TLHD Presents: Surfin' Minnesota - Summer in the 60's

Summer in Minnesota, the season when hot dish gives way to salads and "exposed flesh" goes back to being skin. As a kid in the 1960's the last day of school was when gym shoes magically turned into sneakers, school clothes became play clothes and teachers went back to...wherever teachers come from.

Songs like "King of the Road", "Hot Fun in the Summertime", "Hello Muddah" and "Dock of the Bay" dominated the AM transistor airwaves and a new baseball team, The Minnesota Twins, moved to town. There was bar-b-que, swimming lessons, family vacations, camping, riding bikes, carnivals. Then, as now, our state really knew how to do summer.

Please join Kevin Kling, Dan Chouinard and Prudence Johnson for an entertaining evening of stories and songs celebrating a kid's eye view of Minnesota in the 1960's.

Kevin Kling is from Minneapolis, Minnesota where he lives on purpose. "When you freeze paradise it lasts a little longer". He has performed his stories in libraries, school gymnasiums, The Kennedy Center, Off-Broadway, the Guthrie and storytelling festivals around the US, including the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN. His international tours include Australia, Europe and Thailand. He has been a commentator for National Public Radio's “All Things Considered”. Kevin works often with Interact Center, a company of performers with and without disabilities, exploring how, through our stories, we are connected.

Part funny guy, part poet and playwright, part wise man.

-Krista Tippett, “On Being”, American Public Media

Kevin Kling and Prudence Johnson joined TLHD Ex. Dir. Nicole Mulder on KXRA Radio to talk about the show and the influences on it. (AUDIO BELOW)


ABOUT THE CAST & CREW

Dan Chouinard was born in 1961, too early to remember anything about JFK but in plenty of time to memorize every word of the "Mary Poppins" soundtrack LP. He grew up in Richfield and Lindstrom, learning music along with a houseful of brothers and sisters. He lives in St. Paul and works not only as a pianist and accordionist, but also as the creator and host of live shows for Minnesota Public Radio, the Minnesota Historical Society and many others. When not performing he can be found bicycling interesting places with his tent and accordion.

Prudence Johnson is a true child of the sixties, emerging from the decade freshly graduated from high school and ready to join a hippie commune. However, her life took a different turn. She became a professional singer, recording more than a dozen albums, working in films such as "A River Runs Through It," and "A Prairie Home Companion," touring across the country and the world, and appearing on and off on Garrison Keillor's live weekly radio show. In recent years, her focus has been on creating multi-media works for concert and theater stages that blend performance with her interests in history and literature.

Kevin Kling is a well-known playwright and storyteller, and his commentaries can be heard on NPR’s All Things Considered. His plays and adaptations have been performed around the world. Kling’s autobiographical tales are as enchanting as they are true to life: hopping freight trains, getting hit by lightning, performing his banned play in Czechoslovakia, growing up in Minnesota, and eating things before knowing what they are.

Alan Frechtman (Set Designer and Technical Director) is a Brooklyn Boy lost in the Diaspora came through Minnesota in 1992 and decided to stay awhile. While in Minnesota he bumped into a tall, sort of strange looking fella who took a liking to Alan and his Brooklynese Chutzpa and offered him a job on his small radio show, A Prairie Home Companion. Alan, a lover of America’s Pastime also landed the Job as the first P.A. Announcer for the St. Paul Saints for their first two seasons as well as the TV Merchandise Pitchman for the Minor League Hockey Team the Minnesota Moose. Alan has toured extensively around the State with a number of Prudence Johnson shows and loves to visit the Out State Folk of the Great State of Frozen Chosen. Nowadays, Alan can be seen Stage Managing at the Fitzgerald Theater in Downtown St. Paul, “Where You’ll Always Find Parking.”

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