Marler mixes science and music at Orpheum
Science Friday event airs nationally on Friday
When Science Friday, a Public Radio International talk show, made a rare road appearance at Wichita’s Orpheum Theatre on Saturday, Shane Marler wasn’t in the audience — he was on stage, and not because he’s a science expert.
“I’ve listened to the Science Friday show and I really like it, but no, I’m a music guy,” Marler said.
Marler and musical partner Nikki Moddelmog were tapped as the local artist connection to entertain before and after the show and during breaks.
Marler had appeared on a local show on KMUW, the Wichita public radio station that also airs Science Friday. When the host learned Science Friday needed a local music act, he called Marler.
“They like to have a local group to tie in with the audience, and we play here in Wichita all the time,” Marler said.
Marler and Moddlemog play with two other musicians, and at first Marler wanted the quartet to play. However, the need to move on and off stage quickly, as well as limited space for equipment, dictated a duo.
In turn, that limited the choices of music Marler and Moddlemog had for their appearances.
“We normally play with two other members in the band, so it also had to work well for a duo,” Marler said. “Usually we play concerts, and this is like a featured sprinkle of local music.”
The show was sold out, but it wasn’t the first time Marler played to a full house at the Orpheum.
“Unfortunately, the last time I played here was Tanya Tandoc’s funeral,” he said, referring to a popular Wichita restaurateur who was killed in 2015. “She was a friend, and they asked us to play. It was an absolutely packed house.”
Marler had had other performances at the old theater, and welcomed the chance to go back.
“I love playing this place,” he said. “It’s such a cool venue. Any time I get the chance to come back and play here, I love to.”
The live show was taped and will be broadcast from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday on KMUW 89.1.
Last modified Sept. 13, 2017