I Had No “Clue”

August 20

OK, this photo is just meant to be a Facebook (which always posts the first photo) attention grabber. I took this at the Final Four in Atlanta in 2002 or 2007, who remembers such things . . .

There are “cameo” appearances at the end of this post by half of the Salty Dogs and Tuesday Nightclub . . .

Editor’s note: This is my 6th and last year on the theatre board. It was fun and entertaining, and I have nothing but optimism for TLHD’s future. Here’s a look back to thoughts five years ago:

“Whoever neglects the arts when he is young has lost the past and is dead to the future.” Sophocles said that. I never met the man, but I think he was on to something. One should always lead off a discussion about the arts with a quote from Sophocles anyway. None of his quotes ever went viral, however, because he never put them on Facebook. Which leads me, of course, to Theatre L’Homme Dieu (TLHD).

THLD is in its 57th year of existence, the longest running summer stock theater in Minnesota. While growing up in the Ozzie and Harriet-ness of Alexandria’s Victoria Heights, I recall attending TLHD in the early 60’s. I was not a theater devotee, so my only memories of the theater then of are the mosquitoes. And it seemed to be a very long ride from our Victoria Heights cocoon. Then I went away for almost 40 years. The theater somehow continued on without me. After we retired back to Alex, the theater went through a major transition going independent after a long affiliation with St. Cloud State University. Now TLHD is doing better than ever through associations with various professional theater companies from around the state. And they love performing here.

I recognize not everyone is a fan of live theater. But you can say that about anything – except bacon. It is important to recognize the role it plays in the arts in general, and how important the arts are to quality of life. Think of it, if nobody is producing entertainment, there would be no need to invent devices to disseminate it. An iPad or television would be useless without anything to listen to or watch on them. It’s hard to imagine a life without the Beatles, or “Seinfeld,” or “Hollywood Squares,” for Pete’s sake. Live theater is where it all began.

In its quintessential Minnesota lakes area setting, the drive into the TLHD’s campus produces an excitement rush in its own right. So for a couple of months each summer, go out occasionally and grab one of the 272 available seats (I think I counted that right?) for any or all of the six plays, performed six days a week, plus some special events. And at the end of an event, if the spirit so moves you, stand and applaud, shout “Bravo,” and remind yourself you have just had a wonderful life experience. ~ Me

August 11

Please note this was a production of Theatre L’Homme Dieu. Many thanks and kudos to Nicole Mulder, the artistic staff, and the technical crew for a rousing season finale . . .

[The following photos were taken about an hour before an evening performance of the play. In fact the audience was starting for their seats as we were wrapping this up. Jenna Nowak, of the technical crew and regular theatre staff, set the scene for each shot – the actors posed and I hit the shutter button. The quotes with the photos generally do not match the scene (for reasons of time and convenience) . . . ]

But this is ridiculous. If he were such a patriotic American, why didn’t he just report us to the authorities? ~ Mr. Green

He decided to put his information to good use and make a little money off of it. What could be more American than that? ~ Wadsworth

I was in the hall. I know because I was there. ~ Wadsworth

When once your point of view is changed, the very thing which was so damning becomes a clue to the truth. ~ Arthus Conan Doyle

Who was the real Hitchcock? I interviewed him once and haven’t a clue. ~ Roger Ebert

With ‘The Simpsons,’ people didn’t know what they were gonna see. They didn’t have a clue. ~ Sam Simon

Oh, who ever it is, they gotta go away or they’ll be killed. ~ Mrs. Peacock

This is war, Peacock. Casualties are inevitable. You can not make an omelet without breaking eggs, every cook will tell you that. ~ Colonel Mustard

I haven’t a clue what’s going to happen next, and I can’t wait to find out. ~ Mandy Patinkin

Where is it? ~ The Motorist

What? The body? ~ Wadsworth

The phone. What body? ~ The Motorist

If you think America is great, remember that every person telling you otherwise may carry a clue to making it greater. ~ Anand Giridharadas

‘Clue’ was a big flop when it came out, but it became a… It’s a movie that almost everyone references with me, now, when I run into people. ~ Michael McKean

That’s not six. ~ Miss Scarlett

One plus two plus two plus one. ~ Wadsworth

Why has the car stopped? ~ Miss Scarlett

It’s frightened. ~ Professor Plum

Husbands should be like Kleenex. Soft, strong, and disposable. ~ Mrs. White

Being killed is pretty final, wouldn’t you say? ~ Mrs. White

It’s a matter of life after death, now that he’s dead I have a life. ~ Mrs. White

