The El Paseo Arts Foundation pompously presents “The Tom Franek Show”

Recent Testimonial: Tom–Cannot express in words how much we LOVED your performances aboard the Star Princess. Your talent is beyond incredible. We were so impressed. Standing ovations are rare and you got them at both of the shows we watched.

Get ready for an evening of fabulous music of all styles, humor, and astounding agility as El Paseo proudly presents The Princess Cruise Line top performer, Tom Franek, Saturday, March 5, 2016, at 7:30 p.m. at the Padre Sunset Nightclub located at 5908 Padre Boulevard.

Tom Franek spent 229 days at sea in 2013 – that’s how popular he is with audiences on the Princess Cruise Ships.  This twenty-something singer and songwriter is Northfield’s Minnesota’s most well-travelled native.  A graduate of St. Olaf College, famous for its Music Program explains his career choice by saying: “Music chooses you instead of you choosing it.”

After graduating from college in 2006, Franek made a call to a guy he knew who had played on cruise ships. “He got the audition, and the agency placed him in a showband, working with Princess Cruises.

“I was in the show band, the band for all occasions. Whether there was a guest set, a big band set, a Dixieland set…we were the band.” That gave Franek the opportunity to hone his keyboard chops in a range of styles. “I persevered through that and got a great review, and I said, okay, no more ships.”

Returning home in 2007, he learned that Princess Cruises owned a land-based resort in Denali, Alaska. He called the general manager of this lodge, and was hired to play in the bistro doing the same kind of singing and playing that he did on cruise ships. He told them that would be fine and didn’t tell them that he’d never learned songs the showband played. So he hung up that phone and learned 150 songs in a month. Unfortunately, the first night he went through two-thirds of the songs and had to learn a lot more very quickly.  It was trial by fire as a performer, but he developed an extensive repertoire of music in a very short time – music of all styles and genres.

After the Alaska gig, Franek went back to sea—this time as a singer-entertainer. He began with a trial spot on a ship for a couple of weeks, and that went well—the rest is history. I’ve been doing this job with the ships since 2008. “I’m a pianist-singer-dancer-comedian-entertainer.  I love it”.

Though he’s still based in Northfield MN, Franek travels all over the world. Being American, he’s typically scheduled for cruises on which a majority of the passengers will share his cultural references. That means a lot of Caribbean and Alaska cruises, but he’s also gone to South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.  In 2016, his travel engagements will take him to the Hawaiian Island, Figi, Australia, New Zealand, the Panama Canal and Trans-Atlantic to Europe.

What’s the secret to pleasing a seaborne audience? “I don’t try to be someone I’m not. I play to my strengths.” Specifically, “I put on a Minnesota schtick. I draw on the spirit of Prairie Home Companion and Garrison Keillor. I’ll throw in Ole and Lena jokes. I have a sign that says, ‘You Betcha.’” Entertaining an audience in a cruise ship lounge, says Franek, is kind of like being a DJ. “You read the audience and follow the flow. Over the years, you get better at that.”

Relax in the beautiful Padre Sunset Nightclub and be amazed at the energy and sheer talent of Tom Franek.  The performance starts at 7:30 p.m. and a cash bar will be available; however, there is limited seating for this show, so please get your tickets early. Listen to Tom at: “12th Street Rag”.



About padreeliteteam

Alta Monroe, Gayle Hood, Jules Wilk & Laurie Howell are a full-time professional and dynamic team known as the Padre Elite Team with RE/MAX 1st Choice in South Padre Island. Quality service for their clients is their number one priority. To them, it is about the client's needs and protecting their interests. Finding just the right property for their buyers or helping their sellers get their property SOLD is their goal. Helping clients step through the complicated process of buying or selling a property to a smooth closing is essential to them. A personal Bio on each of the team agents is posted on their website at The South Padre Island real estate industry is changing faster than ever these days. With the changes in the economy, there are new challenges with buyers, sellers, foreclosures, short sales, Internet marketing, our education, increases in inventories, changes in comparable sales, and frustrating politics. Alta, Gayle, Laurie, and Jules strive to stay on top of all of these changes and to keep in touch with their clients. Alta, Gayle, Jules & Laurie all hold designations they have acquired through eduction. These designations include CLHMS, CRS, GRI, RSPS, CPN, ePRO, SFR and RSPS. Gayle and Jules both hold the CLHMS (Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist) designation and they are the ONLY agents in the entire Rio Grande Valley that are members of the Institute of Luxury Home Marketing. This better qualifies them to share their specialized expertise with a luxury home seller or buyer. Making sure the buyer and the seller are represented correctly is a priority for this team. Investing in TREPAC (Texas Real Estate Political Action Committee) is important to this team since TREPAC has proven to be a major force in Texas by lobbying for Realtors and property rights for the consumer. For many years, the Padre Elite Team has been a major investor in TREPAC. Alta and Gayle have attended the National Association of Realtors Mid-Year Conference in Washington, D.C. often. The conference is primarily for Realtors that are Board directors or executives. It is a great way to stay on top of the current issues facing Realtors and homeowners in our country. They get to meet with their Senators and Congressmen to express their concerns. Last year they were invited to attend the Realtor PAC President’s Circle Conference in New York where they heard many famous guest speakers regarding current real estate issues. The Padre Elite Team also attends the RE/MAX International Conference each year to acquire more education and to keep up with the latest technology available to Realtors in the Marketplace. They have received numerous awards for being Top Producers in the real estate industry. Education is a priority for this entire team including their assistant, Grace. The GOOD news is that 2012, 2013, 2014 and now 2015 proved to be better each year for real estate sales in South Padre Island and the surrounding areas of Port Isabel, Laguna Vista/South Padre Island Golf Community, and Bayview. The real estate market is showing an increase in the number of sales and a leveling of values. Now that the market has hit the bottom, investors are finding that real estate is a great place to invest their money. It is still a buyer's market and a great time to buy. Alta, Gayle, Jules & Laurie all agree that it has been such a pleasure to live & work in a resort area such as South Padre Island. A hundred of your closest friends and family will visit when you live near the beach! Clients are always encouraged to contact them. For more information about this team and to view their blog, visit
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