T-Shirt of the Month August 2019

When I post my video diaries I always get comments about my Laura clothes. No, not my period dresses, but my Laura Ingalls Wilder t-shirts that I wear for travel and Laura trips. I thought everyone might enjoy a closer look at them. So enjoy our monthly series where we look at a Laura shirt.

Shirt of the Month

Here’s this month’s shirt:

Full Body of Prairie Girl Shirt
Full Length of Prairie Girl Shirt

I’m sharing this shirt right now because Little House on the Prairie: The Musical has now performance rights available. Learn more about the history of the play.

Merchandising

This is a shirt that launched a lawsuit – sort of. Although the merchandising rights to Little House on the Prairie had transferred from Roger Lea MacBride to Ed Friendly through the contract that resulted in Ed Friendly’s gaining the rights to develop and produce the Little House on the Prairie TV show, the Friendly organization didn’t really utilize those rights between the times the Ashton Drake dolls came out in the mid-1990s and the production work of the musical in 2007. In the meantime the Little House on the Prairie homesite in Kansas had developed as a family owned business in Independence, Kansas under the name “Little House on the Prairie.” They had trademarked the name, had purchased and were using the corresponding URL, etc. All of this unremarked by anyone for years.

When the “Little House on the Prairie: The Musical” play debuted at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota, they wanted to follow regular theater practice of selling things with the name of the show. They were in contact with both the Friendly production company and the historic site who both claimed the merchandising rights on the name. A lawsuit was filed and eventually a settlement was reached which ended with the Friendly company retaining the rights plus gaining the URL and the historic site continuing operations under the name Little House on the Prairie Museum with the word museum featured in all branding. (Note: I make this description from various news articles, public fillings, and things I personally knew happened. I’m neither a lawyer, nor was I privy to any insider information so take my opinion of what happened as you will. There was more to it than this, but it’s the gist.)

Back to the Guthrie

So as the play was opening at the Guthrie none of this had yet been settled and taking a look at the competing field the production company decided to stay out of the fray as much as possible. Personally I think that’s the best thing they could do at that time. However, that meant that they weren’t able to use the “Little House” name on anything that didn’t say the full name of the play so they were very careful . They had to get inventive. They came up with more generic phrases and images that still made you think of Laura, the ultimate “Prairie Girl” which is featured on this shirt and several different similar phrases on a variety of items. By the time they made Sioux Falls on the national tour they had stuff (including shirts) with the play name.

This shirt isn’t offered anymore I’m sorry to say because I think it’s really pretty. I also really like brown and tan Laura shirts because if you are on a Laura trip there is a lot of dirt and they hide it the best.

However, the good news if you want to see the play itself, they recently released production rights for purchase by local shows. Share it around with local theater companies and see if you can get it staged. If you do please let me know.

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic, and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, look at her photos, and find her on Facebook , Twitter , Google+LinkedIn , SlideShare, and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

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Musical Now Has License Rights Available for Purchase

Little House on the Prairie the Musical T-Shirt
Little House on the Prairie the Musical T-Shirt

It All Began at the Guthrie

In 2007 the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota announced they would be debuting a new musical based on the “Little House” books. Although they said their source material was the books, not the NBC series, they definitely connected with the series through the casting of Melissa Gilbert as Ma and through their characterization of Nellie which matches the TV Nellie more than the books.

A Big Success

The show proved a big success with the original booking being extended by weeks for an audience ranging from normal theater people to Laura fans making the trip (buses went from the homesite towns, which is how I went). After it closed at the Guthrie in Fall 2008 it was announced the production would go on a national (actually international – they had one booking in Canada) tour. In a national tour a production travels from city to city as theaters book it with the same cast, etc. traveling with the show. Gilbert remained in the Ma role for this further production as did some of the other actors, others in the cast were replaced either due to scheduling difficulties or because they weren’t willing to travel that long for the show. I was particularly saddened by the loss of Carrie who was very good in the Guthrie production.

