This weekend on Tent Show Radio it’s Rickie Lee Jones…and listening to her sing got me to thinking about what it means to to be cool. For those of us who aren’t particularly cool, there is hope. From the monologue:
I do think you can be temporarily cool. I’ve been cool a couple of times. It usually doesn’t last more then ten seconds, usually until I shut my seatbelt in the door, or realize I had my t-shirt on backwards. As a matter of fact, the second I start feeling cool, I check my fly.
My all-time record for being cool was six minutes. I was at this deal…
Tune in for the rest…
Well, this is good news. I’ve just received word from Tom up there at the Big Top Chautauqua tent that Tent Show Radio can now be streamed pretty much any old time you like. Shows will be uploaded the first Friday after the original air date, and will be available online for one year (So far all shows are available…occasionally the artist may decline permission for streaming).
Several shows are online already and can be heard here. It continues to be my privilege to introduce that acts on air and to contribute a monologue over each intermission (included in the stream). Over the last several monologues I’ve been talking about my neighbor Tom and our attempt to weld up a brush hog.
Of course if you wanna listen in real time, you’re always welcome to dial in one of these stations.
One more round of Keeper of the Light at Big Top tonight. Times and ticket info here. Such a poignant, powerful show, and a big Keeper thank you to all the BTC cast, orchestra, volunteers, and crew at every level. Every now and then I am allowed to merge with their life up there on Mt. Ashwabay for a few days, then go on my way. They’re at it all the time, whether hosting national acts or producing homegrown fare. If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll consider including them on your trip.
Last night’s premiere was a lively one, with an unexpected comedic moment when I opened the show by failing to light about four matches in a row whilst quoting Homer. Favorite part of the show for me? Sitting backstage mid-show, listening to a gung-ho crowd react to my fellow players. After watching how hard they worked all week to bring this together, it was nice to hear them rewarded by the folks in the seats.
Upshot of this show? I can now give you a nice little five-minute mini-history of the Fresnel lens.
Between stints working on the new book, I’ve been rehearsing with the cast and crew up on Mount Ashwabay. For the next three nights we’ll be performing Keeper of the Light, a tribute to the men and women who kept the lights burning in the sometimes treacherous waters of Lake Superior. It is a story of fierce storms, shipwrecks, and long haunted evenings for the families living out among the Apostle Islands – all taken from the old journals of the lighthouse keepers. This show was first produced at Big Top Chautauqua in 1989. Created by Betty Ferris and Warren Nelson, Nelson-Ferris Concert Company.
Keeper is historical, happy and humorous…but it also evokes the tragic fury of Lake Superior with an eery verisimilitude that will have you reaching for a life vest or offering a prayer for those who have perished trying to light or land upon her treacherous shores.
As always, it’s a privilege to be welcomed beneath the canvas by the BTC folks old and new. Thanks to all of you.