Where the women are strong, the men are good-looking, and the artistic personality traits are over the top

On Saturday, I played in a show with Garrison Keillor. It was an interesting experience, to say the least. Here are a couple pictures from afterward:

Molly and Garrison Keillor
Molly giving her book to him to sign

eeka and Garrison Keillor
Me watching him sign it

A lot of the parodies he does are quite funny, and he's a talented improvisor. There's something just not right about the guy in person though. I mean, not that I expected his real-life persona to be exactly like his radio persona.

Except for how it totally was. The guy never came out of character.

During rehearsal he'd say things like, "well, the string section I work with in Lake Wobegon uses this arrangement that goes kind of like..."

Lake Wobegon? So then these musicians of whom you speak are...fictional? Although I suppose that being accustomed to fictional musicians could explain why he, in total seriousness, decided he could ask the pianist to "just make up" a piano part to the Dvorak symphony excerpt we were playing.

Seriously. He had decided that the pianist was amazing and was his best friend or something five minutes after meeting him (granted this pianist is very very good), so had deemed him capable of improvising piano parts to a harmonically complex symphonic works. And apparently capable of making a piano part sound welcome in a sustained, austere string and horn passage.

Overall, I think I have to say that I like his writing quite a bit better than his performance. His work is based on some very astute and intelligent observations, which makes it frustrating that he relies so heavily on histrionics to get his audience involved:

Garrison: So, this one time...
Garrison: I was sitting in my home in Lake Wobegon...
Garrison: *pouty frown*
Garrison: And of course, being a Lutheran...
Audience: AAAAAAAAAAA--*spontaneously combusts*

I'm not sure whether I can blame him entirely for this dynamic though. There's just something not right about a species of people who will laugh their asses off when someone says "homeland security."

Photos taken by the lovely Jodie, using her camera phone.


Spatch said...

Maybe when Garrison meant "Lake Wobegon" he meant "my collection of Fisher-Price Little People and all the busy city buildings in which they live and work and play."

I'm just sayin.

Molly said...

His LUTHERAN Fisher-Price Little People.

Grace said...

Sounds fairly typical. My uncle, who used to work with Keillor regularly (he conducted the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, in real life, not Lake Wobegon), described it as just-barel-controlled chaos and last-minute program changes up to the minute the curtain went up, and sometimes beyond. His sound bite to sum up the experience was "After it's over, you know what you played."

BTW, I love the blog title. When my family goes to Sox games we always park on Mem Drive and walk across the "Smoot Bridge".