A weekend of theater, sculpture, and street caves.
From the caves, we hop local buses to Grand Avenue, home of Macalester College and the world-renowned Ruminator Bookstore (formerly called the Hungry Mind, before they sold their name to the publisher of the Dummies guides). Its crowded jumble of wonderful books includes a terrific poetry section, excellent cookbooks, and a small but interesting remainder area with many elegant-looking novels and poetry collections by unknown and well-known authors alike.
Across the street is the Pad Thai Grand Cafe, fairly tired looking on the outside, but nicely decorated within. We are great lovers of Thai food, and this turns out to be some of the best we've ever eaten. We thoroughly enjoy the tofu with cashew nuts and hot pepper, fried rice in a spicy basil-mint sauce, and, of course, Pad Thai (a popular rice noodle and peanut dish).
Two of my nephews had parts in the Guthrie Theater production of "A Christmas Carol"; the younger, age 7, played Tiny Tim, and his 10-year-old brother had several small but crucial roles. The Guthrie claims to be the first to adapt the book for the stage, and this was the 25th annual production. We knew how hard they'd been working, with up to six hours of rehearsal at a time, sometimes spending hours on a single scene. Still, we weren't prepared for just how incredibly good this production was. There were no discernable flaws. The acting, the complex and continuous tech work, the staging and special effects all ran with supreme quality and precision. It was at least as good as anything I've seen on Broadway, and the Guthrie's more intimate space and fantastic acoustics added a delicious feeling of being right there in the midst of the action. It was one of the very best theater experiences of my life. If you're visiting Minneapolis, go see one of their productions.
In the evening, my wife and I checked out the Jungle theater production of Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood. This theater company runs well-known intellectual plays and keeps them in repertory revivals for years. They strive to keep the same casts and sets, so that they are, in a sense, archival productions. About half the cast were Equity actors. They have a lovely new theater space (which they opened in February, 1999), and had a near-capacity crowd.
Because of the type of play it was, a narrative poem emphasizing voices and characters rather than dramatic action, one can't really judge the company's sense of staging. In this production, the actors are seated in a row of chairs, and many of the lines are delivered from their chairs. Other times, one or at most, two actors stand to deliver their lines. Each actor played a range of characters; their delivery was entertaining and the humor and music of Thomas's script came through strong and clear. They did not attempt Welsh accents-probably a good thing, since the play itself can be hard enough to follow.
All in all, it was a wonderful day, rich, stimulating, and an excellent conclusion to a fine weekend.
Shel Horowitz, Editor of Global Travel Review and owner of FrugalFun.com, is the author of the e-book, The Penny-Pinching Hedonist: How to Live Like Royalty with a Peasant's Pocketbook, and the creator of the Ethical Business Pledge campaign. This piece was written in 1999.
Many of the 1,000+ articles on Frugal Fun and Frugal Marketing have been gathered into magazines. If you'd like to read more great content on these topics, please click on the name of the magazine you'd like to visit.
Global Travel Review - Global Arts Review - Peace & Politics Magazine
Frugal Marketing Tips - Frugal Fun Tips - Positive Power of Principled Profit
Site copyright © 1996-2011 by Shel Horowitz