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Seeing the ‘stars:’ ‘Rock song impersonations’ coming to Hot Toddy’s

BEMIDJI — Longtime comedian and musician Jack Willhite will be bringing his “pile of stuff” and impersonation gear to Hot Toddy’s Pub & Grub in downtown Bemidji.

Known for his musical impersonations, Willhite travels across the country playing to small and large audiences because he likes the diversity found in different venues.

Todd Bartels, owner of Hot Toddy’s, looked at some promotional videos and decided he would like to bring this act to his club mainly because it is so different from the acts he usually brings to his pub.

Willhite drives his quarter-ton of performance gear — consisting of live guitars, amps, effects and props — across the country in his SUV.  He uses them while bringing to life some of the most memorable acts across the rock spectrum, such as AC/DC, ZZ Top and John Mellencamp to Ozzy Osbourne, Jim Morrison and Guns N’ Roses, iconic performers of the ‘70s and ‘80s. The show is rated PG-17 but it is not sexually graphic, Willhite commented.

Willhite claims to be a bit of Weird Al Yankovic and the midwest 80s cover band Hairball, “combining classic rock song impersonations with crazy lyrical changes in a high-energy show that rocks the house.”

The scripted show will begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Hot Toddy’s, 119 Third St. The audience can stay for as long as they want and the pub kitchen will remain open until 10 p.m. but Willhite is sure, based on his past performances that everyone will want to stay until the end just to see the “stars.”

Tickets are $10 each, which includes one beverage. They are available at the pub during business hours; the phone number is 497-1100.