Not Cease from Exploration

Monday, July 1, 2013

Lilly White: The Prairie Home Companion Experience

I am an admitted fan of the radio show "A Prairie Home Companion", so when I was presented with tickets to the final show of the season I just jumped at the chance.  The show I attended was held at Tanglewood, in Lenox, MA, which is a beautiful location in western part of the state.  Complete with cashed in Hilton Honors points, Ms Rivers and I made a trek up to Tanglewood to see the show last Saturday.

Walking to the amphitheater

Garrison Keillor

Garrison Keillor

End of the show, taking a bow

Tanglewood, Main Gate

If you are a fan of the show you must, at least one time, go see it performed live.  It's quite an experience and it helps you appreciate, all the more, what you hear on the radio.

A few observations are in order though:

  • The audience?  Let's put it this way:  Lilly White.  Really, exceedingly Caucasian.  I didn't see anyone, in the thousands in attendance, who was even remotely Hispanic, Asian or African American.
  • The audience?  Healthy looking.  Seriously, I think I was the heaviest male in attendance...well right after Mr Keillor himself.  Tons of dudes wearing L.L. Bean baseball caps, snacking on granola.  Older women with their hair pulled back in sensible pony-tails, drinking water from sports bottles.  The parking lot was full of mini-vans and late model Honda sedans.  A few Prius spiked in for good measure.
  • The audience?  Older.  Maybe a median age of about 52.  We (Ms Rivers and I) were on the young side.
  • The venue?  Just beautiful.  We stayed overnight in Albany, and the trip from there to Tanglewood was actually really nice.  Albany wasn't too bad either...kinda hilly though.
  • The show?  As noted above, I was impressed.  Now granted that this show isn't everyone's cup of tea, so all you fans of Fiddy Cent and Nicki Minaj will no doubt not be impressed with the music, but as the old saying goes, "different strokes for different folks".
  • The show?  I was particularly impressed by the "News from Lake Wobegon".  He delivered it like a preacher telling a sermon:  no notes, just an outline in his head that he delivered as be moved back and forth on the stage.  This is a guy (Mr Keillor) who clearly LOVES what he does for a living.  
Would I go to see it again?  Absolutely.  Next time I'll try not sit behind so many tall people.

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