October 21, 2023
Carolina Theatre, Greensboro, NC
Garrison Keillor brings his solo show to Greensboro, NC. Be prepared to laugh and sing along as you celebrate all that unites us.
September 28, 2023
Crest Theatre, Sacramento, CA
Garrison Keillor brings his solo show to Sacramento, CA. Be prepared to laugh and sing along as you celebrate all that unites us.
September 17, 2023
The Caverns, Pelham, TN
Garrison Keillor brings his solo show to The Caverns in Pelham, TN. Be prepared to laugh and sing along as you celebrate all that unites us.
August 27, 2023
Big Top Chautauqua, Bayfield, WI
Garrison Keillor and his Prairie Home Friends return to Big Top Chautauqua in Bayfield WI. Singalongs, stories, duets, comedy and a hot band. Be prepared to laugh and sing along as you celebrate all that unites us.
August 7, 2023
Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Ctr, Old Saybrook, CT
Old Saybrook, CT (2nd show)
Garrison Keillor brings his solo show to Old Saybrook, CT. Be prepared to laugh and sing along as you celebrate all that unites us.
I come from low-key Minnesotans who like to end a sentence with then or now — “So what are you up to then?” — which is intended to soften the question and avoid an accusatory tone and if you said, “Oh, just waiting to see what turns up,” they might say, “Sounds good then,” so when I heard that the Supremes plan to toss out Justice Harry Blackmun’s decision in Roe v. Wade, I thought, “So what kind of a deal is that then, for crying out loud,” which is my people’s idea of profanity but doesn’t call down fire and brimstone then.
He was a low-key Minnesota Republican who grew up in a blue-collar neighborhood of St. Paul and got scholarshipped to Harvard and returned to Minnesota to be resident counsel at the Mayo Clinic, and the heart of Roe v. Wade is the reluctance to interfere in a woman’s intimate life and dictate the answer to an agonizing question, which reflects a Midwestern temperament. We would interfere with a big kid bullying a little kid, or a child torturing an animal, or some other act of cruelty we witness, but the Mississippi law the Supremes are prepared to uphold is a radical invasion by the state of a woman’s life. That’s what sort of deal it is.
The Supremes at the heart of the majority are only fulfilling the purpose for which they were nominated by Mr. Trump, so the shock and alarm registered in the press is a little surprising. This is a dog bite that could’ve been foreseen long ago. And perhaps the court is prepared to do battle along other fronts in the culture wars that the rest of us are a little weary of. Maybe there’ll be dicta on gender, sexuality, the right of parents to censor schools, the right of politicians to not be contradicted, the right of Supreme Court nominees to misrepresent their views to the U.S. Senate.
Hundreds of acres of printed pages will be written about all of this but driving today across Indiana to the elegant town of Wabash, I feel that the country isn’t changed much by the Kulturkampf. This is a handsome town of ten thousand on the Wabash River and the visitor sees immediately that historic preservation is a spiritual value here. There’s an 1880 Presbyterian church, a 1920 J.C. Penney’s, an 1865 Disciples of Christ, a magnificent 1878 county courthouse with a bell tower that dominates. Perhaps some county commissioners have imagined replacing it with a Costco-style courthouse but they haven’t succeeded. There are two historic districts, one residential, one downtown, where students of architecture can walk by examples of classical architecture, where you could shoot a movie set in 1940. I’m staying in a 1906 hotel across from the Eagles Theatre of the same era. Clearly, generations of Wabashites have loved this town. My hometown destroyed all its most beautiful buildings and became dismal and decrepit. Wabash is pretty fabulous.
Maybe a huge mall will be built outside town but it’s hard to imagine Wabash giving up magnificence for modular. I walk around this town and sense my own conservatism. This is a town where people keep their houses nice and go next door to visit. These are my people. Tonight when I perform at the Eagles Theatre, I’ll ask the audience to sing “America” and they’ll know the words and sing it in harmony, and also “It Is Well With My Soul” and “I Saw Her Standing There.” I could live here happily.
My grandpa Denham left Glasgow in 1905 with his wife, Marian, and kiddies and moved to south Minneapolis and never looked back. His stepmother disapproved of him because Marian was pregnant when Grandpa married her. Mormons fled Illinois for Utah to escape persecution. Trans people may leave Kansas for New York or San Francisco to find people more like themselves. I live in New York because I love anonymity. If I lived here in Wabash, among my own people whom I love, I’d feel people staring at me, thinking, “Divorced. Twice. Left the Brethren. Used to drink a lot. And he wrote that stupid column about Roe v. Wade.” I walk around in New York, unself-conscious, enjoying odd accents, Asian faces, Orthodox schoolboys, confused tourists. Plenty of people will leave Mississippi and Texas to be free of the authoritarianism. The Alito court can have Mississippi and Texas and it can ban same-sex marriage and require teachers to teach from pre-1950 textbooks, but New York will still be New York, I’ll enjoy my anonymity, and when, as happened recently, a woman cashier says, “How are you, my dear?” it will touch my heart.