Karen Knotts pays tribute to a funny, terrific dad

By From page B6 | March 19, 2014

Karen Knotts pays tribute to her dad Don Knotts in a hilarious and poignant show. Courtesy photo

A true father/daughter story, Karen Knotts’ one woman show — Tied Up in Knotts! — will delight, entertain and take audiences at Harris Center for the Arts on a wild journey.

There’s a host of zany characters, all portrayed by Knotts, who take part on this journey as Karen describes what life was like growing up the daughter of the legendary Don Knotts.

“When my father passed away in February 2006, I wanted to pay tribute to him in the way I knew him best, as an amazing, loving dad,” Karen explained. “It’s true that Don Knotts was one of the greatest and most beloved character actors to hit the stage and screen in America, with five Emmy Awards to his credit! However, in my one-woman show, Tied Up in Knotts!, I try to capture the essence of Don, the man, because I always thought he was the funniest when he was just being himself.”

Karen learned her craft at the University of Southern California, where she was directed by the great Emmy award-winning director Alex Siegal (“Diary of Ann Frank”). After graduating, she did shows in Equity regional theatres across the country with her father. Don and Karen performed in the plays “Mind with a Dirty Man,” “Norman is that You?” and “You Can’t Take It With You” in California, Michigan, Kansas, Illinois and New York.

Karen’s first break in TV was playing a suicidal hippy hitchhiker in “Doctor’s Hospital” starring George Peppard. In addition to reciting limericks, the part required her to throw herself through the car’s windshield. After that fine training, Karen played a more relaxed role as a former high school beauty queen in “Return to Mayberry.” Bit parts in many sitcoms followed; she was even directed by the colorful Carol O’Connor.

In 2008 a friend dared Karen to try standup comedy at an open mic … and Karen is still standing. She loves doing standup at the Comedy Store, Flappers and Laugh Factory. Karen is in demand as an emcee and variety arts entertainer. A favorite film role is Celimene in David Hefner’s period piece, “An Occurrence at Black Canyon,” which became a hit on the festival circuit.

Karen is an alumnus of Lonnnie Chapman’s GRT theater company, where she was nominated for an ADA actor’s award for her portrayal of an Italian diva in the hit comedy “Lend Me A Tenor.” Karen’s short play “Roger and Betsy” was a nominee for the Merce awards in 2009. She has also created a television pilot for children, “Twinkles and Friends,” and two comedies, “Dates From Hell” and “But We Open Tonight!”

Tied Up in Knotts! with Karen Knotts will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 21; 2 and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 22; and 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 23. Tickets are 29 to $39; students with ID pay $12. Tickets are available online at harriscenter.net or from Harris Center ticket office at (916) 608-6888 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and two hours before show time. Parking is included in the price of the ticket. Harris Center is located on the west side of Folsom Lake College campus in Folsom, facing East Bidwell Street.

Three Stages


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