Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Lake Wobegon Days

Last night I saw Garrison Keillor's one-man show, Lake Wobegon Days, at the Whiting Auditorium in Flint. It was a wonderful show and I laughed until I cried. We had great seats: Row C in the orchestra section -- we were so close we could almost touch the stage but didn't break our necks like the people in the first two rows.

Keillor was dressed as I've often seen him (when his radio show is broadcast on TV): dark suit, white shirt, red tie, and red tennis shoes. Like this picture, except you can't see his shoes. :)

Keillor told several stories about the fictional Lake Wobegon and its Minnesotan Lutheran inhabitants. He started out with a story about baseball (in honor of the Tigers in the World Series), then told a story about his funny aunt who lived life to its fullest in her last years, and ended with a hysterically funny story that tied all these things together, along with other elements (including Bruno the fishing dog, 24 Lutheran ministers on a sinking pontoon boat, and a naked parasailing guy). I was especially impressed with the last story because it was so complex and funny and, despite those elements I'd heard before, fresh and entertaining. I love the way he can tell such a complex story without losing track of all the components and he always ties them together in the end, even things the audience has forgotten about.

All together the show lasted for an hour and fifteen minutes and he got a standing ovation. He came out, bowed, and asked everyone to remain standing so we could do something we seldom get to do: sing our National Anthem. Around July 4th this year he wrote an article saying anyone could sing the National Anthem if it was in the key of G. He was right! What a nice way to end the evening.

If you've never heard
his radio show, visit A Prairie Home Companion's Official Web Site and scroll to bottom for the Complete Show Archive link. I'm disappointed that he doesn't do a free podcast of the weekly News from Lake Wobegon, but at least the archived shows on the web site are free (and you get the whole show).

Special thanks to SK for selling me her extra ticket to this fabulous show. You made my week!

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