A Prairie Home Companion

Could anything be more essentially Minnesotan than seeing A Prairie Home Companion live at the State Fair? The Great Minnesota Get-Together unites us like nothing else save for our common enemy, winter's bitter cold, drawing Iron Rangers and Minneapolitans alike to rub shoulders as they jockey to grab the next steaming ear of corn from the blazing grill. APHC host and creator Garrison Keillor is our greatest cultural ambassador, so it's only fitting that he should preside over the fair's final weekend. Sure, you've heard the show a million times, maybe seen it once or twice at the Fitz, but watching Keillor, sound-effects wizards Tom Keith and Fred Newman, Guy's All-Star Shoe Band, and the rest of the crew perform as the humid air cools and darkness gathers overhead, is a different experience altogether, and one not to be missed by anybody with enough pride and humility to call himself a Gopher. The recurring State Fair show is also one of the few installments of the program not broadcast live, so it's longer and a little looser around the edges. (Last year, during intermission, the tireless Keillor sauntered into the Grandstand to lead a sing-along while everyone else took a break.) Guests this year include multi-instrumentalist bluegrass and gospel player Doyle Lawson with his band Quicksilver, singer-songwriters Mindy Smith and Andra Suchy, and local composer and former APCH music director Peter Ostrouschko. It's an ideal way to bid a sad but sweet farewell to the waning days of summer. (pic by Brian Velenchenko)
Fri., Sept. 4, 7:45 p.m., 2009

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