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.