I drove from Madison (where I had stopped to spend the night en route from Grand Rapids, at the nicest Candlewood I’ve ever seen, by the way!) to Minneapolis last Monday morning, and after getting settled at the Doubletree downtown, I set off for the Mall of America! I made a quick stop in Saint Paul to visit my favorite yarn shop, The Yarnery, but it was closed for Memorial Day. Boo! I drove on to the Mall of America, which I did not plan to spend much time at – I had a few specific things to pick up, and I also just wanted to see the madness of the place.
Well, it was pretty crazy – enormous, with a giant amusement park in the middle. Like I said, I didn’t intend to stay long, and as soon as I had what I needed, I was on my way. It was a fun outing, but I have definitely been to nicer malls – it also took forever to navigate around because of having to go around the amusement park. No matter, I got what I needed and sated my curiosity at the same time!
While I still had the rental car, I drove around Minneapolis a bit, and then later met up with Bret for dinner. We went to a place over by Loring Park which had some good small dishes and some yummy cocktails.
Load-in the next day went well – the stagehands were a good bunch and opening went extremely well. We had an opening night party at a hotel near the theater, and everyone was abuzz when Eddie Izzard (who was in town doing his show) appeared and hung out for a bit.
On Wednesday, Ryan and I went to Brit’s Pub for lunch – a giant English pub with lawn bowling on the roof! It was right next door to our hotel, too, which made it all the more convenient. I had a yummy plate of fish and chips. To work off all the calories, we went for a long bike ride after that. We rode over to the river, and past an old mill which is now a museum and park. We also saw the new Guthrie Theater building, which looks really spectacular. We continued down the river past where the bridge collapse was, and down to the Midtown Greenway – a bike path which cuts across the whole city. We took that back to downtown.
The bike paths in Minneapolis, like Madison, are incredibly plentiful throughout the city, and many of the streets also have bike lanes. It was great to be back in a city that was so bike-friendly!
On Wednesday night we had another party thrown for us at a rooftop bar called Norman’s. There was some good sushi, and it was so nice to sit outside. Minneapolis is big on the rooftop and outdoor seating – what a nice way to spend the warmer months!
On Thursday I decided to give a visit to The Yarnery another try. I took the bus across the river to Saint Paul, where I had lunch and spent some time yarn shopping. I bought some wool to make another time capsule cozy for Tony, and I also bought some washable cotton and wool to start making some baby things for Michele’s two on-the-way. I also spent some time sitting in Starbucks knitting – it was a lovely afternoon!
On Thursday night Ryan and I met up with his old friend Brent, for drinks (and tater tots!) at Grumpy’s, an old haunt of theirs. It was raining something fierce outside. The weather in these parts is a little nutty! Lots of lightning, and earlier in the day, the tornado sirens had gone off!
On Friday we met up with Brent again at the Walker, where he works. The Walker is an art museum with a performance space and sculpture garden (Brent is the sound guy in the performance space). We walked around and looked at the sculptures and then played a game of mini golf on the course that had been designed by artists (which is coincidentally on the site where the old Guthrie Theater used to stand). We had a lot of fun.
On Friday night, Ryan, Bret and I went for another drink at Brit’s – this time we sat on the roof and watched a bit of the lawn bowling. It was a bit crazy up there, being Friday night, and being that a Twin’s game had just let out, but we had fun nonetheless.
On Saturday and Sunday, we had our usual four shows, and also tried to cram in some last minute dining excursions. We ate at an Irish pub called The Local on Saturday, and then on Sunday rode our bikes over to the warehouse district for some delicious pizza at Pizza Luce.
We also celebrated Suzanne’s birthday on Sunday. Normally at work, we have cakes for birthdays, but Suzanne wanted something a bit different. So instead, we had Hooter’s hot wings to celebrate. Yum!
The show itself has been a little out of sorts for the past two weeks. We are winding down our five months of one-weekers, and everyone is tired and getting sick and injured at this point. Gary, our King Arthur, has been out for the better part of two weeks with a pulled hamstring, and we have had some various other injuries and illnesses as well. One of our ensemble girls had to drop out of the show mid-way on Wednesday with an injured hip. We were down a carpenter on Thursday as Keith was out sick, and Ryan had to step up and run automation. The local carpenters were great in helping to fill in. Then on Friday night, Patrick tripped and fell down the stairs at the hotel on his way to work, and cracked his head open, so we had to put in a last minute cover for him. What a week! Everyone is looking forward to getting to Vancouver where we can rest and recuperate for a month!
Minneapolis is a great town. I wish we could have stayed longer. I didn’t get a chance to bike out to the lakes, which I really wanted to do. It was also really nice to be in a historic theater like the Orpheum, working with a really conscientious crew (and so nice to see some of the same dressers from when we played Saint Paul!).
Hopefully I will be back again someday! But now, on to Oklahoma City.