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Play Review: Bus Stop


Sun, Sep 24th, 2000
Posted in

The Commonweal Theatre has come up with another winner in Bus Stop, a 1950’s comedy by William Inge. There’s a lot more than just laughs and slapstick going on in this play though. Loneliness, the play-wright seems to be saying, is the shared common denominator of the human condition.

The setting is a roadside diner in rural Kansas where four stranded bus passengers have taken refuge during a blinding March snowstorm. The diner is owned by Grace (Carla Noack), whose employee is the bright-eyed teenage wait-ress Elma (Stela Burdt). Elma is full of questions about life and love and Grace is the lonely and seasoned cynic. "If I didn’t have this restaurant to keep me busy, I’d probably go nuts," she says matter-of-factly.

Cherie (Christine Winkler) is a smalltime nightclub singer from the Ozarks. Winkler brings a provocative blend of raw sensuousness and campy trashiness to the role, which was immortalized by Marilyn Monroe in the movie version of the play. Cherie is being kidnapped, after a fashion, by Bo, a 21-year old Montana cowboy, who fell head over heels in love when he first saw her on stage in Kansas City.

Eric Knutson’s portrayal of the earnest and corny cowboy is a pure hoot, full of all the vigor and swagger of youth. He proclaims loudly to anyone who will listen that he’s "the prize bronco-buster, ‘n steer-roper, ‘n bulldogger, anywhere ‘round. . . .And what’s more I had my picture in Life magazine!" Bo, unaware that she detests him, is intent on taking Cherie back to his ranch where he plans to marry her.

Bo’s sidekick, Virgil, is an old time ranch hand and father figure, played with an understated dignity and power by David Hennessey. Virgil consuls Bo that he had better take the Sheriff’s (Nicholas Ozment) advice and leave Cherie alone. "You cain’t force a gal to marry ya. Ya jest cain’t do it."

When Bo asks him if he ever gets lonely, Virgil’s nasal-twanged reply is heartrending in its blunt honesty, "A long time ago, I gave up romancin’ and decided that I was just going to take bein’ lonesome for granted."

Then there’s Dr. Lyman (Christopher Oden), a former college professor and lecherous alcoholic, who can’t help himself from putting the amorous moves on Elma, the teenage waitress. Oden is mesmerizing as the disheveled yet erudite, Lyman, and his emotional unraveling is a fascinating thing to watch.

At one point he tells the swooning Elma, "My dear girl, I have disapproved of my en .....
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Gateway Towns

Sun, Sep 24th, 2000
Posted in

Austin


Greetings from Austin, Minnesota! Located on I-90, visitors from the west will come through this major city located on the Cedar River.

Austin is the home of the Fortune 500 company -- Geo. A. Hormel & ..... 
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Northeastern Iowa

Sun, Sep 24th, 2000
Posted in

Northeast Iowa shares much of the same topography of Historic Bluff Country. Limestone bluffs, meandering rivers, springs, and rolling hills in the east and softly rolling hills with rich prairie soil in the west. Minnesota and Iowa also share the sa ..... 
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Anytown, MN

Sun, Sep 24th, 2000
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Nestled in a deep valley of the Root River is the unique city of Anytown. This quaint townsite of less than one thousand residents, located in the state hardwood forest reminds one of the many hillside villages in Norway.

Strolling down the ..... 
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Not in my backyard

Sun, Sep 24th, 2000
Posted in

Monday, June 26, 2000

In the usually quiet burg of Spring Valley, the hot topic of conversation has switched as of late. While recent flooding has left the community with much to contemplate, another issue is sizzling to the forefront. What’s ..... 
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Wykoff, MN

Sun, Sep 24th, 2000
Posted in

Our limestone karst region is dotted with "sink holes" which indicate caverns below ground such as the caves at Mystery Cave near Forestville State Park.

When you visit the heart of Bluff Country, take the drive on MN Hwy. 80 and you will fin ..... 
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Whalan/Highland area

Sun, Sep 24th, 2000
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Whalan, with a population of 90, is one of the smaller towns along the trail. The town provides excellent access to the Root River Trail and nearby recreational activities. Situated at the midway point between Fountain and Rushford on the Root River ..... 
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Stewartville, MN

Sun, Sep 24th, 2000
Posted in

Stewartville is a small city with a friendly atmosphere lo-cated in the beautiful Root River Valley 10 miles south of Rochester. Known as the Gateway to the Historic Bluff County, Stewartville has much to offer, whether you come for a visit or stay f ..... 
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St. Charles, MN

Sun, Sep 24th, 2000
Posted in

St. Charles, known as the Gladiola Capitol, and located at the Gateway to Whitewater State Park to the north and I-90 entrance to S.E. MN. Historic Bluff Country to the south.

It boasts a historic central business district, several year-round ..... 
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