(Inter)National Tour

Announcements of bookings dribbled out during 2009 and then in October 2009 they were off! The play had been slightly retooled – which is normal – and traveled all around the country. When they played Sioux Falls (where I saw it), the cast even made a group trip up to DeSmet to see where some of the story really took place. The roadshow closed in early summer 2010. A couple of months later the gift shop that traveled with the show sold out excess branded merchandise. The official website slipped into an archived state without access to what had previously been posted.

Find out my details of this and a link to the archived version of the website on my history of the musical post.

What Happens Next?

Well, the hope of every such musical is to make it to Broadway and maybe even on to London. It’s sometimes a broken road there. Usually after a national tour one of three things happens:

  1. It goes straight to Broadway to try its luck there!
  2. It gets polished and retooled and tries another tour.
  3. Rights are offered for purchase for local productions.

So the show ended and what happened was…. nothing! At least in public. I assume there was at least some hope that it was going to have a chance at Broadway… or at least another shot at a tour. They don’t release rights for local productions until all hope for a big show is gone – at least for the immediate future.

Through 2013 the site remained operating in its archived state, then as a background screen, but preserving ownership through the first part of 2016 and I assume some hope remained. However, someone behind the scenes has now officially given up. The URL of the show is now an ad for a Japanese (in Japanese) diet supplement.

The Little House on the Prairie the Musical is now available for licensing!

 

The Good News

The positive part of this is that starting in Fall 2019 local groups will be able to put on productions of the show. Hopefully it will become popular and you’ll get to see a local production near you!

If you’re looking for buying, rights, scripts, etc. here you goThat’s what you’re going to want to pass on to your local theater groups, high schools, etc. and ask them to put on the show! They also have a digital preview version of the script.

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic, and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, look at her photos, and find her on Facebook , Twitter , Google+LinkedIn , SlideShare, and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

T-Shirt of the Month April 2016

Clothes are one of those things that I once kept as a firm line not to cross as part of my efforts to restrict my Laura collection to a reasonable size. That totally failed when I discovered how great it is to have a Laura t-shirt on when traveling. It really makes it feel like your trip has already started once you get in your car.

Little House on the Prairie the Musical
Little House on the Prairie the Musical

Black t-shirts often have gorgeous designs, but have the drawback of being hot in the heat of the noonday sun. This is a great example of that. In conjunction with Little House on the Prairie: The Musical, they had two gift shops at the Guthrie and then a traveling giftshop that traveled with the roadshow. I got it and a bunch of other stuff including a great book about the set design and some “I ♥ Almanzo” pins.

This full cover design is one of the prettiest I have even if it isn’t the most practical for a Midwestern summer. The design is their logo with the words in a mock cross-stitch type pattern.  Sadly as far as I can tell after that giftshop held a closeout sale a couple of months after the roadshow ended that was that, so you’d have to find it on Ebay or elsewhere online if you want one.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+,  LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

History of Little House on the Prairie the Musical

One of the top ten posts is one simply called Musical Launched. I’m figuring that a lot of people hit that not looking for the specific musical I’m talking about, but as it’s entirely talking about news then current I wasn’t sure what I could even do to update it, so I decided to write a completely new post about the history of the musical as I know it instead and I’ll add a link on the Top 10 post.

Little House on the Prairie the Musical T-Shirt
Little House on the Prairie the Musical T-Shirt

Failed Attempt

The idea of Little House musical was not a new one. Laura’s Memories (aka the Mansfield pageant) has been a musical from the very beginning (and with a lot more have to sing along numbers than the show that came out of the Guthrie in my opinion). In addition the New York Times reported in its June 9, 1989 issue that musical based on the “Little House” books called Prairie would be heading to Broadway the following year. (It didn’t, but apparently did get as far as a complete draft of the book and a slate of musical numbers).

