Paul Wilson: Prairie Home Companion “Radio Romance Tour 2013” Incoming @ Starlight

6a00d8341c630a53ef014e5fee897d970c-800wi“Well, it’s been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon, Minnesota, my hometown, out on the edge of the prairie…”

And with those words, I know it’s the weekend. Most of my Saturdays are set aside for the creation of art furniture and to attend an auction where my wife and I buy pieces for the studio that become our next works. As our Saturdays weave their way through the various activities of the day, the constant for each weekend is what I have come to call my “NPR Saturday.”

It starts early with the news, This American Life and it ends late with The Fish Fry. But the most enjoyable part of that day for me is the broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion. I’ve listened for years and have been a huge fan.

So it’s with a great deal of joy that I welcome this Friday’s presentation as the show rolls into Starlight Theatre at 7:00pm, courtesy of the Capitol Federal Concert Series.

The tour is actually the live broadcast of the show and it’s the only remaining live music and sketch comedy/music radio show broadcast nationwide. It’s heard by 4 million people each week on 600 NPR stations. That’s a long way from the dozen people who sat in on the first show.

radio-romance-2013-watkins-keillorThis year’s tour stars the host of the show and head writer Garrison Keillor and for the Kansas City leg, singer Aoife O’Donovan. Of course all the regulars will be in attendance, musician Rich Dworsky, The Guy’s All-Star Shoe Band featuring Pat Donohue on guitar and Richard Kriehn, who rotates between the violin and mandolin.  Guy Noir Private Eye, and Keillor’s monologue, the News from Lake Wobegon, the town where all the women are strong, the men are good looking and the children, above average.

The show started after Keillor was researching a piece on the Grand Ole Opry and came away from that thinking a live variety show with music and comedy might be a good idea. His first broadcast, on Minnesota Public Radio, may have seemed like a failure since only those 12 people were there to witness it, but from those humble beginnings, it grew into what it is today.

The show was suspended by Keillor, in 1987, as he was going through some personal changes in his life. He remarried, traveled, relaxed, but after two years he revived the program in the format it is today.

prarie-home-full-cast-2013-greekOutside of the comedy skits, music is the focus of the show. If you have an interest in American Folk, gospel, blue grass, routes style music, you’re going to discover artists on the show you’re not likely run across on your own. Keillor is extremely diverse in his selection of the artists. He gets the biggest names in music but also takes time to feature break out artists, most having had little prior exposure in the national spotlight.

Even though Keillor has a knack for finding the best in up and coming obscure musicians, those musical skills do not necessarily extend to his own vocal prowess. But hey, when you have your own radio show you can sing and harmonize with anyone you choose, and that he does. With less than a great voice, Keillor has sung with the biggest names in the business.

The show is an embodiment of old time radio, complete with sound effects, done on the fly, like they did in the old days. It’s an hour of stepping back in time to a quieter day when life was a little simpler. It’s sure to be a great performance, it always is.

Tickets are still available, give it a listen.

Date: Friday July 19, 2013

Ticket prices: $95*, $65*, $45*, $35*, $20*

Show Time: 7:00 p.m.

Gates Open: 6:00 p.m.

Ticket Info: Tickets for the July 19 show at Starlight Theatre can be purchased online, by phone 816.363.7827 (STAR) or in person at Starlight Theatre Box Office.



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16 Responses to Paul Wilson: Prairie Home Companion “Radio Romance Tour 2013” Incoming @ Starlight

  1. harley says:

    will they be selling no doze at this deal?
    And will they be offering ensure at the concession stand?

    • cheech lifting his pud says:

      Post the link to your blog stories or just admit they dont exist, douche. Aint nobody got time for you. Put up or shut up. Sadly, youre morally and emotionally unable to do either. Now, lets watch your clever rebuttal that has nothing to do with answering the question.

      • harley says:

        lifting his pud? come on dude….show some class….
        you and the rest of the kcc dudes read everything
        I write…’ve never intellectually or via educated
        debate and conversation been able to prove me wrong
        on any matters.
        I predict and analyze items yet yet its the same old
        song and dance….
        you follow the old adage about b.s.
        you can’t debate or have a valid conversation with me
        on issues/events/ so you attack with bull sh*t.
        Not once have you proven me wrong with a fact based
        go back to lifting your pud…dud!

        • Super Dave says:

          You have lied time and time again and been called on it. More than once this has been brought to your attention in good debate and you return with more lies and side stepping the issues, just as you are now loser.

  2. cheech lifting Harley's dead body says:

    As usual, you don’t address why you can’t prove your claims, lying douche. Post the link or go away. Dodge the issue all day, I’ve seen the proof.

  3. cheech lifting Harley's dead body says:

    “you’ve never intellectually or via educated
    debate and conversation been able to prove me wrong
    on any matters.”

    You said you write in national blogs, we asked for one example for weeks. Fact. You said you would post the link. Fact
    You never have. Fact.
    That’s an intellectual, fact based discussion.
    You would judge others much more harsh under the same terms.
    You’re not needed here. And don’t call me down on one term when you’re so foul.

  4. Mark says:

    Paul, stay up after Fish Fry on Saturday night (actually Sunday morning beginning at 12:01am) for public radio’s other live music and sketch comedy show 12TH STREET JUMP, which has been broadcasting on KCUR since 2009. Now on 67 stations across the country, it’s got a long way to go– but it’s worth a listen. The best jazz players in KC are featured.

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      Mark, Im so sorry I left that out. I certainly do listen and, I recall I wanted to host that show if we had ended up taking over Jardines! Its a great program and I’m glad to see it grow.

  5. Nick says:

    A couple of thoughts…

    1. ) APHC is two hours long, and
    2. ) The Grand Ol’ Oprey is still broadcast live every Saturday evening.

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      Thanks, Nick, you are correct on the 2 hours; clearly an oversite or typo on my part.
      As for Grand Ole Opry, I went back to see what you meant. I wasn’t indicating it was no longer alive, as it clearly is. Keillor was simply doing a research piece on it, its history, when he came up with the idea for his show. Didnt mean for that to be taken that it was no longer in existance.

  6. PB says:

    I guess my sense of humor is just too low brow to get Prairie Home Companion. Heard so many great things about it over the years and since I’m a big fan of the Fish Fry, I’ve checked on the latter half of the show on multiple occasions and it just doesn’t do much for me. I guess to truly enjoy it you need to buy into the whole concept, but in my limited exposure to the program, that form of homespun entertainment simply doesn’t resonate with me. A high level of comedic and musical talent and competency seems to be present, but for some reason it just falls kind of flat for me. It certainly doesn’t suck and I’ll still listen in for a stretch before The Fry on most Saturdays, but it will never be destination radio for me. Oh well, different strokes I guess.

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      PB, not liking PHC isnt a sign of being too low brow, its just, like anything else, not for everyone. Harley didnt like it, but you have to consider the source, poor boy always want to BE somebody when he grew up, he just for to specify WHO.
      It’s an scquired taste, but still, old time radio. It may not be for you, but thats not a negative comment on you.
      Thanks, as usual, for your comment.

  7. PB says:

    Yeah and again, I don’t dislike it, but just haven’t been able to really embrace it either. Hard to explain really except as you said, seems to be the type of program that truly is an acquired taste. I do continue to listen to it pre-Fry though so it mustn’t bother me that much.

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