Oh my! Nobody can get into THAT position. ~ Mrs. White

Sure they can. Let me show you. ~ Professor Plum

Get off me! ~ Mrs. White

He was always a stupidly optimistic man. I mean, I’m afraid it came as a great shock when he died but he was found at died at home his head had been cut off and, um, so had his, umm… you KNOW. ~ Mrs. White

A double negative! ~ Wadsworth

Double negative? You mean you have photographs? ~ Colonel Mustard

How many husbands have you had? ~ Colonel Mustard
Mine or other women’s? ~ Mrs. White

But he was your second husband. Your first husband also disappeared. ~ Wadsworth

But that was his job. He was an illusionist. ~ Mrs. White

But he never reappeared. ~ Wadsworth

He wasn’t a very good illusionist. ~ Mrs. White

Frankly, Scarlett, I don’t give a damn. ~ Wadsworth

So it was you. I was going to expose you. ~ Mr. Green

I know. So I choose to expose myself. ~ Wadsworth

Please, there are ladies present. ~ Colonel Mustard

There’s one thing I don’t understand. ~ Mr. Green

One thing? ~ Professor Plum

And are you the host? ~ Colonel Mustard

Me, sir? No, I’m just the humble butler. ~ Wadsworth

And what exactly is it you do here? ~ Colonel Mustard

I buttle, sir. ~ Wadsworth

Communism was just a red herring. ~ Wadsworth

Uh, is there a little girl’s room in the hall? ~ Mrs. Peacock

Oui oui, Madame. ~ Yvette

No, I just have to powder my nose. ~ Mrs. Peacock

Yvette, could you attend to the Colonel and give him anything he requires? Within reason, that is. ~ Wadsworth

I have something to say. I’m not going to wait for Wadsworth here to unmask me. I work for the State Department, and I’m a homosexual. I feel no personal shame or guilt about this, but I must keep it a secret, or I will lose my job on security grounds. ~ Mr. Green

See? Just like the Mounties, we always get our man. ~ Wadsworth

Mrs. Peacock was a man? ~ Mr. Green

You lure men to their deaths like a spider with flies. ~ Colonel Mustard
Flies are where men are most vulnerable. ~ Mrs. White

Are you a cop? ~ Mrs. White
No, I’m a plant. ~ Mr. Green
A plant? I thought men like you were usually called a fruit. ~ Miss Scarlett

I am your singing telegram. ~ Singing telegram girl

What room is this? ~ Colonel Mustard

Search me. ~ Miss Scarlett

All right. ~ Colonel Mustard

Get your mitts off me. ~ Miss Scarlett

Do you like Kipling, Miss Scarlett? ~ Colonel Mustard

Sure, I’ll eat anything. ~ Miss Scarlett

Everything all right? ~ Mrs. Peacock

Yup, two corpses, everything’s fine. ~ Colonel Mustard

Are you trying to make me look stupid in front of the other guests? ~ Colonel Mustard
You don’t need any help from me, sir. ~ Wadsworth
That’s right! ~ Colonel Mustard

In your hands, you each have a lethal weapon. If you denounce me to the police, you will also be exposed and humiliated. I’ll see to that in court. But, if one of you kills Wadsworth now, no one but the seven of us will ever know. He has the key to the front door, which he said would only be opened over his dead body. I suggest we take him up on that offer. The only way to avoid finding yourselves on the front pages is for one of you to kill Wadsworth. NOW. ~ Mr. Boddy

Over my dead body. ~ Wadsworth

He couldn’t have been dead. ~ Mr. Green

He was. At least I thought he was, but what difference does it make now? ~ Professor Plum

Makes quite a difference to him. ~ Ms. Scarlett

And to make a long story short. ~ Wadsworth

Too late. ~ All

They all did it. But if you wanna know who killed Mr. Boddy, I did. In the hall. With the revolver. All right, Chief, take’em away. I’m gonna go home and sleep with my wife. ~ Mr. Green

Oh, you’re a doctor? ~ Mrs. White
I am, but I don’t ptactice. ~ Professor Plum
Practice makes perfect. Ha! I think most men need a little practice, don’t you Mrs. Peacock? ~ Miss Scarlett

Maybe there is life after death. ~ Miss Scarlett
Life after death is as improbable as sex after marriage! ~ Mrs. White

This is war Peacock. Casualties are inevitable. You can not make an omelette without breaking some eggs, every cook will tell you that. ~ Colonel Mustard

But look what happened to the cook. ~ Mrs. Peacock

It’s a free country, don’t you know that? ~ Cop

I didn’t know it was THAT free. ~ Wadsworth

Three murders? This is getting serious. ~ Wadsworth

[The whole cast and crew . . . ]

