Don Knotts’ landing
The apple didn’t fall far from the tree in the case of the late comedic actor Don Knotts and his daughter Karen.
Knotts, a standup comedian, is bringing her onewoman tribute to her father, “Tied Up in Knotts,” today and Satuday to the Boca Black Box Center for the Arts.
Don Knotts shot to fame as Barney Fife in the sitcom “The Andy Griffith Show,” co-starring as the jittery and i ncompetent deputy throughout the series’ 1960-’68 run. He parlayed that persona into roles in hit movies such as “The Incredible Mr. Limpit,” “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken,” “The Shakiest Gun in the West” and “The Apple Dumpling Game” throughout the ’60s and ’70s. He returned to the sitcom field with “Three’s Company” from 1979 to 1984. He and Tim Conway provided voices for the children’s video series “Hermie and Friends” from 2003 until Knotts’ death in 2006.
Karen, who is also a librarian living in North Hollywood, Calif., recently discussed her show with SouthFlorida.com. The following is a condensed and edited version of that interview.
What is it you are trying to accomplish with “Tied Up in Knotts”?
What I’m trying to get across is what my father was like as a person and my relationship with him. And it’s also a retrospective of his work as a performer.
Howdid this show come about?
It was 2006 before I really started focusing on a onewoman show. He knew I was going to do that. We had talked about it. You know, he passed away unexpectedly. He got lung cancer. Once you get that, you pass along rather quickly. Later on, I started thinking about relating all the things that were unique and interesting and wonderful about [growing up] with him. At first, I didn’t think it was that good, to be honest. I just kept working at it. I had one gig every year, the Mayberry Days festival in Lauderdale. 866-811-4111, pigsdoflyproductions.com. 8 pm Fri., Sat., Thu.; 5 pm Sun. $35. Curtains! Musical comedy murder mystery. Through March 27. Wick Theatre, 7901N. Fed. Hwy., Boca Raton. theWick.org, 561-995-2333. 7:30 pm Thu.-Sat.; 2 pm Sat., Sun., Wed., Thu. $65$70. The Devil’s Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith Musical, through March 26. Arts Garage, 180 NE First St., Delray Beach. 561-450-6357, artsgarage.org. 7:30 pm Fri., Wed., Thu.; 2, 8 pm Sat.; 2 pm Sun. $30-$45. 50 Shades of Hillary Satire, opens Fri. Coral Springs Center for the Arts, 2855 Coral Springs Dr. 954-344-5990, coralspringscenterforthearts.com. 7:30 pm Fri., Sat.; 2 pm Sun. $39.22+.
“Tied up in Knotts”
When: Today and Saturday Where: Boca Black Box Center for the Arts, 8221 Glades Road, in Boca Raton Cost: $25 and $35 Contact: 561-483-9036 or BocaBlackBox.com North Carolina. My show kept selling out. After a while of performing, word of mouth got around, and I started getting a lot of bookings.
Has the show changed much since you premiered it during that festival?
Every show I do is somewhat different. The show I’m doing now they haven’t seen at the Mayberry festival. It’s really evolved since I started doing it in 2007. It’s almost unrecognizable from that show.
What exactly is in the show?
It’s stories, jokes and me showing pictures and videos of what he did. To start, it’s very chronological. His childhood in Morgantown, W.V., and then how he went into the Army. Then, he married, moved to New York. I go into the whole live TVdays. Hewas right in Kinky Boots Musical, through Sun. Broward Au-Rene, 201SW 5th Ave., Fort Lauderdale. 954462-0222, browardcenter.org. 8 pm Fri.; 2, 8 pm Sat.; 1pm Sun. $35-$125. MySon the Waiter: AJewish Tragedy Comedy, through March 27. Plaza Theatre, 262 S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan. theplazatheatre.net. 7:30 pm Thu.-Sat.; 2 pm Sat., Sun. $40-$65. Original Florida Follies “A Brand New Day.” 2 pm Sun. Parker Playhouse, 707 NE Eighth St., Fort Lauderdale. 954-462-0222, theoriginalfloridafollies.com. $28. Passion Zoetic Stage. Drama, through Sun. Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. 305-9496722, arshtcenter.org. 7:30 pm Fri., Sat. $50. Romance Romance Slow Burn the thick of that whole scene, the Golden Era of television comedy. I show some clips that most people have never seen: Steve Allen, Red Skelton I act out characters I’m talking about. And I go into my parents getting divorced and when he left “The Andy Griffith Show” and things slow down. But then, they pick right back up again when he’s going into his movie career.
