Prairie Home Companion returns to campus
Garrison Keillor, host of the nation's most popular radio show "A Prairie Home Companion," has a thing for Hill Auditorium.
"Garrison has told his staff that Hill has charm and charisma," says Stephen Schram, director of Michigan Public Media, which presents Keillor's appearance at U-M in June. "And he says it is perfect in terms of sound characteristics and it is the perfect size."
That may explain why Keillor is bringing the popular radio show back to Hill for a third time, June 14, to coincide with the Ann Arbor Summer Festival.
The Ann Arbor performance of "A Prairie Home Companion" includes Keillor's signature monologue "The News from Lake Wobegon" and familiar scripts like "The Adventures of Guy Noir" featuring regular cast members Tim Russell, Sue Scott, Fred Newman and more. Beginning with the trusted Tishomingo Blues, a variety of music genres are performed throughout the show by Guy's All-Star Shoe Band.
The show previously was presented at Hill in 1996 and 2001. While those performances included local talent, the Ypsilanti High School Chamber Singers in 1996 and Jo Serrapere and Jeremy Kittel in 2001, Schram says the lineup of performers this time has yet to be announced. The show traditionally involves comedy sketches, music, stories and ads for imaginary products.
The engagement, part of the Ann Arbor Summer Festival's 25th season celebration June 13-July 6, is co-presented with Michigan Radio.
Tickets go on sale at 9 a.m. April 21 through the Festival ticket office at (734) 764-2538, and at www.annarborsummerfestival.org.
Michigan Radio presents the show locally on WUOM-Ann Arbor (91.7 FM) and WFUM-Flint (91.1-FM). "Certainly nationally it is known as the most popular variety entertainment weekend program on public radio in United States," Schram says. "It is a national phenomenon in terms of its long-standing success and Garrison Keillor's creative instincts and storytelling. We're proud to be the exclusive public radio outlet for 'A Prairie Home Companion' in southeastern Michigan."
Airing live from 6-8 p.m. every Saturday, "A Prairie Home Companion" now is in its 34th year of production and heard by more than 4 million listeners each week via 580 public radio stations in the United States.
The 6 p.m. June 14 performance will be presented live with a repeat broadcast at 1 p.m. June 15.
The movie version of "A Prairie Home Companion" was released in 2006.
Ticket prices range from $25-$65.