Started at the Guthrie

I first posted about this new musical the Guthrie was putting together when I saw the press release. My first post about it was dated November 16, 2007. The Guthrie in Minneapolis, Minnesota,  is considered a regional theater, but is an important one nationally. Many national level actors and actors come to do a run here. They put together this production and did an initial run. It was a big hit. It wasn’t in their largest theater (they have multiple theater spaces in one big building), but it was the medium size one and the initial run was extended by several weeks due to strong ticket sales.

Check out this post for a taste of what it was like to attend a show at the Guthrie:
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2008/10/01/guthrie-logistic-tips/

Check out the photos from Playbill from the Guthrie production:
http://www.playbill.com/news/article/print/119925.html

Read my review here:
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2008/10/08/little-house-the-musical/

I had also written a more formal review that I debated whether needed published too or not. I finally decided to go ahead and post it some time later when I found it languishing in my drafts after my road show experience.
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2010/06/07/guthrie-version-review/

Starring Melissa Gilbert

The biggest news item was when it was announced that Melissa Gilbert had agreed to join the production as Ma. Gilbert has spent a lot of time distancing herself from the Laura role, her new adult persona most strongly symbolized by her term as president of SAG, the actor union. However, she agreed to return to the “franchise” this time taking on the role of Ma. Part of this was the challenge of the role, Gilbert hadn’t ever done musical theater. The part was adjusted for her vocal range and dance ability, but you can’t say she didn’t give it her all, shortly after the national tour completed she had to have serious back surgery because her back was broken by her on stage exertions.

Early publicity about Gilbert joining the show:
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2008/06/02/melissa-gilbert-to-play-ma

Gilbert quoted “Every girl has a Laura in them”:
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2008/08/04/a-little-laura-in-all-of-us/

Revamp

The show didn’t go directly into the road show. There was a gap of months before we found out there was even going to be one which is part of what I was reporting on in the post that was in the top 10. Slowly towns were added from Connecticut to Canada with many spots in between including the one I saw it at in Sioux Falls. Changes were made and some of the cast members, who either were unwilling to travel with a road production or had other commitments, were swapped out.

This NPR news story falls after the Guthrie run finished, but before the road show. It also includes snippets of various songs from the show.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=93644080

Cast Visits Homesites

Since the initial production was so close to the Laura homesites in the Twin Cities, it inspired several cast members to make the trip. Most of the major cast made a trip separately or in small groups to visit the northern homesites. Actors said that it helped them understand the material to get a feel for the land. Finally during the road show the entire cast was brought up to De Smet.

The entire cast was bused up to De Smet to have a press conference at the Ingalls Homestead in June 2010. Find links to it in this post – the bottom one has video:
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2010/06/27/press-conference-in-de-smet/

Musical Hits the Road

They also tightened up the production which often happens over the course of the production. They really didn’t address any of the problems I pointed out in my review, but it was a better show when I saw it in Sioux Falls. The show had ended in Fall 2008, reports of the national tour being a go and slowly the places it would stop came through February 2009, and the national tour started October 2009 and ran through early summer 2010.

Dates slowly trickled in. As I reported in this post, they had just made a booking for Canada making the road show an international one. The article link still worked from February 2009:
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2009/02/22/musical-goes-international/

Report on attending the road show version in Sioux Falls, South Dakota:
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2010/06/03/on-the-way-to-the-roadshow/

Sell Out of Merchandise

A couple of months after the final booking, no more news came and then there was a sale to clean out the merchandise. Apparently the company that had traveled around with them selling souvenirs believed it was over. That was the final word we’ve heard.

Next Step

So my family has a streak of theater in it, in fact my father actually teaches theater lighting, so while I can’t exactly follow the theater scene from Iowa as well as I could from New York or even Chicago, I do follow it. A show at this point, with a fairly successful one year run under its belt, normally has one of three things happen next. Will it:

  • Re-launch road show for a further run?
  • Move to Broadway?
  • Release scripts for purchase for local productions?