I’ll run into somebody, and of all the movies I’ve done, they may say something about ‘Back to the Future’ or whatever, but then they make reference to ‘Clue’ very favorably. ~ Christopher Lloyd

[The whole cast, crew, and theatre staff . . . ]

Professor Plum, you were once a professor of psychiatry specializing in helping paranoid and homicidal lunatics suffering from delusions of grandeur. ~ Wadsworth

Yes, but now I work for the United Nations. ~ Professor Plum

 So your work has not changed. ~ Wadsworth

Bon decor. But it is dark upstairs, and I am frightened of ze dark. Will anyone go wiz me? ~ Yvette

I will. ~ Professor Plum

I will. ~ Colonel Mustard

No, thank you. ~ Mr. Green

[The funny cast and crew . . . ]

Why should the police come? Nobody’s called them. ~ Wadsworth

You mean– Oh, my God! Of course! ~ Mrs. Peacock

So why shouldn’t we get away with it? We’ll stack the bodies in the cellar, lock it, leave quietly one at a time, and forget that any of this ever happened. ~ Wadsworth

What are you afraid of, a fate worse than death? ~ Professor Plum
No, just death, isn’t that enough? ~ Mrs. Peacock

‘Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow, . . .

That I shall say good night till it be morrow.’ . . .

August 14

[The quarterly wine pick up party at Carlos Creek Winery, driving past the Alexandria Golf Club where we enjoyed breakfast a couple hours earlier . . . ]

[The party for the first time was being held in the brewery, behind the roadside buildings . . . ]

[A “backyard” view . . . ]

[As is this . . . ]

[The Super driving her VW convertible up the hill for parking . . . ]

[The roadside buildings from behind . . . ]

[Beer, beer, beer, beer . . . ]

[And then back out front for the entertainment: Greg Donahue on the fiddle and Erik Schultz on the guitar and voice . . . ]

“’I’m forty-two,’ he said. ‘That’s eighty-four in musician years.’” ~ Monica Wood

Life can’t be all bad when for ten dollars you can buy all the Beethoven sonatas and listen to them for ten years. ~ William F. Buckley, Jr.

I wish I was a punk rocker with flowers in my hair. ~ Sandi Thom

Where words fail, music speaks. ~ Hans Christian Andersen

Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music. ~ Ronald Reagan

[Still striving for nirvana . . . ]

I love to sing, and I love to drink scotch. Most people would rather hear me drink scotch. ~ George Burns

Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without. ~ Confucius

August 16

[Tuesday night at the Garden Bar with Tuesday Nightclub . . . ]

[The regulars, l-r: Terry Kennedy, Jim Faber, Bill Riggs, and Al Lieffort . . . ]

When a piece gets difficult, make faces. ~ Arthur Schnabel

Brass bands are all very well in their place – outdoors and several miles away. ~ Thomas Beecham

[And on this night Dale White on flugelhorn sat in with the boys . . . ]

Hell is full of musical amateurs. ~ George Bernard Shaw

I always make sure that the lid over the keyboard is open before I start to play. ~ Arthur Schnabel

It would be interesting if Elvis were reincarnated as an Elvis impersonator. ~ Demetri Martin

Composers shouldn’t think too much – it interferes with their plagiarism. ~ Howard Dietz

I always hate it when people watch a musical and they go, ‘Oh, it’s so unrealistic, no one just breaks into song in the middle of their day.’ Yeah, they do- if they’re me. ~ Zachary Levi

Jazz came to America three hundred years ago in chains. ~ Paul Whiteman

Give me a laundry list and I’ll set it to music. ~ Gioachino Rossini

Nothing soothes me more after a long and maddening course of pianoforte recitals than to sit and have my teeth drilled. ~ George Bernard Shaw

And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Why waste money on psychotherapy when you can listen to the B Minor Mass? ~ Michael Torke

I don’t know anything about music. In my line you don’t have to. ~ Elvis Presley

People never ask people doing serious music, ‘Do you ever think about doing funny music?’ ~ Al Yankovic

If anyone has conducted a Beethoven performance, and then doesn’t have to go to an osteopath, then there’s something wrong. ~ Simon Rattle

All the shopping malls and restaurants and airports are riddled with low-fidelity loudspeakers, which apparently have developed the ability to reproduce by themselves; these are all connected to a special programming service called Music That Nobody Really Likes, and you cannot get away from it. ~ Dave Barry

Up Next: Likely more music . . .

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