Ari Hoptman guarantees that he will pay half the parking if you don't like his show, and that's quite a deal for him in Bemidji.
But the real deal is being able to see his one-man show Tuesday in a benefit to support programming at the Paul Bunyan Playhouse.
A faculty member at the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, Hoptman teaches three German courses a semester and in his off-time is an actor and stand-up comedian. He has performed at the Minnesota Fringe Festival, Guthrie Theater and, the in-place for hipsters, Bryant Lake Bowl which is an actual bowling alley with a restaurant, bar and theater. His one man show is a collection of original stories, sketches and bad poetry.
"It's sort of like a PG-13 show, there's nothing objectionable; no bad language, I do different characters, story telling, but I don't want to give too much away," Hoptman said. "The Old Story Teller will be there to talk about the perils of love. There is an element of surprise in all the material."
Audience members enjoyed all the characters he played in "Sisters of Swing," especially those in which he appeared as flirty females.
"I like doing all the goofy roles, even the stuff in drag," Hoptman said. "When I'm getting dressed, I say to myself, 'What am I doing?' and once the music starts, it's a lot of fun."
The show will begin at 8 p.m. Tuesday in the historic Chief Theatre, 314 Beltrami Ave. N.W., and $5 in cash will get you through the door - no checks or charges. The show is suitable for teens and up and will last for an hour.