Yah, shore, ‘Minnesotan’ is a good one

Published 9:59 am Friday, April 27, 2012

Column: Paul Cooper, Stage Right

After the balmy “non-winter” we just had, it might be a challenge to put yourself in a blizzard-bound lodge up north, but this is where “How to Talk Minnesotan: Winter Version” takes place.

Paul Cooper

The set, designed by Steve Kinney, is up to his usual standards, wonderful craftsmanship and design — complete with stone fireplace.

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The music is provided by a combo consisting of Laura Virgil on keyboard, Mark Meuser on drums and Todd Peterson on bass guitar.

The play is really a series of short observations about life in Minnesota, most of which all true Minnesotans will have experienced at one time or another.

The characters present in Lost Walleye Lodge are six: Ed (Al Blumenshein) the stoic and stalwart owner, Lucy (Emily Miller) his loving and mostly tolerant wife, Miller (Larry Pierce) a famous backhoe driver, Donny (Brian Mattson) a feed hauler, Darlene (Jenika Boersma) the young daughter of the owners, and Russ (Michael Szymanski) boyfriend of said daughter.

All of the characters have their chance to shine in a solo, whether it is about snow angels, lutefisk (of course!), Jell-O salad or traffic regulations. These moments are interspersed with commercial ads for other ingenious products too numerous to mention. Let’s just say they’re uncommon.

There are also radio announcements which all true Minnesotans will recognize, especially those concerning weather and schools. Did I say ice fishing is also mentioned?

This is a light-hearted play designed especially for us. So the answer to the question should you see this play would be: Yah, shore, you betcha.


Paul Cooper is a retired English teacher who has performed in area theaters for more than 20 years.