Great playwright (with Chekhov.)
Yesterday evening my brother Denny, who lives in St. Paul, rode his bike home from his job at Minneapolis Public Radio. He knew his wife was planning a birthday surprise for this weekend (my brother turned fifty last week) but he was not expecting to find me sitting on his back stoop, drinking a beer.
The Twin Cities has been Denny's home for over twenty years. I have been fortunate enough to have visited several times. Minneapolis and St. Paul coexist as models of a modern American metropolis. Lots of local, urban business, a thriving arts scene, gorgeous new uses for the majestic riverfront, and a couple of kooks.
For this morning my sister-in-law Julie proposed a tour of the new (2006) Guthrie Theatre, located on the banks of the Mississippi. I have seen some fun alternative theater in Minneapolis, most notably at the 2003 Minnesota Fringe Festival, but also at The Jungle, the Bryant Lake Bowl, and the Theatre de la Jeune Lune, which is no longer with us. The only I have ever stepped foot into the former Guthrie space by the Walker Arts Center was twenty-five years ago in 1986 to see The Rainmaker.
I was a little astonished to walk into the main theater space, and discover it was a near-replica of the original, or at least to my memory. Apparently they narrowed the angle at which the audience is arranged around the thrust stage. With seven hundred seats, it remains an intimate environment in which to see a show.
But that's not where we're are going to see a play tonight.
This afternoon Denny and my niece Ariel took me to O'Gara's Bar and Grill at the corner of Snelling and Selby, which is significant as the site of the barbershop owned by Carl Schulz, the father of Peanuts cartoonist Charles Schulz.
Little Red Haired Girl.
To be continued ...