June 9th, 2006


A Prairie Home Evening

In addition to supporting our local NPR/PBS WGVU-FM,-AM and -TV through Grand Valley State University, I also contribute to Michigan Public Radio, because I can get the West Michigan feed out of Ann Arbor all the way to Kalamazoo during my long commutes.

To this end, I found out that MPR members could request two free tickets to a Thursday June 8th Premiere of Robert Altman's A Prairie Home Companion.

In short it is everything you'd expect a PHC movie to be: (1) Perfect, (2) Not Enough and (3) Missing Some Favorite Bits. But that's how life is, isn't it?

The casting and performing are amazing. Kevin Kline as Guy Noir introduces us to this alternative universe where PHC is a "real" radio show. (grin) Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin are the survivors of a sisters act -- of course Lily can sing, remember Nashville by Guess Who? And Ms. Streep... damn, can she do anything without seeming to get fingerprints all over another Oscar? Lindsay Lohan as her daughter is very good, but just a trifle uneven. Woody Harrelson and John C. Reilly are the Dusty & Lefty cowboy act, and they are so spectacularly in synch with each other, that they work seamlessly -- it's probably the best work I've ever seen Woody do.

One suspects that backstage for the Real Life PHC might be dangerously like this -- minus the Mysterious Woman and the Threat of Cancellation by the creepy Tommy Lee Jones -- my heart goes out to the stage managers. (grin) I knew going in that there'd not be a Lake Woebegone setpiece, but that's okay -- Garrison is in fine form otherwise.

When we entered Celebration! Cinema North, where the show was held, Mrs. Dr. Phil wondered where we needed to go. I suggested the crowd over by the folding table on the other side of the lobby. To which she replied, OMG -- it's an NPR crowd. And it really was. There was NO mistaking the clothes, the hair, the range of ages, the politeness. Awwww -- my people!

It seemed to run just under two hours. I could've handled three hours no problem. And that's my only complaint.

That, and you'll be reciting Bad Jokes to each other on the drive home. (snort)

Dr. Phil
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