Garrison Keillor brings his solo show to Peekskill NY. Be prepared to laugh and sing along as you celebrate all that unite us.
Keillor & Company with Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard bring their show to Frankfort, KY for a performance of classic love songs, poetry, The News from Lake Wobegon, and a conversation about Why You Should Go On Getting Older
Keillor & Company with Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard bring their show to Maryville, TN for a performance of classic love songs, poetry, The News from Lake Wobegon, and a conversation about Why You Should Go On Getting Older
Keillor & Company with Prudence Johnson, Dan Chouinard and Dean Magraw bring their show to Iola, KS for a performance of classic love songs, poetry, The News from Lake Wobegon, and a conversation about Why You Should Go On Getting Older
Keillor & Company with Prudence Johnson, Dan Chouinard and Dean Magraw bring their show to Wichita, KS for a performance of classic love songs, poetry, The News from Lake Wobegon, and a conversation about Why You Should Go On Getting Older
We went to the Met to see La Traviata on Election Night and so did many other people and the Violetta was delicate and pure and commanded the stage right up to when she died and Verdi’s choruses were glorious and moving and he gives Violetta some heartbreaking unaccompanied passages, a lone soprano singing in the extensive acreage of the Met, it takes your breath away. Of course some people won’t recognize great art even if it tap-dances in the nude while handing out Eskimo bars but I tell you the truth, Act 3 was so stunning it took your mind completely off Herschel and Dr. Oz and Kari Lake and the doctor running for governor of Minnesota who doesn’t believe in immunization.
For months I’d been getting pleas for money from candidates besieged by evil and now I wanted to see the courtesan Violetta living in sin with Alfredo whose father begs her to leave him so Alfredo’s sister will not suffer shame and can marry, and the courtesan agrees, a sinner performing an act of charity, sung by soprano Nadine Sierra who is also a Lucia, Zerlina, Susanna, Gilda, and for all I know may be a D.A. in Atlanta.
I forgot about the election entirely, which was why I was there. I didn’t check my phone during the two intermissions. With my wife, who has played violin in many Traviatas and loves the music, I walked through the lobby appreciating the costumery of the patrons. The Met is where imagination can run free and women can dress up as wealthy courtesans or Fifties movie stars or the queen of Albania. A woman walked ahead of us in a white sheath covered with shards of broken glass. It was dazzling. (It looked like broken glass but of course I didn’t reach out and touch it.) I was dressed like an accountant, my wife like a violinist. I asked her if she’d wear a dress like that and she said, “If you wanted me to, I’d have to leave you.”
We left the Met in a daze and went back to the apartment and found out that the disaster predicted by columnists for months had not quite materialized. Oz was defeated in PA and sent back to NJ, Herschel must face a runoff in Georgia and the Minnesota guy was beaten satisfactorily, and Kari Lake was behind in Arizona, and so democracy apparently would survive for another two years and we head toward Thanksgiving feeling grateful.
I am grateful for the Met. Our tickets were expensive, close to what we’d pay to fly to Milwaukee, but I don’t know anybody in Milwaukee so why would I go there? And if I did, I’d only be in a fit over the reelection of the blowhard Ron Johnson.
As a baritone, I’m grateful that Verdi wrote a great baritone part, sung by Luca Salsi, playing Alfredo’s father pleading with Violetta to leave the man she truly loves, arguing for respectability, which we baritones tend to do. I do. I have heard elegant young women on Columbus Avenue talking like angry truck drivers and wanted to approach them and say, “Obscenity is so lame. Try being witty, it’s more destructive. Also more memorable.”
I’m grateful for the woman wearing broken glass. Maybe in the rich patrons’ lobby there was a woman in a spray-on dress or a dress made of Post-it notes or a man in a wedding dress. These people serve as proof that we’re at an opera in a major city, we’re not at an accountants’ convention in Topeka.
I’m grateful for the violinist who came home and went to bed with me. When I met her thirty years ago was when I started going to operas. She was a freelance New York musician who’d only seen operas from the orchestra pit, looking out of the corner of one eye while watching the conductor with the other, and I needed to make an impression quickly so I bought box seats and took her to dinner at the Café des Artistes with murals of naked women on the walls, and I made witty conversation, and then I took a deep breath and gave her a book I’d written.
We didn’t talk politics back then. I was in love. I didn’t care if she were a socialist, a monarchist, anarchist, or violist, I loved her company, and I still do. Life is good. The dough I paid for opera tickets in 1992 was the best investment I ever made, me, the guy in the dark blue suit, red tie.