Prairie proliferation

Prairie Home Companion, the radio broadcast and the movie, have been in Austin. The Broken Spoke was closed for a private party last night. Has this ever happened within living memory on a Saturday? Was it the Prairie Home people? I don’t listen to the radio show all that often but the audience seemed to be super-enthusiastic, surpassing the ordinary attendees, and could be heard loud and clear singing two songs from the seats. Joe Ely was in acoustic mode, accompanied by Joel Guzman of Los Aztex. Cindy Cashdollar, Red Volkaert, and Elana James, singing and playing as the High-Flyers, were the true hits of the show. Molly Ivins recounted a story or two that probably won’t mean much to the national audience, since the names and situations involved were pretty Austin- and Texas-specific. The movie has no narrative propulsion or cinematic interest to speak of, but that doesn’t mean it’s not view-worthy. Most entertaining were the house band, Tomlin and Streep (in that order), Kevin Kline as Guy Noir, Dusty (Woody Harrelson, and great) and Lefty (John C. Reilly, also great), and Tommy Lee Jones’s cameo. One Streep-Tomlin duet went on too long, but that’s not their fault; it had an excess of verses after the point had been made. I did love to hear them sing together. The audience skewed old.

1 Comment so far

  1. Annie in Austin (unregistered) on June 12th, 2006 @ 2:15 pm

    We listen to the Prairie Home Companion on most weekends, and loved the movie, having been fans for years, both here and in Illinois. There were a lot of older people at the Barton Creek on Saturday. When we saw “Jumping Off Bridges”, my husband & I undoubtedly raised the average age for that audience, but we were slightly younger-than-average for the matinee of PHC. My guess is that a lot of the 3M contingent that moved here from Minnesota in the early nineteen eighties, are now 70-ish retirees enjoying the nostalia.

    Although the show was Minnesotan, Texas was ably represented by Tommy Lee Jones, Woody Harrelson and LQ Jones. Chicagoans included Virginia Madsen and John C Reilly.


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