Bluegrass pickers needed for dinner show in Wisconsin

What happens if you take the sort of Hatfield and McCoys dinner theater show from Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, TN and move it to the upper midwest?

Well, in the hands of David Fee, former proprietor of The Comedy Barn, Hatfield & McCoys, The Smoky Mountain Opry, Kickin’ Country, and Magic Beyond Belief in east Tennessee, you end up with Sneaky Pete’s Wild West Dinner Show, opening this year in Wisconsin Dells.

Fee owned and ran these Pigeon Forge landmarks until about five years ago, when Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede bought out all his properties there, and he headed into retirement. But inactivity didn’t really appeal to David, so he’s right back at it, opening this new show at the Legacy Theater in Wisconsin Dells. For those who haven’t traveled in southern Wisconsin, the Dells has built the region into an entertainment and outdoor activity destination, with multiple theaters and attractions, plus hotels, theme parks, and rides galore.

David brought a 700 seat dinner theater there last year, which had been built largely from the same blueprints as his Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Theatre in Pigeon Forge. He loves the building, and the hillbilly feud concept, but that sort of folklore didn’t really have a place in southern Wisconsin. So he revised the story to make it into a wild west theme, and Sneaky Pete’s was born.

Rehearsals for the new show begin next month, and management is in search of a number of bluegrass and country pickers and singers, along with a cast of actors and dancers. Musicians can expect to earn between $1,000-$1,200 per week during the summer run of the show, and David Fee and Scott Tillery, who worked together on the shows in Tennessee, are also planning to offer Christmas shows like they did before at The Smoky Mountain Opry.

They don’t offer accommodations, but a housing allowance is included in the compensation.

Scott tells us that they are interested in hearing from pickers and singers who would like to work this summer in Wisconsin.

“This is a job for male or female players in the age range of 18 to 60. Bluegrass instruments are of first importance, and vocals are second (not mandatory). Playing multiple instruments is always a plus.”

Anyone interested in being considered is asked to contact Scott by email, with your contact info as well as a head shot and either audio or video files of you performing, or links to same.

This sounds like a wonderful opportunity for young people studying bluegrass in college looking for a summer gig.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.