Super star

Dennis Spears
Dennis Spears. Photo by Tracy Walsh

Don’t you just wish you were as talented — and good looking — as Dennis Spears? I do!

I can’t imaging having the stage and vocal talents this local theatrical juggernaut — our July Cover Star — has shown in his many years on Twin Cities stages.

Does he look to you like a guy who grew up in rural Louisiana working on the farm — and ended up with a degree in veterinary medicine?

Fortunately, Spears didn’t miss his actual calling.

After a stint on the radio at a local station in Louisiana — and an unfortunate bout with racism — he ended up in the Twin Cities, waiting tables (for a while) at Perkins.

And then one thing led to another, and he found himself in the vocal jazz quartet, Moore by Four, which led to another and another and another gig in the local entertainment world.

You could say his career reached its heights in 2011 with his portrayal of Nat King Cole in the Penumbra Theatre Company’s production of I Wish You Love.

But that would discount where he is today, having just taken the stage at age 62 — 83 shows in a row — as the Tin Man in The Wiz at the renowned Children’s Theatre Co. in Minneapolis.

Also: This month Moore by Four is reuniting for a two-night run at Crooner’s July 13 and 14.

And if that weren’t enough, Spears was recently named deacon at Kingdom Life Church in Minneapolis, not far from the Capri Theatre, where he’s involved in reinventing the space to benefit area youth.

Now that is a life fully lived.

Spears attributes it all to his naturally high energy level.

“My grandmother used to tell me, ‘Please sit down, you’re making me tired.’” Spears said. “But I am always fl itting around; and Lord knows I will never take a nap.”

In this issue, check out this showman’s full story, including a pictorial look back at his past performances.

I can’t wait to see where he goes next!