prodding, Wambeke admits that Joe Lindsay will be playing the role of a ventriloquist while Lindsay’s 9-year-old son, Andrew, plays the part of the “dummy.” While pondering ideas, Wambeke suggested the ventriloquist concept to Lindsay.
“All you have to do is present the idea and he runs with it from there,” Wambeke said about Lindsay.
A farmer from Lexington, Lindsay is known for his sense of humor and musical abilities — traits that, Wambeke said, have apparently been passed down to his children. Andrew also will be singing during the show.
Harry Noble, who performed in the first Cabin Fever concert, is returning to the stage. The 87-year-old Hermiston man will sing “Keep Your Eyes on the Hand,” a Hawaiian song that gives pointers while watching hula dancers.
And for the 10th annual event, Thelma and Eunice — the lovely spinsters portrayed by Wambeke and Pat Ward — are in need of a makeover. The gals will be getting gussied up at Betty’s Discount Beauty Barn. The low-budget styling salon features a hair dryer mounted on a lampshade.
The event features a pair of Dutch oven dinner shows, or guests can choose to attend the show only. Tickets for the dinner, which are $38 each, are limited. Wambeke encourages people to buy tickets early to ensure a spot at the dinner table for a delicious meal cooked up by Sharon’s Sweet Treats. Show-only tickets are $15.
The Cabin Fever shows are Saturday, Jan. 13 and Saturday, Jan. 20 at the Hermiston Conference Center, 415 S. Highway 395. The dinner event is at 6 p.m., and show-only guests are invited to arrive at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets are available at Cottage Flowers, 1725 N. First St., Hermiston. For more information, call 541-567-4305 or search Facebook for “Cabin Fever Concert Hermiston.”
Contact Community Editor Tammy Malgesini at email@example.com or 541-564-4539