GARDINER — John Davidson will perform at 6 p.m. Sunday, May 19, at Johnson Hall Performing Arts Center, 280 Water St. Doors open at 5:30.

Who is John Davidson? Well … it has been quite a journey as this wholesome all-American boy has grown into a crazy old liberal.

It was Davidson’s performances in the major showrooms of Las Vegas that established him as one of America’s foremost entertainers.

American audiences probably know him best as the TV host of “Hollywood Squares” and “That’s Incredible!”, as well as the guest host of the “Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” (80 evenings, more than any other singer). He also co-starred with Sally Field in the TV series “The Girl With Something Extra.”

John Davidson will perform live at Johnson Hall in Gardiner on May 19.

Over 50 years ago, Davidson graduated with a BA from the theater arts department at Denison University and arrived on Broadway where he debuted in “Foxy,” starring Burt Lahr. later he would star in “State Fair” and win a Theater Guild Award for playing Curly in the Broadway revival of “Oklahoma!”. He went on to tour the U.S. in multiple Broadway musicals.

TV producer Bob Banner molded Davidson’s career by casting him (his TV debut) in “The Fantasticks.” He then hosted his own daytime talk show, too many beauty pageants, the Tom Jones summer replacement series, as well as Kraft Summer Music Hall with regulars George Carlin, Flip Wilson and Richard Pryor. Banner was also responsible for 13 Columbia Records albums.

He’s also a movie star. Your kids might know him now from videos of his Disney films: “The Happiest Millionaire” and “The One And Only Genuine Original Family Band!” He was also in “Airport 80,” “Edward Scissorhands” and “The Squeeze.”

Along the way, Davidson and his wife, Rhonda, created the geography card game Borderline USA and he wrote a book and a play. Davidson played the Wizard in the Broadway musical “Wicked,” and most recently, he has been entertaining America as a traveling troubadour/singer/songwriter/storyteller with his original songs, his jokes, his guitar and his backup singers, the Inflatables.

Tickets are $25 for all seats in advance and $30 at the door the night of the show. Tickets are available at Johnson Hall’s box office from noon to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, at 207-582-7144 or by visiting their website at www.johnsonhall.org.


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