"The Best of Hank and Rita" is the final concert by the fictional husband-wife country-pop duo who hit the Top 10 briefly in the 1970s and, after a declining decade that followed, are performing tonight (circa 1986).
The production opens with the voice-over of Rita's breakup letter, which is waiting for Hank to discover after the show. She's done with waiting for things to change, in their career and their marriage. As she states in the letter, she's giving herself one last good show, after which she's done. After all, it's the music that brings out the best in them. But, she notes, it's only music.....
Their show begins with their big hit and proceeds into the upbeat and down-pat production the two have been performing in small town after small town for years now. But after a request from a fan that sets them both aback, the well-rehearsed set goes off the track, and the pair find themselves digging into songs, accusations, apologies and pleas from their past. Hank plays songs that evoke the optimism and love they had for each other. Rita counters with the tunes she wrote in response, back in the day, about betrayal, heartbreak and disillusion.
"The Best of Hank and Rita" is written by Joe Tougas and features Joe as Hank and Ann Rosenquist Fee as Rita. The two are in the real-life duo, The Frye. The show also features comedian Dan Vierck as Danny Vee, Hank and Rita’s opening act.
Since its debut in May 2015, the show has been performed around the Midwest, frequently selling out and garnering critical acclaim for the script, performances and the original soundtrack. "Easily the most original piece of theater I've ever seen in southern Minnesota," writes Southern Minn. SCENE editor Rich Larson. "Funny, sad, smart and really original," says music writer Jim Walsh. Check out more reviews on the press page.
For bookings or more information, email Joe or call 507-382-8362.