Monday, October 20, 2008

Minnesota Memories Pt 1

We left Wednesday, and landed in Minneapolis at 5pm. There was a slight annoyance at the Enterprise Rental Car counter as the sales girl informed us, the economy cars (Which I had reserved) were all gone, but we could get into a gas guzzling van for the same price or a smaller car for $6 a day more. Ick, bad customer service, especially since I had spent the better part of an afternoon looking for the best price on rental cars since NO ONE has a shuttle or bus to Albert Lea (!).
Stop on the way at Ellen's Cafe in Elko/New Market, wanting authentic food, and avoiding chains at all cost. The cafe was small and neat with a shrine to Elvis. T had fried chicken, I had fried fish. We both realized that our diet, which had to then been working splendidly for both of us would be put on hold for our Minnesota sojourn. There was one guy behind the counter and it turned out he was also the cook. There was a table full of regulars having "Taco Nite." and one of the guys kept filling our coffee cups, just to help the lone employee out.
We listened to the final Obama/McCain debate on our radio, my brother kept breaking in with "Tweets" about the debate, I felt a part of something big, looking at the moon over the plains, and living history.
We arrived at the theatre, "The Marion Ross Performing Arts Center." Which is a big name for a sweet but smallish theatre, around 9:30pm. We run into an older lady with a pearl accordion slung over her shoulder, who tells us that rehearsal has just let out, (the night before opening? So early??) and who turns out to be one of the members of the cast. She later buttonholes T, once she finds out he is the composer as says, "How many two octave songs ya got?" in a slightly irritated but affectionate manner. She solos on one of the hardest, prettiest songs in the show.
We meet Joan Graham, the writer and T's contact for the show and Tom B from Disney, California and a VERY fancy designer for such a small show. We meet the musical director, Gail and take a tour of the space. We are invited to Gail's for pie and ice cream, a super friendly gesture, considering everyone must be exhausted.
We drop our bags off in Joan's 100 Y.O house, a lakeside marvel with character and charm and stuffed to the brim with dolls! She also has three fluffy cats who are enthusiastic for our company.
We walk in the Bitter! Cold! to Gail's apartment which is in a converted woman's college, The two' T's Joan and myself, Gail and a cast member, Sarah (a VERY quirky N. Dakotan) eat loads of crustless pie. Turns out the director is there in the apartment but does not come out to say hello or eat. Apparently she keeps to herself A LOT. This will be important later.
We get back to Joan's, enjoy a nice chat, then sleep under 5 quilts in our sweaters and scarves. T dreams he is in a cave in. Bitter! Cold!, but we are very happy to be there and WILL eventually acclimate.


spartacus said...

MArion Ross Performing Arts Center!?! Mrs. Cunningham from Happy Days!? That's Awesome.

Anonymous said...

Harriet the cat says: Hey, I saw my pic on your blog and thought you might like to see a movie I made with Ozzie and Ricky back when I was an Ingenue.

P.S. It got up to 75 degrees this week!