Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Prairie Home Companion

We had a great time attending the live recording of A Prairie Home Companion at the Fitzgerald Theatre in downtown St. Paul. We rendezvoused with Marcia out front and then tucked into seats 8, 9 & 10 of Balcony 2 Right. The Fitzgerald uses its space well and while the row leg room is reminiscent of flying transatlantic coach, it wasn’t uncomfortable.

I knew the other friends we were meeting, Lisa and Frank, were somewhere in the auditorium, and via cell phones and roundhouse arm gestures, Lisa and I found each other during the short intermission.

The featured musical guest was Indy singer Kristin Andreassen. I had never heard of her, but over the years I’ve learned to trust APHC host Garrison Keillor’s eclectic, wide-ranging musical tastes. Andreassen’s “Crayola Doesn’t Make A Color to Draw My Love” is accompanied by a patty cake game, which you can listen on her My Space page.

Multitalented Gospel singing sisters Jevetta and Jearlyn Steele were also folded into the show’s various skits.

I marvel at Garrison Keillor’s huge talent; his capacity for memorization, spontaneity, and how generous he is with his guests, showcasing them in the best light.

Assembling in the lobby, we headed to Everest On Grand, a Nepali restaurant, which is one of Lisa and Frank’s favorites.

A 25-minute wait turned into 40 minutes, but it was well worth it. A new friend, Katherine, joined us for dinner. She had bought a last minute “rush” ticket and got a standing-room-only space on the rail. A page from the small world book, Marcia and Katherine knew one another from working at the University of Minnesota! Once the six of us were seated, we began with “Yak balls” appetizers, which are showcased on the restaurants homepage.

The wine and beer menu revealed a wonderful French surprise, a bottle of Cotes du Rhone (Rhone Hills) red wine by a tasty vintner, Monsieur Chapoutier, which we ordered tout de suite.

Ian ordered lamb curry and I got an Indian favorite, Palek Panner, which we shared. The dinner conversations were wide ranging, interesting and rapid, all done as we sampled each other's main courses. Sated, we headed to W. A. Frost & Company bar on Cathedral Hill at Selby & Western Avenues for a nightcap.

Ian, Lisa and Frank enjoyed Laphroaig (pronounced “la froig”), which is a single malt Scotch whisky. Katherine ordered port, Marcia a brandy Manhattan, I had a lovely dry sherry and four of us savored crème brulee.

Near the bewitching hour, Ian pointed our 1996 Chevy Lumina homeward and began the hour drive. Lady and Tiger were extra pleased to see us, as the pellet stove had gone out and the house temperature was around 40 degrees. I restarted the stove and turned on our electric mattress warmer while Ian closed up the barn. We had anticipated a late night and had done chores earlier in the afternoon. Windy and Bentley were brought into their stalls, fed and watered at 3 versus 6 p.m. and we left the barn door open so that the six geese would come in and settled in for the night. Ian noted they were cuddled in the barn aisle when he came to say good night.



Dawn Renee said...

Janet, it does my heart good to know that we are connected through PHC. While you and Ian experienced the performance live, I was listening to it on the radio to the same performance with Jearlyn and Jevetta. I just read several of your blogs and its good to catch up with you in this way. I'm delighted that you've left the post office and are returning to something that makes better use of your tremendous communications skills and business savvy. Sounds like the Macdonald Farm is weathering the storm and staying very much alive and well. Yippee!
Dawn Renee

Simon said...

HI Janet

Glad you guys are having fun.. Ah Laphroaig now I've been know to enjoy a wee dram from time to time :)
I was over in NH last week visiting friends and saw pellet stoves in action.. those things are marvelous! Well just a wee hello from Scotland and stay well.


Lisa GP said...

Janet, you'll have to introduce us to Simon some day and we can share a dram or two and talk more about my Border Graham heritage.

Frank and I thoroughly enjoyed the evening out with all. We must not take so long between social gatherings. Friends are too important!

Simon said...

Hi Lisa

That sounds like a grand idea,(Scotsman will travel for a dram!) I have a half baked plan (is there any other kind) of a road trip from NH to Alaska, and sadly for Janet & Ian :) Stanchfield is on the route, (time to move back to Barcelona?) then on through North Dakota, Montana etc, last time I drove across North of the Boarder,
across Canada and loved it. So perhaps, one day fates willing we can share that dram & tell tales.

Take care