But none of these things has actually happened. The fact that they haven’t released the scripts yet, which could be making them money, sounds like they are hoping some sort of re-launch of either the road show or a Broadway or off-Broadway production. But I haven’t heard a further peep.

Their website frontpage is still up, but it won’t let you in. It does play a medley of the songs:
http://www.littlehousethemusical.com

You can get to the archived version of the website here. It includes interviews with some of the people involved, their blog, etc.

Sarah S. Uthoff is main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation.Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+,LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. She is currently acting President of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

LHoP: the Musical Press Conference in De Smet

When Little House on the Prairie: the Musical made a stop in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the cast came to De Smet to kick off their South Dakota run. They made a visit throughout town and then held a press conference in the visitor center of the Ingalls Homestead. The cast road in a bus through the town and townspeople lined the streets to watch them go by. De Smet Mayor Gary Wolkow proclaimed Tuesday, June 1st “Little House on the Prairie: the Musical” Day. Most of the leading characters had previously made trips to De Smet during the show’s initial run at the Guthrie last year or since then. In an interview in “The Homesteader” Kevin Massey who plays Almanzo said visiting the places gave him more insight into the role and I think that’s true about all the cast. They seemed to understand the frontier and the prairie better than when I saw them on the Guthrie.

Read an article in the Argus about it here: http://www.argusleader.com/article/20100602/NEWS/6020316/1001

Read an article from KDLT here:
http://www.kdlt.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3019&Itemid=129

Read an article from KFSY here:
http://www.ksfy.com/Global/story.asp?S=12585147
http://www.ksfy.com/Global/story.asp?S=12581669

Radio highlights of Press Conference:
http://www.sdpb.org/tv/shows.aspx?MediaID=58330&Parmtype=RADIO&ParmAccessLevel=sdpb-all

UPDATE: I checked this post’s links since I wanted to send people here from a new post I was working on in November 2013. At that point they were all working except for the Argus one on top. I took the hyperlink off that one, but left the link since it contains a date you may be able to use to find it in a database or from the paper itself. The bottom most link lets you play a highlights recording of the conference.

Sarah S. Uthoff is main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation.Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+,LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. She is currently acting President of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Guthrie Version Review

Before I give my take on the touring version of Little House on the Prairie, I found this previously unpublished review of the Guthrie version that I wrote and I think it might be helpful to read before I discuss the changes and improvements they’ve made.

Sarah S. Uthoff

Earlier this year the Guthrie Theater commissioned a new musical production of Little House on the Prairie. Excitement built as it was announced that Melissa Gilbert, most famous for playing Laura Ingalls Wilder on the TV show starring Michael Landon, would be playing Ma. Record first day ticket sales led them to extend the run by two weeks, now ending October 19th. I got to go see if it deserved all the excitement.

Excitement has been growing all year as word came out that the Guthrie, a landmark repertory theater in Minneapolis, was commissioning a new musical based on the work of pioneer and author Laura Ingalls Wilder. A new record was set for opening day ticket sales at the Guthrie, the initial run was lengthened by two weeks, and a 40 city tour seems to be on (Most of the northern Wilder sites sponsored trips to the play. De Smet will be taking a group on Oct. 18th.  De Smet will get a little bit of a taste of what Walnut Grove has had all these years with the TV show with almost all the action taking place in De Smet, South Dakota.)

Heading up the cast is Melissa Gilbert as Ma, still best known for playing Laura Ingalls in the Michael Landon TV show and Steve Blanchard as Pa. The Ingalls family is rounded out by Kara Lindsay as Laura, Jenn Gambatese as Mary, and Maeve Moynihan as Carrie. Kevin Massey as Almanzo Wilder and Sara Jean Ford as Nellie Oleson round out the major characters, although there are many smaller supporting roles. The production is highly stylized and almost aggressively original and is just packed with things from almost all the books in the series, the TV show, and real life with original material.

The show is structured around two themes, one very broad, and one very personal. The broad theme is the settling of the west. They encompass songs and characters from a broad spectrum of people from all over from various countries. It’s supported by the bridging song “Uncle Sam where are you?” that comes up at each crisis as the settlers create a a new world from what they could take along, hard work and thought. As a group they face finding a homestead, the Hard Winter, disease, and a prairie fire that takes out the entire town’s wheat crop when it was “almost” ready to harvest. They use the Ingalls family as a close up example of one of these families and how the group gets through it all.

The second theme is how Laura grows up with the land. The first half of the show really emphasizes the tomboy or as they call it, “wild child” part of Laura’s early character to the point that many audience members I talked to didn’t really like the character during the first half and the word obnoxious springs to mind. I’m not sure that taking the characterization to such an extreme that they’ve lost one of the most defining characteristics of Laura, that people so strongly identify with her. However, this is tying into the theme of Laura growing up so there is a very strong contrast with her later behavior with room for a compromise between the two extremes.

One of the outstanding characteristics of the production is to exaggerate what they feel are important parts to make absolutely positively certain that you can’t possibly miss it. Another example of this is Carrie rocking the seat in the school. Where most of the time she was used (very effectively) as comic relief, this is where she pushes plot. They foreshadowed the shaking twice with comments about shaking and the wagon and then when she actually starts rocking the desk you can hear it in the back of theater. Miss Wilder, whose appearance and mannerisms closely mimic Lucky Lee Flippin’s version on the TV show, is a background. The unfairness as a set up is not considered important so is ignored in a rush to the second “Important point” of the scene where Laura rebels which is set up in scene reminiscent of a 1950s teen rebellion movie set to the lyrics “I want to rock” and “I will teach you to rebel.”

The Fever’n’ague scene from Little House on the Prairie is moved to DeSmet.  This is used as a set up for the cause of Mary’s blindness. Mary going blind is a watershed moment in the production. Starting with the Mary/Laura duet “I’ll be your Eyes,” Laura tries to reject major parts of her personality in an effort “to be good.” This involves everything from finding a job teaching school at Brewsters and putting up with staying there to giving up on going with Almanzo. This tension is resolved in Melissa Gilbert’s lone solo “Wild Child” when she assures Laura she doesn’t have to give up her “wild” personality to be a grown up and good.

Nellie’s role is also enlarged, emphasizing the rivalry between her and Laura. Nellie is portrayed as much more of a serious rival for Almanzo’s affections. Nellie even gets her own solo about her rivalry with Laura. She’s really quite funny and likeable. The rivalry ends when Laura runs out with Ma’s blessing to find Almanzo and jump into his arms.

Almanzo is introduced early on as one of the settlers coming in and getting fed approximately when they lived in the Surveyor’s House, although they aren’t specific. A lot of his story is as he is working on his own homestead. He has an early solo “The Land Doesn’t Care How Old You Are.” One of his best scenes is when the bachelor homesteaders gather together after the wheat crops burns and drink, “Here’s to the Sod” a forgettable song that showcases a great performance by Almanzo as he cooks, flips, and tosses pancakes to the men with all the ease of a juggler. I swear I smelled the pancakes and when Manly pushes the stove off stage he seems to burn himself in an impressive performance. The first turning point of the show is when Almanzo goes to get Laura from Brewsters. As Almanzo and Laura begin to court they have brilliant duet “Faster/Slower” while they are in the sleigh going back and forth to Brewsters. This is one of their scenes that suffers most from changes to the storyline from the books.

Little House on the Prairie, book by Rachel Sheinkin, music by Rachel Portman, lyrics by Donna di Novelli, Director Francesca Zambello, Set designer Adrianne Lobel.

