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Spotlight: Lorie Line at the Sheldon

Lorie Line, who has graced the Sheldon Theatre stage several times with her orchestra, will perform a solo concert 3 p.m. Aug. 20, 2017. Photo courtesy of Lorie Line

Lorie Line has been touring for 28 years, but has never been on the road in the heartland all by herself. This will be the first tour in her career where she steps out onto the stage locally, including 3 p.m. Aug. 20 at the Sheldon Theatre.

Last year, the Minnesota pianist took her solo touring idea and tested it in the warmer climates. She toured 22 cities in Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

"It was just Tim and me with my assistant, Michele, going down the road in a big bus with a trailer hitched on the back carrying my piano from my living room. We traveled fast and kept it simple," she said.

Thus the title of her tour: "SIMPLY GRAND."

Line said she loves the idea as it gives her more flexibility to play off the cuff and unrehearsed — unlike playing with a band or small orchestra. She compares it to being in a speed boat, traveling at a fast pace and turning on a dime.

Keeping it "simple" also allows her to spend more time and energy on her own costumes.

"Not having to costume everyone on the stage . . . and just me . . . makes me smile," she said. Line is known for her glamourous fashion.

Since the death of costumer Jack Edwards, Line has designed her gowns.

"I feel like I was Jack's understudy for many years. He taught me a lot about design. But no one knows me better than me, so who better to design what I want to wear than me."

For this tour Lorie plans to sample new music in front of the people who love her most. When she gets home she will record it and release a new album late spring or early summer.

Line will be stopping in 10 cities but plans to continue her solo tour later in the summer. She is a recent inductee into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame.