Posts tagged Bill Sorensen

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Bill Sorensen by Tricia Sorensen

Many of you may think you know everything there is to know about my dad, Bill Sorensen, as he has been doing shows in Medora for the last 42 years. Here are some facts about him that you may not know.

 

  1. He is a Songwriter

Bill has written the lyrics to numerous songs, his friend Joel Gilbertson writes the music and Bill adds the lyrics. He has also written some songs with Jared Mason. Those of you who went to the Medora Christmas Show will already know this fact as some of his songs were featured in last years show.

 

  1. He is the best Valentine’s Day box maker.

On Valentine’s Day our elementary school always had an even where each student would bring in a decorated box to hold all of the Valentines from the other students. The Sorensen girls always had the most elaborate boxes. My favorite was a magic illusion box he made. It was clear on the front so you could see the valentines drop down but they would disappear in the middle and then reappear at the bottom. I got a lot of valentines that year because everyone wanted to figure out how it worked. One of my sisters had computer that used black lights to light up a message on the screen and the valentines went through the floppy disk slot. Some others he made were a puppy dog crate with stuffed animal puppies inside, a robot, and full-sized guitar.

 

  1. He started his hair on fire during a magic show

When he was 20 years old he was juggling torches in one of his shows, when he accidentally started his hair on fire. He burned off some of the hair and his eyebrows. The best part was the audience thought it was part of the act, and he didn’t notice until he started smelling burnt hair.

 

  1. He has dyslexia

As a child my dad struggled with his reading and writing skills. My grandma saved some of his schoolwork where he would write a sentence perfectly and then the next sentence would be 100% backwards. You would never be able to tell now, unless you’ve heard his Reddy Toosevelt speech.

 

  1. His name is a tradition

Bill’s full name is William Hans Sorensen; his dad’s name is Hans William Sorensen; his grandpa’s name is William Hans Sorensen, and his Great Grandpa’s name is Hans William Sorensen. My sisters and I are all happy that he chose not to name one of us Hans.

 

2018 Cast of the Medora Musical

(Medora, ND) – The Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation (TRMF), in conjunction with StageWest Entertainment, is excited to announce the cast of the 2018 Medora Musical and that the Show’s theme will be about “family.”

 

Over four million people have seen the Medora Musical since first opening in 1965 – many visitors from around the region make it a family tradition to see the show each year.

 

However, the family tradition extends further than the guests who flock to the Burning Hills Amphitheatre each summer.

 

Back for his third year as Host of the Medora Musical, Chet Wollan grew up on the Badlands stage – first watching his father, Curt Wollan, produce the show (1987-2018) before joining the production for the first time as a four-year old doing rope tricks with Montie Montana.

 

Chet has grown into his role as host and again leads a very talented, professional cast in this year’s Medora Musical.

 

Curt, for his part, remembers his early years in Medora fondly, saying, “Little did I know that answering an ad in 1977 would have led to meeting my wife, Jane, and to the honor of fathering two very talented Burning Hills Singers — Chet and his sister, Lexie Wollan-Swenson.

 

“I love this show. It is so fun coming back to it year after year to tell timeless tales about Teddy Roosevelt, the Badlands and family values in compelling new ways.”

 

Former Bismarck Mayor, Bill Sorensen, will join Chet Wollan as co-host after a successful, four-state tour of A Magical Medora Christmas.

 

This will be Bill’s second season back as a kind of grandfatherly figure, helping his co-host tell the story of the Badlands and Medora.

 

Between Chet and Bill, this year’s show is sure to include a great mix of fan-favorite moments and humor – some scripted and others, well, not so much.

 

Each year some of the top stage talent in North Dakota audition for the Medora Musical. The competition is stiff and those selected compete against talent recruited from across the nation.

 

This year, three North Dakotans made the cast and are returning: Misti Koop, of Grand Forks; Taylor Leet, of Bismarck; and Alyssa Scott of Fargo. 

 

Koop and Leet pursued passion projects during the winter, while Scott and her boyfriend, Medora Musical lead guitarist, Adam Vogel, have been performing and recording in Nashville, TN.


Vocal powerhouse and veteran performer, Candice Lively-Wolllan, joins the cast and her husband, Chet, this year as well. Candice and Chet just finished performing in a National Tour of Ring of Fire together.


The comical and ever animated, Ken Quiricone, will return in his “comedic side-kick role” for his 7th year after performance stints in Atlanta, GA, and Pennsylvania.


Fans will be happy to know that six-year veteran of the Show, Kevin Korczynski, will be returning after working in Florida and Illinois.


Kevin had this to say about his return to the stage of the Medora Musical, “A large part of returning was simply missing Medora. It’s a one-of-a-kind professional contract and I missed the electricity on that epic stage.


“I also missed the people, onstage and off. Co-workers, friends for life, Medora family, and fans it’s all a huge part of every summer story. The joy on-stage and off makes for such a gratifying return.”


Other veteran professionals returning for 2018 include:

Jessica Bradish, whose professional credits include a National Tour in Pump Boys and Dinettes.


Christie Robinson — who’s one half of Medora’s newest Kids Show, Carl and Greta’s Cowboy Sing Along with returning Medora Musical band leader, Andrew Crowe.

 

And Dusin LaFleur, who has worked at the Crossroads Repertory and Grandstreet Theatres.

 

The three new Burning Hills Singers are Ben Massouras, John Woodruff and Benjamin Frankart. 

While over one thousand performers auditioned for the show at locations in North Dakota, Minnesota, Florida and Tennessee this year, for TRMF communications director, Justin Fisk, a cast full of returners is fitting with this year’s “Family” theme.


