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From Ray Charles to fictional Frankie Fontaine, local showman Carey Dyer energizes the stage four shows a week at Rockbox Theater.

Rockbox Theater (read earlier article) is located at 109 N. Llano. Four shows every weekend:
8 pm Friday
4:30 Saturday
8 pm Saturday
1:30 Sunday

Seats can be reserved by calling 830-997-ROCK (7625), or toll-free 866-349-6688. More information at www.rockboxtheater.com.

Do you have a musical artist, event, or topic you would like featured in this column? I love to hear from readers. Send comments to:
phil@ fullhouseproductions.net.

webmaster: phil@fullhouseproductions.net

Carey Dyer:
Doing what he was born to do

by Phil Houseal
July 23, 2008


He is Ray Charles.

He is Johnny Mathis. He's Sonny, Smokey, Elvis, and Hank.

But underneath the wigs, makeup, and polyester "he" is Carey Dyer, multi-talented showman, singer, and actor who electrifies the stage four shows a week at Fredericksburg's Rockbox Theater.

"Electrify" is not too strong a description, because the word mentioned most often after Dyer's name is "energy."

"I have always been a borderline hyperactive guy," Dyer admitted. "Just ask my wife, bless her heart; she has to live with me."

It is obvious to anyone who has experienced a performance at Rockbox Theater that the entire cast invests lots of energy in each show.

"If you enjoy it and put yourself into it, people are going to respond and have a good time," he said.

Dyer's talents are now being recognized beyond the stage. The Texas Department of Transportation recently named Dyer one of four winners in a state-wide jingle-writing competition. He won a Gibson guitar for creating a jazzy a cappella swing tune that can be heard at www.registeredtexan.com (click on "Contests").

Dyer admits he has a yearning to do more of that type of creating. It goes back to his first love: voice.

"I have a real passion for writing and arranging music," said the young singer, who has had arrangements published. "That's what I do when I get up early in morning. I love to create music. I just love the rich harmonic texture of human voice."

Dyer also has a personal interest in ministry. He attended a small Baptist college, has trained in the seminary, and his first serious music job was touring in a Christian singing and drama group. They visited 46 states in two years, during which he met his wife, Dena, who is also in the cast.

I am always curious how a house performer can sing the same songs night after night, year after year. Where do they get the juice to give 100% every night?

"Each show is like a different animal, and the performers are just one part of it," Dyer explained. "The audience is other part. We never know what they will respond to, what their reaction will be. That keeps you on your toes. Even when I am singing 'Only You' for the hundredth time, when you see an older man reach over and hold his wife's hand, or when you see a child light up, that brings a good feeling. You know you touched their heart in some way. That's more than enough payment for me."

There is no doubt Dyer wears his many roles well.

"I enjoy being all over the place - that is what I love about what I do," he said. "It is always changing, we are always working on new characters and new material."

His newest incarnation is Frankie Fontaine, a cheesy 70s lounge singer. Dyer also plays Stan Velour, a rich, vain, high school masher; Mo, of "Mo and Bro," the dark-suited, sunglass wearing blues brothers takeoff; and Carol Channing ("Really," he insisted).

But when the lights go out after each show, Carey Dyer is most comfortable being Carey Dyer.

"I feel so blessed," he said. "The Lord has presented this opportunity to me. When I joined the group 10 years ago, I said, oh, so this is what I am supposed to be doing. It is a perfect fit - when I'm out in front of that crowd, I feel like I am doing what I was born to do."