LIMA — Fred Newman is a guy who took his knack for classroom distraction to a new level.
As a youngster, he was removed from class for making noise behind the teacher’s back. Today, he is an actor, voice actor, former talk show host, and regular on the variety show, “A Prairie Home Companion.” And this weekend, he’s bringing his unique talents to Veterans Memorial Civic Center where he will perform with the Lima Area Youth Orchestra.
“Fred is extremely unique. He did not request any special material for us to rehearse, but rather said he will interact with the kids as spontaneously as possible,” said Deb Vobbe, manager of the Lima Area Youth Orchestra.
Featuring students from 26 area schools, as well as some from home-school settings, the orchestra will perform a few songs on its own. Also performing will be the Lima Senior High Masterworks Ensemble and pianist Ed Zickafoose. Newman will perform a solo set also, before joining with the youth for a guaranteed program of fun.
“We have just told the kids to have fun, and play to their ability. These are great, fun-loving kids, the top of the top, who are used to performing in a wide variety of areas. We regularly put them in situations where they do what needs to be done, and that’s great,” Vobbe said.
“We told the kids to expect anything. I think they will enjoy this as much as the audience will,” Vobbe said.
In addition to the concert, Newman is also helping out Lima schools Saturday with a fundraiser presentation and an old-fashioned Wobegon Lutheran church supper. Ticket deadline for those events was earlier in the month.