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Host Garrison Keillor answers your questions about life, love, writing, authors, and of course, A Prairie Home Companion.

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November 19, 2007 | 3 Comments

Dear Garrison--
Why are you broadcasting from the State Theater in Minneapolis rather than the Fitzgerald in St. Paul? I have never been to St. Paul so I don't know anything about the two theaters but I know from listening to you how special the Fitzgerald Theater is.

Elizabeth M.
Takoma Park, MD.

The Fitzgerald is a little gem of a theater and I'm glad that "A Prairie Home Companion" played a part in saving it from the wrecker's ball. And Robert Altman sure loved it, as you can see from his movie. I think of him there, especially when I go into the basement. There, where Ella Schovanec and Kathryn Slusher and the other production people run the copier and revise the scriptage, Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin and Lindsay Lohan played their exquisite dressing room scene as Mr. Altman sat in his high throne and directed the cameras. I certainly remember the day I first saw the old pile back in 1978 and I'm glad we played there. But I'm not nostalgic. It's too dangerous for someone my age. And we outgrew the Fitzgerald a long time ago. The show loses money every time we perform there. And I like forging ahead. Restlessness is in my nature. So it's a real pleasure to cross the river and go to the State, which is a thousand seats bigger, and which has a roomy backstage and where the audience last Saturday struck me as rather young and smart. Radio is portable and we love to hit the road and go to places like Las Cruces, New Mexico, where we've never been before ----- we'll be there the end of May ---- and Abilene, Texas, where we'll go next fall. And on and on. When a show has gone on as long as this one, you can't afford to look back. You keep focused on next week's show. That'll be in Town Hall on West 43rd in New York and a very excited audience will come in and be further excited by Madeline Peyroux, Del Mccoury, Billy Collins, Robin and Linda Wiliams, the Royal Academy of Radio Acting, and the Guys All Star Shoe Band. Hooray for radio. I do admit that I am touched when I look out the stage door of the State theater and see Dayton's (now Macy's) where I used to do all my Christmas shopping.


I love the radio show, but I'm sorry to say I hated the movie, which i just watche on DVD and immediately gave away. The over lapping dialogue and Nashville stuff just didn't do if for me even though I though the cast was great. I guess mostly I did like the how the characters were tampered with. Where was the unexpected sensitive in the cowboys, and Guy is just not that dumb or slapstick. Did I miss somethin. Maybe I would have liked it better if I hadn't listened to the radio version.

My family and I were very fortunate to literally sit at your feet for this particular show on November 17th at the lovely State Theater. It was a Birthday present from my husband to bring us here to experience The Prairie Home Companion. I loved how enthralled my young son was as he watched, listened and laughed. We thoroughly enjoyed the evening. Later, after discovering this website and reading your post, my son decided that your comment about finding the audience "rather young and smart" was a direct reference to him since he was certain that you looked directly into his eyes on several occasions. Thanks for a wonderful evening and we will look forward to seeing the show again when you return to Minnesota. Please say "Hi" to John Edmund, another above average young fan.


are carson wiler, GNPE, AND GK related?

I think I smell something fishy here, and it may NOT be lutefisk...

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