As part of the Kroll’s West Local Series, Let Me Be Frank Productions is returning to the Ashwaubenon Performing Arts Center (PAC) on Friday, January 24 at 7:30 p.m. with Frank’s Tribute and the All-Star Band sponsored Lyndahl Funeral Home and Cremation Services.
Combining songs from Elvis and other indelible artists with comedy bits, Frank’s Tribute provides a tribute review like no other.
Featured artists include Elvis Presley portrayed by Frank Hermans, Reba McEntire portrayed by Amy Riemer, Yakov Smirnoff portrayed by Pat Hibbard, Barbra Streisand portrayed by Lisa Borley, Karen Carpenter portrayed by Kasey Schumacher, George Jones portrayed by Mike Hermans, and Paul Evansen as Neil Diamond.
The performance will also feature Frank’s Tribute All-Star Band, winner of “Best of the Bay” for the last five years. The musicians include Adam Cain on drums, Pat Hibbard on bass, Tony Pilz on keys and Dennis Panneck on guitar.
In a recent interview with the PAC, Frank Hermans reflected on his experiences as a performer and the legend that was Elvis Presley:
Q: Tell us a little bit about your musical background and how Let Me Be Frank Productions came together.
A: Started with my first guitar in 1st grade, found out in High School girls dug the guy who sang and played guitar. I knew every Eagles, John Denver and Bread song. Did forensics and the school play my senior year of High School, as I couldn’t play sports anymore, and I was hooked. Went to college for theatre and was in a band since I was 18. When I was 30, I decided to do my first musical as I was established in business and had time to do this. My favorite musical of the day was Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I was the oldest brother, Rueben, and it was my favorite role to do. I met my dear friend Joe Kiedinger in that show, and together we started Frank’s Dinner Theatre in my banquet hall at The Sports Corner where I was a partner. That was 20 years ago.
Q: What kind of unique preparation and rehearsing goes into a tribute performance?
A: My personal masseuse tickles my feet for 10 minutes then a jar of pickled beets and warm up to Tiny Tim. Just kidding, I have been an Elvis fan since I was a young boy. I knew the songs and the moves even before I impersonated him. The only preparation now is making sure I still fit in the jumpsuits.
Q: Which of Elvis’ songs or mannerisms have you found to be the most challenging to emulate?
A: For the life of me, I cannot do the move of sitting on your foot and having the other leg extended. I’ve tried yoga and yogurt. It’s genetic.
Q: How do you think Frank’s Tribute distinguishes itself from similar tribute performances?
A: Sure we look like and sound like the artists we impersonate, but we do the funny side of the artists. Elvis was funny, and I know I am not Elvis so you get a little Let Me Be Franks in all of our performances.
Q: In your opinion, what is the most important legacy Elvis left behind?
A: The most important legacy is his music. Sure, he only wrote one song, but he made everyone else’s songs his. No one, I mean no one can sing him exactly.
Tickets to Frank’s Tribute and the All-Star Band are $26, with subscriber and group discounts available. To purchase or learn more about this or other upcoming events, visit ashwaubenonpac.org or call (920) 494-3401.