It’s where Minnesota Governor Harold LeVander was born. Where Eugene, Oregon arts benefactor Nis Hult came from. And where singer, songwriter and storyteller Carl Franzen grew up and got the inspiration for his 2012 Fringe show: Swede Home, Nebraska.
Franzen’s show at the Playwrights’ Center connects childhood stories to songs that reverberate in today’s world—fear, tragedy and the language of aging. He also pokes into immigration, competition, and the importance of food after funerals; all against the innocent backdrop and beauty of a tiny village in the middle of Nebraska. Franzen blends edgy childhood experiences with seductive melodies to create music that is both thought provoking and relaxing. He is supported by gifted sidemen, pianist Rahjta Ren and trumpeter Jeff Carver, who provide an introspective groove throughout the performance.
Ren was awarded a Gold Record (500,000 sales) for Nagee’s Theme, a contemporary jazz album he produced in 1980s for the EMI/Capitol label. Carver is a highly respected player in the Twin Cities area, performing throughout the Midwest with High & Mighty. Franzen’s song, On the Road, was recorded in the 1970s by both John Denver and Michael Johnson.
The five shows of Swede Home, Nebraska are part of the 2012 Minnesota Fringe Festival and will be performed at the Playwrights’ Center, 2301 E. Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis on Thursday August 2 5:30 pm; Sunday August 5 2:30 pm; Tuesday August 7 8:30 pm; Saturday August 11 1:00 pm and Sunday August 12 2:30 pm.