As completely satisfying as the weekly 2 hour broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion is, it can seem like a souvenir when compared to a live broadcast, such as we’ve witnessed at Tanglewood the first Saturday of summer since 2000. The radio audience gets 120 minutes of humor and music; those in attendance get all that, plus the chance that the strolling serenading Keillor will help himself to their picnic goodies before airtime, and the opportunity to sing along with him, the show’s musical guests, and the Guy’s All Star Show Band for another hour afterwards.
Garrison Keillor and Andrea Suchy sing America the Beautiful, 2010 Tanglewood encore
With BSO opening night two weeks away, the show was without the usual participation of BSO/TMC musicians. Rather, it featured 3 musical guests, all drawn from the distaff side: Andrea Suchy, Hilary Thavis, and The Wailin’ Jennys. Expanding upon that gynocentric theme were the Lives of the Cowboys skit and the introduction of Erica Rhodes as Keillor’s replacement as the show’s host (once certain issues are resolved, that is).
The localised scripts were funny; especially Guy Noir on the case of the imaginary grandson of Edith and Teddy Wharton showing up to claim the Mount and convert it into a dirt bike race track. Scripts and podcast of the show are available at PrairieHome.org.
Update: Your intrepid reporter is seen on the Prairie Home Youtube clip (above) capturing Flip video of the encore: