When musician Brent Boehler quit the bar scene to become a children’s entertainer, he said he loved it so much that he knew he’d be doing it for the rest of his life.
“I played in bands and rock bands for years and years before that and it was a nowhere street and I didn’t like the scene,” Boehler said. “My kids were three and four years old. I started playing for them. I went, ‘OK, now I know what I’m supposed to do.'”
It was in 1993 that Boehler and his brother put together a travelling family show with magic and music and balloon animals, but Boehler said one thing was missing: comedy. To fill that role Boehler’s ex-wife crated his floppy-eared dog puppet sidekick, Woofy, and the duo has been performing ever since.
“I started off doing kids’ birthday parties and festivals and fairs and stuff like that and so a five year old in ’93 is about 30 now and they still come up and go, ‘I know you, you were at my fifth birthday party.’ And now they have kids,” Boehler said, adding that his fans remember Woofy the most.
Boehler is marking 25 years of Brent and Woofy with a new album, a new book and a free show at Nanaimo Harbourfront Library on Saturday, Nov. 17.
He will be joined by guitarist Glen Foster and bassist Colleen Noiles, both longtime collaborators.
The album, Bright Sunny Day, is Boehler’s sixth and first in 15 years. He said he had most of the songs already written, but the 25th anniversary and a recent 60th birthday motivated Boehler to record the CD.
Boehler’s book is a biographical account of his 25 years with Woofy. He said, “when you see a children’s entertainer, all you see is the happy, fun stuff,” and that his book will go beyond the surface.
“This is going to go inside. There’s going to be a little bit about the downside of it because there are ups and downs of everything. A little bit, not much. This is going to be the only time I ever talk about it, you’ll never hear me talk about it any other time,” he said. “And there are just stories from over the years and all the things that we’ve been through and there’s lots of funny stuff. I’ve got this whole section on funny things that kids say because they’re just brutally honest.”
WHAT’S ON … Brent and Woofy’s 25th anniversary CD release concert at Nanaimo Harbourfront Library on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 3 p.m. Free admission.