Minnesota Hot Dish

Minnesota Public Radio’s Fitzgerald Theater: A Prairie Home Companion Movie

I thought David was kidding the other morning when he told me about this. It was on one of the NPR weekend news shows – I must have been completely unconscious, or perhaps I was downstairs indulging in Honey Nut Cheerios and fooling around with the iPod. IN any case, the thought of a movie about PHC, set backstage at the (fictitious) last broadcast, directed by (this is not fictitious) Robert Altman is just sixty-seven kinds of surreal.

Woody Harrelson is in it. Why?
Meryl Streep is in it. Why?
Lily Tomlin is in it. Not so much why, somehow.
Virginia Madsen is in it. She’s come a long way since Highlander II.

According to the Fitzgerald Theater link, the movie has wrapped, but there’s plenty of Minnesota hot dish still going around – much of it concerning the massive amounts of sushi ordered and consumed by various cast members.

Apparently there’s some sort of wacky conflict introduced into the plot, with a conglomerate shutting the production down (oooh, those evil corporate bastids!). Apparently the tension induced by putting on a more or less “live” radio show, keeping musicians and on-air talent wrangled and ready to to, and dealing with unexpected glitches isn’t enough for Hollywood. Not to mention the “face made for radio” issues – although I am a big admirer of Garrison Keillor’s, he’s not exactly box office material.

I’ve been listening to “Prairie Home” almost since the very beginning – they started in 1974, and I was listening regularly by about 1980 or earlier. It freaks me out that it’s been on the air (with a break or two) for 30 years. Whenever this movie comes out, I guess we’re going to HAVE to see it just to find out what the hell the deal is (also, to possibly see “Bertha’s Kitty Boutique”).

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