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Radio Hour fantastic holiday offering


Fri, Nov 29th, 2002
Posted in Features

One of the tastiest treats available in Fillmore County this holiday season is the Commonweal's final play of the year. The 1940's Radio Hour. In a formula oddly similar to the highly successful television show, Seinfeld, the new play, which opened November 22, offers quirky characters, lots of laughs, with only the barest wisp of a plot to hold the fun together.

And that description doesn't even touch on the music. I didn't keep count, but the program lists twenty one well-known radio hits from the 1940's. Gentle hits like "I'll Never Smile Again," along with bouncy numbers like "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" and "I've Got a Gal in Kalamazoo" kept the preview audience humming and swaying.

The story takes place in a single evening, December 21, 1942, in the Hotel Astor's Algonquin Room in New York city. The early part of the play involves the gathering of the "usual suspects", the regular performers in a weekly, live radio show. The audience is given just enough information about each of the characters to know that these are, indeed, people with lives and struggles. Biff Baker (Mike Long) shows up in his military uniform; he has completed pilot's training and will ship out in the morning. No wonder his girlfriend, Connie Miller (Keely Wolter) seems sad and remote during the broadcast.

Johnny Cantone (Phil Wilcox), a popular Sinatra-wannabe, is unable to completely hide a drinking problem. The sweet, steadfast Ann Collier (Carla Noack) never loses her cool, but opens the emotional door a crack when she addresses her soldier, wherever he is, during the broadcast. Thom Pinault gives a delightful performance as Pops Bailey, the station's ruffled, cigar-smoking sound engineer, who runs a gambling business on the side.

But the play is not about any of these troubles. It is about good music, familiar humor, (question: Mind if I smoke? answer: I don't care if you burn!) and the resilience of the good people at home while the country was engaged in war overseas.

Stealing the show is Christine Winkler as Ginger Brooks. Winkler has the look and sound of the 1940's down to an art with her blonde curls piled high atop her head and ever-present chewing gum. Her character, an appealing combination of warm-heartedness and street smarts, lights up the stage like Christmas tinsel. Her sultry music and dance number, "Blues in the Night", was flawless, even on preview .....
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Rushford City Council: Liquor license fees questioned

Fri, Nov 29th, 2002
Posted in Features

Liquor licensing was a hot topic in the citizens concerns and comments portion of the Rushford City Council meeting November 25th. Business owners Judy Christian of Stumpys and Jim Kitchens of Nordic Lanes and American Legion and VFW representative ..... 
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Auction benefits scholarships

Fri, Nov 22nd, 2002
Posted in Features

If the possessions we leave behind are any indicator of who we are as a person, then by all observations Mary Terry Love was a well-educated woman whose interests were as broad as her travels.

When the balance of her estate went ..... 
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Judge Fabian denies motion for mistrial in Tuchek arson case

Fri, Nov 22nd, 2002
Posted in Features

Caledonia - After reviewing legal briefs filed by the prosecution and defense, and listening to oral arguments in the case, Judge James Fabian denied John Tucheks request for a mistrial on Monday, November 18, in Houston County District Court.[Read the Rest]

Murder defendant asks court for public defender

Fri, Nov 22nd, 2002
Posted in Features

Joseph Allen Folkert, charged with second degree murder in the death of Clarence Paulson, appeared in Fillmore County District Court on Monday, November 18, for a Rule 8 hearing.

Paulson was found dead at his rural Pilot Mound f ..... 
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Maust addresses Preston City Council regarding Heartland

Fri, Nov 22nd, 2002
Posted in Features

Robert Maust, Heartland Energy and Recycling, LLC, brought the Preston City Council up to speed on his latest efforts to address some of the negative concerns raised over the the proposed electrical power generating facility that would use tire-deriv ..... 
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Lanesboro City Council proceeds with Coffee Street bridge project

Fri, Nov 22nd, 2002
Posted in Features

A packed room, a court stenographer, and a couple of lawyersthe elements of a courtroom drama? Wrong, these were all part of an extremely eventful November 18th meeting of the Lanesboro City Council. Citizens packed the meeting room for the discussi ..... 
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Old-world wagon rekindles Gypsy spirit

Fri, Nov 15th, 2002
Posted in Features

It's not uncommon to come across wagons in all shapes and sizes dotting the countryside throughout the rural areas of Fillmore County. Wagons are a much needed and relied upon necessity for today's farmers. But travel a few miles north of Canton and ..... 
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Commissioner's Report: Wetland Preservation Program starts up

Fri, Nov 15th, 2002
Posted in Features

The Wetland Preservation Program took a major step forword as the county approved its first two qualified applicants. Jeremy Maul, Soil & Water Conservation District, presented applications for an 11.9 acre parcel in Jordon Township owned by Gary And ..... 
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