How is the new season of the Chris Thile-lead Prairie Home Companion? Field correspondent Isabelle Wattenberg went out to Lake Wobegon and reports back.
A span of Minnesota’s generations cozied up in the red plush interior of the Fitzgerald Theater for Saturday’s A Prairie Home Companion, which delivered a decidedly fall-forward show. Variety bits covered gourd puns, apple orchards designed for the Instagrammer, and falling leaf metaphors (Spoiler: They’re all sad). This observer appreciated Margo Price’s song Pay Gap and Madison Cunningham’s graceful ballads, while Randy Newman’s presence sent a shy giddiness over the stage—finally broken when Chris Thile discovered they share an appreciation for baseball icon Greg Maddux. Also props to Minnesota-born comedian Alice Wetterland for one-upping Minnesota nice with the concept of Minnesota sad. Those who listened in missed long concession lines—the show paired well with both Grain Belt and red wine—Chris Thile’s ode to his nemesis the countdown clock (‘One day you will count up,’ he mused), and his full-to-bursting expressions of joy and astonishment, elicited from his own band and guest artists alike.