January 15, 2011
Fitzgerald Theater, St. Paul, MN
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SW: I'm happy to be here and host A Prairie Home Companion tonight...

GK: And you're doing a terrific job. It's fun watching you.

SW: I should point out that this is not the first time I've stood in for you.

GK: No. Quite true.

SW: And the other times were right here in the Fitzgerald theater.

GK: Yes.

SW: The Wabasha Playhouse production of "Our Town".

GK: Right.

SW: You were supposed to be the Stage Manager and I was going to be Emily Webb. They yanked you after the first performance.

GK: I just tossed in a few jokes in the cemetery scene. I thought it needed -----

SW: So I took over as Stage Manager and you became Joe Stoddard.

GK: Not a big part. You were a terrific Stage Manager.

SW (RUSTIC TWANG): "Grover's Corners, New Hampshire, it's May 7th, 1901. The sun's just coming up over there in the east."

GK: Amazing the way you stepped right into the role. Just strode right in.

SW: And then you were Willie Loman in "Death of a Salesman" ---- similar thing happened.

GK: I just didn't see it as the big sobfest that other people did. A guy coming in off the road, a guy with a wife who loves him and two terrific sons, Biff and Happy ----A salesman---- a man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a shoeshine.

SW: He died of a broken heart----

GK: Well, that was your opinion.

SW: People were sort of put off when you came back for your bow and you danced to "Sunny Side of the Street" ---- so they announced that I was filling in for you for one performance ----- and I played right through the rest of the run.

GK: You were the first female Willie Loman, and they loved you.

SW: I think Willie Loman was meant to be a woman.

GK: Maybe.

SW: And the next year they cast you in the role of King Lear and me as his daughter Cordelia, but you and the director had artistic differences, so-----

GK: I was trying to take it in a different direction. Lighten it up. So your daughters have betrayed you and you're wandering raving mad across the barren heath---- get a grip.

Ingratitude, thou marble-hearted fiend,
More hideous, when thou show'st thee in a child,
Than the sea-monster.
How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is
To have a thankless child!

GK: I just tried to jazz it up a little. (SINGS) O you ungrateful child, you terrible terrible child,
If you had a heart, you would pity us
But you're a snake and simply hideous----

SW: And that time too, they announced I'd be filling in for one performance and then-----

GK: You did the whole run, I watched from the wings. The first gender-blind casting of "King Lear".  You're not going to take this show off in some dark direction, are you?

SW: Not this week, no.

GK: This week? What do you mean, this week?

TR: Mr. Keillor, could I see you in my office, please?

GK: Now?

TR: Now.

GK: Is this about work, sir? Sir?