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Commonweals Lonely Planet balances philosophy and humor


Fri, Apr 8th, 2005
Posted in Features

Early on in Lonely Planet, Carl says to his friend Jody, Everything good is obtained through simplicity. Thats why when youre all screwed up, they say you have a complex.

The line is a perfect example of the balance between philosophy and humor that makes the play by Steve Dietz so engaging.

Lonely Planet opened April 2 at the Commonweal Theater in Lanesboro. It is the story of two friends: Jody, owner of a small store that sells maps, and his lovable, compulsive liar friend, Carl. The story starts out lighthearted, almost absurd, but quickly becomes more serious as the audience realizes that the men are both living in a world of grief for countless friends and acquaintances whove died of AIDS, as well as dealing with fear for their own lives.

The fears that we can name lose powerthose that remain unnamed affect us profoundly. Its interesting, then, that the words AIDS or HIV are not even found in the script. But the presence of the epidemic is palpable.

Jody finds comfort in maps, because they represent something fixed in a world of uncertainty. However, the comfort he finds in maps has led to an inability to leave his store at all.

Carl deals with the terror by collecting chairs (and professions) of the dead. Each character attempts to call the other on his unhealthy coping methods, but ultimately both find comfort in the solidity of their friendship.

Because the play has only two characters and one setting, the challenge is to create a natural friendship with realistic conversation between real people. I dont want to insult actors Hal Cropp and Patrick Bailey by referring to them as veterans, but they are without a doubt experienced actors capable of meeting the challenge of this play.

Hal Cropp as Jody comes across as slow-paced and deliberate, even in his avoidance of the world around him. Ironically, it seems that the more he ignores the world, the bigger problem it becomes for him. He shines in an unexpected angry outburst when Carl is pushing him too hard to get back into the world.

In the short time that hes been with Commonweal, Patrick Bailey has established himself as a versatile actor. Im a big fan of his, and though hes wonderful at broad comedy (Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged), I find I admire him just as much for his subtlety when .....
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Londons Speakers Corner is an exercise in democracy

Fri, Apr 1st, 2005
Posted in Features

LONDON A graying woman positions herself on a kitchen step stool and begins her tirade. There are too many hanger-ons, she tells the crowd gathered around. This is a country full of takers, not givers...   Her message c ..... 
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Lettner pleads not guilty to all charges

Fri, Apr 1st, 2005
Posted in Features

PRESTON - Ryan Michael Lettner, a Chatfield police officer, pled not guilty to all charges in Fillmore County District Court on Monday, March 28. He also waived his right to an omnibus hearing, where the evidence against a defendant is laid out.[Read the Rest]

Rushford Council says no to generators

Fri, Apr 1st, 2005
Posted in Features

RUSHFORD - The Rushford City Council made two major and long awaited decisions at their regular meeting March 28. The council passed a motion to cancel the back-up electric generators; they also voted to accept the wholesale energy proposal from Tri- ..... 
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Fillmore County District Court

Fri, Apr 1st, 2005
Posted in Features

Felony Charges

Justin Leroy Rickert, 28, of Rushford, was charged in Fillmore County District Court on Monday, March 28, with three felony counts of theft, receiving stolen property and burglary related to the theft of a golf c ..... 
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Students value educational opportunity in community that cares

Fri, Apr 1st, 2005
Posted in Features

Editors note: With declining enrollments and flat funding, many school districts are in financial crisis eagerly awaiting what the Minnesota legislature will do this year. Locally, Fillmore Central and Kingsland are talking about the possibility of ..... 
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Fillmore County District Court: Stewartville man gets prison for DUI; Preston man sent to prison for burglaries

Fri, Mar 25th, 2005
Posted in Features

Ryan Everett Hinze, 25, of Stewartville, was sentenced to 60 months in prison by Judge Robert Benson in Fillmore County District Court on Monday, March 21 after pleading guilty to one felony count of driving while under the influence. Hinze was arres ..... 
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Fillmore Central School District: How to divide tennis court compensation discussed

Fri, Mar 25th, 2005
Posted in Features

With Highway 52 construction scheduled to commence next month, cleaning up final details regarding the old tennis court and its equipment adjacent to the elementary-middle school property was discussed. Preston attorney David Joerg, acting with the p ..... 
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Fillmore Central 8th grader writes, acts and directs play

Fri, Mar 25th, 2005
Posted in Features

Samantha Gibson of Preston, an eighth grader at Fillmore Central Middle School, likes to write. So much so, that she spends her spare time penning out book length stories. She even claims to have a movie script under her belt.

S ..... 
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