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Occurs on Saturday February 24 2024

Approximate running time: 2 hours


The Backstage
84810 State Hwy 13
Bayfield WI 54814

Event Notes


Michael Perry & Mary Cutrufello

Saturday, February 24, 2024
Doors Open: 5:30PM
Show: 7:00PM

Tickets: $26/Half-Price Youth 17 & Under

Sponsored by: Apostle Islands Booksellers

The Backstage's 2024 season is sponsored in part by Jim Bryan & Dee Johnson.

Put a Wisconsin farm boy and volunteer firefighter turned bestselling author and songwriter onstage beside an East Coast Yale grad who earned her chops in FedEx trucks and Texas honky-tonks and you’ve got the Mike and Mary Situation.

Michael Perry, the New York Times bestselling author of over 20 books including Population 485; Truck, and Forty Acres Deep (and subject of three PBS specials) has been writing songs since the late 1990s. “First show I ever did, I ain’t sayin’ I was nervous, but I ripped out a sixty-minute set in thirty-two minutes flat,” says Perry. He and his band the Long Beds have toured steadily ever since.

Mary Cutrufello played her first Long Beds show in the dust of a county fair horse pull, showed up for the next gig anyway, and has held down the lead slot for years now. A Connecticut-raised Ivy Leaguer who earned her first record deal after scorching a trail through the Texas roadhouse scene armed with a yellow Telecaster, a truckful of originals, and gutsy vocals, she has gone on to become equally well-known for her fiery Midwestern roots rock and powerhouse acoustic performances.

As a duo, Perry and Cutrufello are as at ease with the audience as they are with each other. The songs hit directly and cleanly, the harmonies contrast like worn leather and rough-cut lumber, and the stage banter plays like a conversation between two longtime road-wise friends who’ve taken their lumps and their chances, whose trade is words and music but know what it is to work a loading dock or a pitchfork, and who figure if life ain’t played out exactly as you drew it up, you might as well laugh about it, sing about it, and get on with it.

The Backstage

Big Top's new year-round performance space is located at the Big Top Box Office & Giftshop at the juction of Hwy 13 and County Hwy J at the gateway to Bayfield. During a unique night out at The Backstage you can enjoy live entertainment, drinks, speciality cocktails, and a unique menu of shareable plates. For additional information, contact the Box Office at 715-373-5552.

Ticket Fees

*Plus applicable taxes and fees

  • 5.5% State and local sales tax
  • $5 Facility Fee per ticket (facility fee is used for tent, building, and grounds needs)
  • 3% Credit Card Handling Fee per order.
  • ALL TICKET SALES ARE FINAL. No refunds or exchanges will be given.


By purchasing a ticket to this event, you and your party agree to abide by the following conditions:

  • Attendees grant unrestricted rights & licenses for use of their likeness in any form of public broadcast and production, and for promotional purposes
  • Big Top Chautauqua reserves the right to refuse admission or evict anyone from the venue premises due to disorderly behavior without issuing a refund.
  • Big Top Chautauqua reserves the right to search all persons, packages, bags, and other items entering venue grounds and/or other properties owned by Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua. The safety of our guests, volunteers, staff, and artists are top priority.
  • All venue policies and procedures are subject to change without notice.

Make an annual donation of $125 or more and receive exclusive access to ticket pre-sales, usually a week before the general public. Learn more about the Blue Canvas Club HERE

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