“Really, the theme can be traced directly to the people who come to the show – the Medora Musical has been a family tradition, for visitors and staff, since Harold and Sheila Schafer started the show in 1965. Today, you see families all summer long with two, three, even four generations coming together.


It seems like fate, too, for our production team to build the show around this theme, and then for the cast to come together in a way that almost feels like a big family reunion – albeit a really musically talented one!”


Fisk concluded, “It will be fun and exciting to see how such an epic story of TR and the Badlands can be told with the family theme, with such a talented cast who are themselves a lot like a family.”

Lead Roles of the Medora Musical

  • Chet Wollan  –  Host  –  “Cowboy Chet”
    Strawberry Plains, TN, by way of St. Anthony, MN — returning
  • Bill Sorensen  –  Co-Host  –  “Wild West Prestidigitator”
    Bismarck, ND — returning
  • Candice Lively-Wollan  –  Burning Hills Singer/Co-Host
    Strawberry Plains, TN — returning
  • Ken Quiricone  –  Burning Hills Singer/Co-Host
    Stratford, CT — returning
Burning Hills Singers
  • Jessica Bradish                   Des Moines, IA — returning
  • Benjamin Frankart              Republic, OH
  • Kevin Korczynski                 Bel Air, MD — returning
  • Misti Koop                           Grand Forks, ND – returning
  • Dustin LaFleur                     Lafayette, LA — returning
  • Taylor Leet                           Bismarck, ND — returning
  • Ben Massouras                   Phoenix, AZ
  • Christie Robinson                Bucksport, ME — returning
  • Alyssa Scott                         Fargo, ND — returning
  • Jon Woodruff                        White Bear Lake, MN
 Coal Diggers Band
  • Andrew Crowe, Fiddle           Franklinton, NC — returning
  • Brandon Fillette, Piano          Weddington, NC — returning
  • Junior Mercer, Steel Guitar    Sevierville, TN
  • Perry Orfanella, Bass            Carmel, NY — returning
  • Barry Smith, Drummer           Orlando, FL
  • Adam Vogel, Guitar                Melrose, MN — returning

A Magical Medora Christmas Tour Dates and Times

Four past and present Medora performers will entertain audiences during 28 shows, in 22 communities, across 4 states this Nov. & Dec.

 

The Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation (TRMF) is pleased to announce that A Magical Medora Christmas variety show will tour this holiday season across North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Minnesota.

 

The family-friendly Christmas show will feature the musical talents of Emily Walter, Jared Mason, and Job Christenson, as well as the comedy and magic of Bill Sorensen.

Read on to see see tour dates and times!

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Bill Sorensen Returns to Medora Musical, 5 Additional North Dakotans Make the Cast

Brand new talent joins seasoned professionals for 2017 show

(Medora, ND) – The Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation, in conjunction with StageWest Entertainment, is excited to announce the cast of the 2017 Medora Musical.

Former Bismarck Mayor and long-time performer, Bill Sorensen, will make his return to the Medora Musical this June, to perform alongside the new host of the show, Chet Wollan, and a cast full of talent from across the country – including five other North Dakotans from Dickinson, Bismarck, and Fargo, and Grand Forks.

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Winter Fun Abounds in Medora this December

On the first day of Christmas, Medora gave to me! 3 days of Cowboy Christmas, 2 nights of A Magical Medora Christmas, and one Bold St. Nick’s Fatbike Race!

December in Medora is packed with fun family activities, great shows, and a mountain bike race! Yea that’s right, a mountain bike race! Read on to get all the details on a jam-packed December in Medora!

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Tour Dates for a Magical Medora Christmas Show

Coming to a town near you!

Five legendary Medora performers are bringing a family-friendly Holiday Show to audiences in North Dakota and western Minnesota!

During 24 shows in 19 communities, A Magical Medora Christmas show will feature vocal performances by the amazing Emily Walter, the multi-talented Jared Mason, and the wonderful Job Christenson.

Throughout the show, Bill Sorensen will wow you with spectacular magic and some hilarious banter with everyone’s favorite steel guitar player, Roger Rettig!

 

Head below to see if a Magical Medora Christmas show is stopping in your town!

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Bill Sorensen and Emily Walter to co-host Medora Musical

Bill Sorensen and Emily Walter to co-host Medora Musical

Former Bismarck Mayor and show veteran set to banter on stage once again in 2014

(MEDORA, ND) – The Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation is pleased to announce the return of the exciting duo of Bill Sorensen and Emily Walter as co-hosts to this year’s Medora Musical.

The part of my job that I did best last year – in character of course – was really annoying the Queen of the West.

Sorensen, a former Bismarck Mayor and long-time performer co-hosted the 2013 Medora Musical as its Wild West 

Prestidigitator and comments with a smile, “The part of my job that I did best last year – in character of course – was really annoying the Queen of the West. I think the crowd got a kick out of that dynamic last year and I’d be fibbing if I said that I’m not really looking forward to doing that again this year.”

Bill Sorensen 2013

“Truly,” he adds, “Being able to spend last summer co-hosting the Medora Musical was one of the greatest experiences of
my life. It was both a thrill and an honor to be asked to return for a second season.  Medora is my favorite place because of its natural beauty, rich history, and great entertainment – and because I get to meet and work with some of the most wonderful people in the world. I can’t wait to spend this summer in Medora.”

I get to perform on the most scenic stage I know, in a town I adore, with people I love.  All that in exchange for Bill Sorensen!

Walter, a Wisconsin native, was a Burning Hills singer from 1993 through 1995, and has hosted the Medora Musical READ MORE »

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