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‘Medora Musical’ welcomes new co-host for summer lineup

Following the May 4 announcement that Chet Wollan would be stepping away from his role as co-host, the "Medora Musical" secured a replacement to fill his shoes for the summer-long show.

Actor Tim Drake, singing a Johnny Cash hit during "Ring of Fire" in the fall of 2021, will take on a new role this summer as the co-host for the 2022 "Medora Musical."
Actor Tim Drake, singing a Johnny Cash hit during "Ring of Fire" in the fall of 2021, will take on a new role this summer as the co-host for the 2022 "Medora Musical."
Contributed / Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation
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MEDORA, N.D. — The Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation, in conjunction with StageWest Entertainment, announced Thursday morning that Tim Drake will be filling in the vacant position of co-host for this summer’s lineup for the “Medora Musical.”

On May 4, the “Medora Musical” posted on its Facebook page that reigning co-host of seven years, Chet Wollan, was stepping down from his role due to medical vocal issues.

“The doctors believe it would be in his best interests, if he did not continue to put his voice through the stress of the summer, and nightly shows,” the Facebook post read.

Chet and Candice Lively Wollan will be stepping away from the "Medora Musical" for the 2022 summer season as Chet is dealing with medical vocal issues.
Chet and Candice Lively Wollan, pictured above in Medora in 2021, will be stepping away from the "Medora Musical" for the 2022 summer season as Chet is dealing with medical vocal issues. The married couple have been involved with the "Medora Musical" for more than 10 years.
Jackie Jahfetson / The Dickinson Press

Wollan’s wife Candice, who’s another veteran performer of 11 years in the “Medora Musical,” will also step away from her summer roles as a Burning Hills singer, company manager and dance captain.

“We do hope to be singing together again very soon, with a full recovery,” the Wollans wrote in the Facebook post. “And we cannot wait to come home to North Dakota in the future.”

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Tim Drake, pictured above, is the new co-host for the 2022 "Medora Musical."
Tim Drake, pictured above, is the new co-host for the 2022 "Medora Musical."
Contributed / Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation

Annie Freres will return to the stage as co-host for her third year, coming up from Memphis, Tennessee. Originally from Mayville, Wisconsin, Drake will perform as “Dusty” Drake alongside “Calamity” Annie.

Though it may be his first year co-hosting the summer hit show, Drake is no stranger to Medora, as he performed in “ Ring of Fire ” at the Old Town Hall Theater last fall.

Along with a new co-host, the summer musical welcomes three new Burning Hills singers. The outdoor theater show is produced and directed by Curt Wollan and StageWest Entertainment, which is based out of Minneapolis.

The "Medora Musical" cast is shown.
The "Medora Musical" cast is shown.
Contributed / Dillion Olson with the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation

For its 57th year, the “Medora Musical” has evolved over the decades from musical arrangements, costume redesigns and set changes. With varying themes throughout the years, the musical attracts people from all across the world to the Burning Hills Amphitheatre.

2022 Burning Hills singers

Three North Dakotans will comprise the cast list of Burning Hills singers from Taylor Leet, Damon Fitcher and Jeanna Zenz. Leet, a Bismarck native, first appeared in the “Medora Musical” in 2016 and is back for her seventh season. Coming from Dickinson, Fitcher returns to the Burning Hills Amphitheatre for his sixth time, making appearances in the “Medora Musical” between 2014 and now. Zenz, who’s originally from Watford City, brings another true North Dakotan voice to the Burning Hills singer lineup for her third year.

Each summer, the musical is accompanied by a group of musicians that comprise the Coal Diggers Band. The cast and band have already kicked off rehearsals in time for the June 8 opening show.

Visit medora.com/medoramusical for a complete cast list as well as ticket and show information.

Jackie Jahfetson is a former reporter for The Dickinson Press.
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