Sunday, October 19, 2008

Love of Theater Cements Marriage

I know, doesn't that sound like an Onion header? But there is truth to the name of this post.

My parents were just here for two days, a quick trip to see Sav in the Sounds of South High School performance of Carousel. Here is one of my favorite photos of them, taken on the rocks on the north shore of Lake Superior near Tofte, Minnesota.

We had a wonderful visit. The weather was beautiful and yesterday we drove to Brown County State Park for a walk in the woods. The terrain was a bit more challenging than predicted, but they are experienced hikers and did just fine.

Only few years ago they made a September camping trip around the edges of Minnesota, pitching a tent in the woods and prairie of the state they migrated to after childhoods in North Dakota. I was impressed.

My parents met in a performance of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night (Or What You Will) at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, when my mother played Viola, the lead, and my dad was Sir Toby Belch (–Sir Toby Belch? I used to think apprehensively, hearing this story as a child).

A love of theater has been a constant in their lives together, and in our experience as a family. When I was a kid in Albert Lea, Minnesota, we would drive up to the then-new Guthrie Theater, where we were season ticket holders. Many of the plays were beyond my comprehension, but I loved the ritual of attending them and trying to follow along as best I could. I remember the thrill of meeting Sir Tyrone Guthrie once, too. I liked that Mondrian-like modernist exterior of the old Guthrie, and its proximity to the Walker Art Center. (The new Guthrie is cool for other reasons, and the Walker still – and always will – rocks my socks.)

When Joyce and Wally get back to Minneapolis, they'll be going to a production of Twelfth Night by an all-female cast, at Ten Thousand Things Theater Company. It's just the latest of many productions of this play they've seen, but I think it's the first with an all-female cast.

Carousel was really terrific. It got us talking about various theatrical themes and adaptations, and thinking about that song, "You'll Never Walk Alone". If you click on the image at the left, you go to a futbol and culture site by Jennifer Doyle with lots of good info about this song in the soccer arena. There's a link to a photomontage of Fellowship of the Ring images, too, with Judy Garland's just-try-to-keep-a-dry-eye version of the song. Doyle even explores the song's history in relation to folk music! (And isn't that a very groovy Carousel poster?)


Michael Wilkerson said...

My high school choir once gave a rousing performance of "You'll Never Walk Alone" to a large audience at a Brown County hotel. We were brilliant, they stared what seemed stonefaced. New to performing, we just figured that's how it goes with adults.

Then upon leaving, we saw the banner: "Welcome Conference of Physical Therapists."

The moral of the story is, Wally and Joyce are better people than that. And don't sing unless you've sent spies in beforehand.

elena said...

!! Great story. Hey, you never told me YOU had a blog! I am going to have to run over there for my fix of acerbic commentary.