Sarah Terez Rosenblum (@SarahTerez) is an MFA-holding writer, teacher and Spinning instructor. She's also the Theater Listings Editor for Centerstage Chicago. Look for her posts twice a week.
Dying to get up close and personal with Garrison Keillor? Yeah, me neither.
Listening to A Prairie Home Companion is like fielding an obscene phone call from your grandfather; you’d think after years in radio the man would learn to breathe through his nose. It’s not that I haven’t tried to find the funny in Keillor’s down-home humor. I went so far as to read his book, Love Me, which to my surprise and revulsion made Tropic of Capricorn seem written by Sarah Palin’s more prudish Aunt Tildy.
I even saw the lengthy, meandering Companion movie, but only because it was almost 100 degrees that day and I couldn’t figure out how to open the windows in my apartment. Also because Lily Tomlin is my jam and Lindsay Lohan had yet to grind up and snort my last shred of faith in her career.
Since then I’ve made peace with my indifference to Keillor. Unless I awaken one day craving a sex manual written by my grandfather or jonesing to attend a pancake breakfast in a church basement, I’ll probably never relate. But for the percentage of NPR listeners who love Keillor, or as I like to refer to them, Gentiles, Ravinia’s the place to be on July 3.
Broadcasting A Prairie Home Companion live from the idyllic venue, Keillor is sure to bring his distinctive blend of musical guests, radio drama and storytelling. Seat prices range from $10 for lawn seats to $65 for pavilion. So if you’re looking for a more laid-back alternative to Chicago’s Fourth of July weekend festivities, go to Ravinia, “where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.”
I’ll be home wearing my “Team Ira” tank top and practicing dark irony, which is sort of like black magic but requires fewer expensive props.