Garrison Keillor brings his solo show to Jaffrey, NH. Poetry, Limericks, Sing-Along and the News from Lake Wobegon
Boothbay Harbor, ME
Garrison Keillor returns to Boothbay Harbor with his solo show. Poetry, Limericks, Sing-Along and the News from Lake Wobegon
Garrison Keillor brings his solo show to Beverly, MA with Poetry, Limericks, Sing-Along and the News from Lake Wobegon
A Prairie Home Companion’s 50th Anniversary Tour will visit to the Chicago Theater in Chicago, IL with our Special Guests: Heather Masse, Christine DiGiallonardo, Rich Dworsky, Howard Levy, Chris Siebold, Larry Kohut, Sue Scott, Tim Russell and Fred Newman.
St. Paul, MN – 3rd show – Limited Seating
A Prairie Home Companion’s 50th Anniversary Tour returns home to The Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, MN for THREE SHOWS with our Special Guests: Heather Masse, Christine DiGiallonardo, Rich Dworsky, Sue Scott, Tim Russell and Fred Newman and more.
It is disconcerting to watch our blessed country tear itself apart and to see so many public figures, both left and right, committed to permanent dread and dismay, but I did feel that the January cold snap was a very good thing. Our autumnal December was disorienting and then I was in Kansas to do a show when the polar blast hit, a bracing Antarctic chill, and I felt the wind off the prairie — like being whacked by a two-by-four. It was a moment of reality and one is grateful for that. It was as if the planet was saying, “I’ve heard enough of your bellyaching about politics and the price of gasoline and social media and the state of public education — let me show you what actual suffering is like.” A warm van was waiting to take me back to the hotel. I was profoundly grateful.
The next morning I sat eating generic scrambled eggs and sausage and fell into convivial conversation with a couple from Oklahoma who were in Kansas for a friend’s wedding. I believe conviviality is more common when the temperature drops into single digits: total strangers drawn to each other by mutual suffering. “Traumatic bonding” it’s called. The two of them were hunters and gun-lovers. “Praise the Lord,” I thought. My friendship demographic has gotten awfully narrow as I careen into old age — I know too many English majors, no farmers or truck drivers — and it had been ages since I last conversed with gun-lovers: we don’t have many on the West Side of Manhattan. I enjoyed meeting them. They were very very nice people. She has an arthritic right shoulder and likes the AR-15 because it doesn’t have the recoil of other rifles. He is mechanically minded and loves the weapon’s design and precision. I put my oar in and mentioned that I feel safer in New York City with its large number of Unitarians and Reform Jews, all of them unarmed, than in Minnesota, and that I miss the old days before public schools became fortresses. They nodded. They hunt because it provides them with excellent meat with no nitrites or other additives, which they like. We parted on friendly terms.
I think the arctic blast facilitated our civility with persons whose opinions are crosswise to our own. The Florida boy who is setting the tone of incivility is no mystery: he is thriving, as cult leaders always have, by giving his followers an enemy, by setting brother against brother. He thrives on being despised by millions of people; the critical media is going down the Up escalator and he laughs at them in passing.
The Oklahomans said goodbye and I took a look at the Times, the headline “On the Ballot in Iowa: Fear. Anxiety. Hopelessness.” It made me happy not to be an Iowa Republican. I lived in Bettendorf for a year when I was a toddler and my life has gotten better and better ever since I left. I’m not especially fearful except that RFKJ might walk up, hand extended, and I’d feel obliged to shake it. I used to be anxious about dying young but now I’m 81. Like most Americans I am a stranger to hopelessness. Hopelessness is not a good motive for falling in love, raising children, or writing a novel. Or for voting.
The decent thing to do if you’re hopeless is to get good and drunk and stagger down the street spouting nonsense about vaccine and the FBI and see if anyone cares to put you into treatment. If not, problem solved.
At the airport, looking around the terminal and seeing all the flight cancellations and delays, I could see how cheerfully Midwesterners react to mutual inconvenience. It brings out the best in us. Clumps of strangers stood around happily complaining. One band of travelers had been stuck on a plane for several hours because the boarding door froze shut. I could see that this story would be told to everyone they meet in the next two weeks.
I’ve been doing shows on the road during this latest era of discontent and out of simple stubbornness I’ve walked out onstage and hummed a note and sung “America” and “America the Beautiful” and the audience was happy to sing with me. My audience includes some prickly conservatives and a good many condescending liberals and broken-hearted woke but they all know the words, and they sing beautifully together. Florida Boy begins his rallies with recorded music: not many people know the words, it’s just noise.