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Prairie Home at Sea - 2

August 11, 2006

Part 2 of Donna Fox's tale of the recent A Prairie Home Companion cruise to Alaska.

July 15 At sea

The schedule is jam-packed with musicians in every venue on the ship. We have resigned ourselves to the fact that we cannot see everyone we want.

Today we contented ourselves with "True Confessions", a dialogue between Garrison and a young Lutheran minister from Minnesota. Garrison explained that he wanted to know if he had been wrong in how he depicted the minister's "people" since Garrison's "people" were evangelical Christians. The minister held his own with Garrison. We were shocked to see Garrison guffaw at some of the minister's observations.

The early afternoon found us watching the talent show auditions. Again half the fun is watching Garrison's reactions to the performers. We were in for a real treat when a singer from the lyric opera of Chicago sang. The fiddler from Michigan was a crowd favorite. But many of the amateurs are really talented. I think the hula dancer in her revealing outfit discomfited Garrison. Much like the kiss Meryl Streep gave him in the movie. I asked Sue about the kiss and she confirmed my suspicion that it was indeed unscripted.


Then at 3:00 I caught the "Old Timers Reunion". This was an hour show with the original cast of the show in the 1970s. Butch Thompson was at the piano; singers included Jody Stecher, Kate Brislin, and Robin and Linda Williams. Listening to Garrison reminisce about the old times was intriguing. How far he has come since then! And little did he suspect where his "little radio show" would take him.

Tonight was the first full-length APHC show. What a blast! Garrison fired a couple of salvos at the Republicans. Again there were a few people in front of us who did not react with whooping and applause as the rest of us did. The music was amazing. Watching and listening to Rich Dworsky playing the piano is worth the price of the cruise. What an amazing talent.

Immediately after APHC, the Hopeful Gospel Quartet and Rich Dworsky entertained us. We found out later from Rich that they don't have time to rehearse so we are seeing them perform the songs without much preparation. In fact, Garrison said that they had just discovered that they all knew a song but they hadn't sung it together before this evening. Later we were talking to Robin in the hallway and he said that no one loves singing more than Garrison.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at August 11, 2006 2:43 PM

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