Many people may not realize that your father and Andy Griffith met on the New York stage.
He and Andy met doing the show “No Time for Sergeants” on Broadway. The connection he formed with Andy Griffith was lifechanging.
And years later, he and Andy teamed up again for the TV series.
In L.A., there was this pilot about a small-town sheriff. By then, their paths had kind of taken their lives apart. But dad called [Griffith] up and suggested he needed a deputy in this new show.
What would you like to do with this show?
I would love to do the show on Broadway. I don’t know if anyone sees it as having that mass appeal. For me, it’s very much a baby boomer show. Theatre Company, musical. Aventura Arts & Cultural Center, 3385 NE188th St. 305-466-8002, aventuracenter.org. 8 pm Fri., Sat.; 2 pm Sun. $40, $45. Toruk – The First Flight Cirque de Soleil. through Sun. at AA Arena, 601Biscayne Blvd., Miami. 786-777-1000, aaarena.com or Ticketmaster. 3:30, 7:30 pm Fri. & Sat.; 1, 5 pm Sun. $43+-$120+. The Violet Hour Outré Theatre Company. Drama, opens Fri. Broward Abdo New River Room, 201SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. 954-462-0222, browardcenter.org. 8 pm Fri., Sat.; 2 pm Sun. $30. What’s NewPussycat Musical, through March 27. Stage Door Theatre, 8036 W. Sample Rd., Margate 954-344-7765, stagedoortheatre.com. 8 pm Fri., Sat.; 2 Through the ’60s and ’70s … my dad’s career weaves in and out of all those time periods. So [his career] references a lot of things from
pm Sat., Sun., Wed. $38-$42.
Art of Murder Mystery, through Sat. Boynton Beach Playhouse, 145 SE 2nd Ave. 561-301-5404. 8 pm Fri., Sat. $20. Better Than Money The Playgroup, LLC. Comedy, through Sun. Sugar Sand Park Willow Theatre, 300 S. Military Trail, Boca Raton. 8 pm Fri., Sat.; 2 pm Sun. 561-3473948, willowtheatre.org. $25. From Door to Door Opportunity Theater. Comedy, opens Sat. Soref JCC, 6501W. Sunrise Blvd., Plantation. 954-609-7153. 2, 8 pm Sat.; 4:30 pm Sun. Inherit the Wind Drama, through Sun. Lake Worth Playhouse, 713 Lake Ave. 561-5866410, lakeworthplayhouse.org. 8 pm Fri., Sat.; 2 pm Sat., Sun. $29, all those decades. People in their 30s and 40s know him from “Three’s Company.” His career was so long and embedded in the culture. $35. Loving Frank Theater troupe Words…Alive!, drama. 1pm Thu. North Regional/Broward College Library, 1100 Coconut Creek Blvd., Coconut Creek. 954-201-2600. $5. Young Frankenstein Musical, through March 20. River of Grass Arts Park, Katz Theater, 17195 Sheridan St., Pembroke Pines. 954-437-4884, pptopa.tix.com. 8 pm Fri., Sat.; 2 pm Sat., Sun. $15-$25.
The P-Word Drama. 7:30 pm Wed. FAU Parliament Hall, 777 Glades Rd., Boca Raton. 800-5649539, fauevents.com. $10.
Karen Knotts stars in “Tied Up in Knotts,” a one-woman show about her father, Don Knotts.