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 |
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.
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.