Jeff Daniels, The Ben Daniels Band to perform at The Grand

Amanda Kinnunen

[media-credit name=”Courtesy of The Grand Opera House” align=”alignleft” width=”300″]JeffDaniels[/media-credit]

The Grand Opera House will be hosting actor Jeff Daniels and his son, Ben, with The Ben Daniels Band this Friday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25-$55, but starting an hour before the show, students will receive a 50 percent discount with a valid student ID. According to The Grand’s intern Benjamin Frieler, Jeff has played at the venue five times in the past year, and there’s more to him than just comedy. “The thing that most people don’t realize about Jeff Daniels when you’re familiar with his acting as far as ‘Dumb and Dumber’ and ‘Newsroom’ and that kind of stuff is that he’s been playing music for 40 years and has seven full-length albums out that are not comedy pieces,” Frieler said. “He has more of a bluesy rock sound that definitely appeals to some of the older generation.” Frieler said Jeff is the one who taught his son Ben to play the guitar. “His son’s band, The Ben Daniels Band, actually has a really Mumford and Sons vibe,” Frieler said. “They took some of that bluesy jazz sound from Jeff Daniels and kind of updated it. It’s a little more modern, something that people our age would get into I think. And then you’ve got Jeff Daniels throwing in a little of his comedy. It’s a really neat show. He sells out every time he comes here.” Frieler said students will not only appreciate the types of shows The Grand puts on, but also the newly renovated atmosphere. “It’s really modern but still with that timely feel to it,” Frieler said. “It’s just a really cool venue. It gives you more of an intimate setting than you get with the [Performing Arts Center]. Jeff Daniels has been quoted saying he prefers 100-year-old opera houses compared to really modern theaters just because of that living-room feel.” Frieler said one of The Grand’s main goals is to let the campus community know it does more than just opera. It holds concerts, plays, comedy shows, student ensembles and more. “I went to a comedy show last week,” Frieler said. “It was really funny. It was a comedy troupe from down in Chicago. Some of their alumni are Tina Fey and Chris Farley, so we do more than just musicals.” Michelle Gress, The Grand’s assistant director, said as an organization it is trying to reach out to the campus community using social media as a way to let students know about upcoming events. “Don’t let a name fool you; opera is actually very rare here,” Gress said. “We would like the campus to know that we offer a very diverse season of shows, but we also offer a variety of free community events.” Gress also said The Grand has been reaching out to student organizations because it feels it’s important for the college to be involved in the community and also for The Grand to create a partnership with the campus. Frieler agrees becoming more involved with The Grand and other historical sites around Oshkosh would benefit the campus. “The Oshcapella group is going to come and start doing some performances in the lobby during intermission and preshow,” Frieler said. “I’ve been speaking to the wrestling team about maybe coming to do some ushering with us. We do have some student organizations there like the jazz ensemble and a couple other things throughout the performance season.” For questions or tickets please call The Grand Box Office at 920-424-2350, or visit