Theater

Crystal Lake Raue's musical director steps down to launch nationwide dueling pianos act

Along with nationwide performances, Felix and Fingers to become a regular act at Raue

Resident Musical Director Mike Potts has announced he is stepping down from his position with Williams Street Repertory after six years at Raue Center For The Arts. Potts’ resignation follows his decision to take his dueling pianos company, Felix and Fingers, nationwide.
Resident Musical Director Mike Potts has announced he is stepping down from his position with Williams Street Repertory after six years at Raue Center For The Arts. Potts’ resignation follows his decision to take his dueling pianos company, Felix and Fingers, nationwide.

Taking his dueling pianos company Felix and Fingers nationwide, Mike Potts has resigned as resident musical director for the Raue Center for the Arts in Crystal Lake.

Potts has spent the past three months grooming newly appointed resident musical director Evan Swanson.

“Helping to build this program from the ground has been a truly amazing experience,” Potts said in a news release of the past six years he spent as the Raue’s musical director.

Potts served as the resident musical director of WSRep, the Raue’s professional in-house theater company for 16 productions, beginning with “The Rocky Horror Show” in October of 2011. In 2014, Potts earned a Broadway World Award for his work on WSRep’s production of “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.”

He stepped down from his position to focus on his work as the founder and CEO of dueling pianos company Felix and Fingers. Founded in 2010, Felix and Fingers has continued to expand in its seven seasons, performing across the United States and abroad. With more than 1,500 customers, the seven-figure income company has become the highest rated and highest awarded dueling pianos entertainment act in the nation.

The company now employs nine full-time performers locally, with additional satellite locations in New Orleans and Orlando. Potts would like a national presence from coast to coast, with a goal of employing 100 performers across 10 cities and regions by 2025.

He will remain connected to the Raue through a multi-year agreement. Felix and Fingers will bring its high-energy, all-request, sing-along show to the theater throughout the 2017-2018 season. The first two performances were sold out, and dueling pianos will return for a performance at 8 p.m. Sept. 14.

Potts also will continue to work with WSRep as consulting music director on the upcoming production of “Little Shop of Horrors,” opening Oct. 6 and running through Oct. 29 at the Raue. This new role will allow him to guide Swanson during a period of transition, while still dedicating the majority of his time to Felix and Fingers.

“Though I regret having to step away from a family of artists I love dearly, it is with great pleasure that I welcome Evan [Swanson] to the position. I have every confidence that he will lift this program to the next level. I am excited for our evolving company and the amazing things in store for this community,” Potts said in a news release.

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