'Mr. Showmanship' to perform during November dinner theatre


David Pengelly, entertainer, singer, humorist and concert ukulele player, will be performing at the Pine Bluff Country Club, 1100 Country Club Lane, on Nov. 9 as part of the Old Town Dinner Theatres series.

Dinner starts at 6 p.m., and the show begins at 7:30.

Pengelly said, “I’m going to do some novelty things, light humor, some 1950’s songs and some parodies.”

Thirty-one years ago, Pengellly landed a job as a cruise ship entertainer and he is still doing it. He works with a 10-piece orchestra doing his Vegas-style review. A guitarist who also plays banjo, he said the ukulele found him, not the other way around.

“I had one around the house forever but never thought too much about it.”

Pengelly said that he kept brushing up against people playing on ukuleles and heard things being played and became hooked. He became friends with the legendary player, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, and visited friends in England who played the ukulele in an entirely different style. He insists that he is only a backyard strummer. However, his career has taken him around the world playing in Russia, China, Australia and South America.

For a time, the ukulele became something of a joke.

“I think Tiny Tim set the ukulele back a little because he was so bizarre. He was actually a musicologist who really knew what he was doing,” Pengelly said.

Today, Pengelly has no regrets. “It’s just as fun today as when I started out.

Old Town Theatres Centre, a not-for-profit organization, sponsors monthly dinner theatre shows. The atmosphere is inviting, friendly and welcoming, according Jack Stradley, director. Moderate pricing for dinner and show is $45 per person which includes the gratuities. The shows are geared for adults and older teenagers. The dress code at the club is conservative when in doubt.

For more information, call 870-535-2646 or visit the website pbcommunitytheatre.org.