|Garrison Keillor on the Prairie Home Companion set at St. Paul's Fitzgerald Theater|
I had seen Prairie Home and Garrison Keillor once before, at the Mother Lode in Butte, but always hoped I could see this great performer in his home theater.
This was the high point of a trip that also included a visit to the Mill City Museum and the scenic trail and stone bridge across the Mississippi River at St. Anthony Falls and the colors of the city park where Minnehaha Falls are located.
The Fitzgerald is much the same as and built in the same era as the equally ornate Mother Lode.
There was tons of energy in the crowd which had queued up outside the theater long before the two-hour performance.
The performance itself had many of the same elements as the Grand Old Opry, the variety show, the live radio broadcast, the schmaltz.
The program was built around a duet contest featuring six teams from around the country and included favorite skits, "Guy Noir," "Lives of the Cowboys," and "Lake Wobegon."
I am in awe with how quick Keillor is with the unscripted, humorous retort when engaging his guests.
|The walking bridge over the Mississippi River at St. Anthony Falls|
|Mill City Museum and mill ruins|
Yet another great surprise was the beauty of the the Catholic Basilica of St. Mary where we were treated to an amazing display of medieval Russian icons and the modern artistry of Ludmilla Pawlowska.
|At the Minnehaha Falls dried by Midwest drought|
The Minnehaha Falls are a victim of the Midwest drought and were dry, exposing beautiful sandstone shelves. We walked the creek down to the Mississippi amid red, orange and yellow hardwood trees at the end of their fall color.
Of course, the Twin Cities are full of great restaurants and we sampled a few including Ethiopian, Ukrainian, Greek, Italian and Vegetarian varieties.
|At the Basilica of St. Mary|