The musical Little House on the Prairie includes elements from Little House on the Prairie, On the Banks of Plum Creek, By the Shores of Silver Lake, The Long Winter, Little Town on the Prairie, and These Happy Golden Years.

The cast is headed up by Melissa Gilbert as Ma, Steve Blanchard as Pa, Kara Lindsay as Laura Ingalls, Kevin Massey as Almanzo Wilder with strong support from Maeve Moynihan as Carrie Ingalls, and Sara Jean Ford as Nellie Oleson.

The twin themes of the show are homesteading and growing up.  The homesteading theme is reflected in several songs describing the prairie, “Endless Sky” and “Make It Home.” The growing up theme is more interesting what is good, what Laura should do, what does good mean. Themes come back with “Farmer Boy” , “Endless Sky” and “Faster” and “Uncle Sam Where are You.” Progress slowly comes as wheat is burnt, but soot improves lightens soil, feels will survive.

The day we went the role of Laura, normally played by Kara Lindsay, was performed by Addi McDaniel.

On the way to Little House on the Prairie the Roadshow

If you’re interested in Little House on the Prairie the Musical, check out this post.

I finally made it. I saw the musical at the Guthrie last year and I’ve been trying to get to see the roadshow all year. A bustrip fell through when it opened in Minnesota. I just couldn’t make the schedule work out for Wisconsin, but FINALLY I got tickets for Sioux Falls and two friends to go with me and we headed out. WAGONS HO!

OK, so it was Seebring ho! Same principle. AAA said it was about 5 1/2 hours to Sioux Falls, but they were off. At least it took us longer than that. One of my friends insisted on driving the whole way, so I’m sure it was an especially long day for him. We ate lunch at Trumbles in Albert Lea. Good place to stop if you’re passing through on your way to say Mankato (wink).

It was a new route for my friends, so I made sure we stopped at the giant Jolly Green Giant at Blue Earth and the giant cement tipi just outside of Sioux Falls. Did you know they have a museum downtown about the Green Giant Company? I didn’t either. Didn’t stop this time, but it’s on my list now. Luck seemed to be with us when the gift shop at the Jolly Green Giant’s feet (it isn’t always), but then we drove into a torrent of a storm. The temperature dropped 20 degrees from one side of the front to the other, but luckily no hail as the weather radio predicted, just lots of hard rain. Finally it calmed down to  a steady rain. Not good when we were planning on walking to the theater.

Good news it was easy to find our hotel. The Country Inn and Suites which the Washington Pavillion assured me that many of the people who perform there stay at. It really was a pretty hotel and as I normally only hit Sioux Falls when I’m taking I-90 instead of Highway 14 which means I’m in a hurry, I had no idea they do guided trolley rides and have a very nice river walk which the hotel sat right on. Who knew?

We picked the wrong restaurant for supper. It took forever to get our food and we didn’t get out of there until a little after 6:30. The show started at 7 pm and while we had directions and a map none of us had ever been there before. Adrenilne time.

It wasn’t that far a walk and we found the 1906 Sioux Falls high school that has been made over into an arts center. The large auditorium with the stage was only part of it. There was a large diverse crowd milling about with a good smattering of girls in prairie dresses. De Smet had a large display up for Destination Laura and I knew the cast had been at the Ingalls Homestead for a press conference that morning.

Sign on the door, “Insights into Production a discusion with the cast 6:15”. After I called on Friday and they swore they weren’t doing anything like that. GRRRR! It couldn’t have been too long though because by 6:50 the stage was totally empty. Still GRRRRR!

The tickets were at the Will Call window just like they were supposed to be. Success. AND they really were very good seats. I’ve had better (up in PEI for Anne of Green Gables the musical – a production the producers of this one really should watch before they do anything else with it), but these were very, very good and there was even one with a place for my friend to stretch out his leg after all that driving.

On the way in I passed Dean Butler in the hall, looking very producer like, and as we both were hurrying to our seats so I let it go and didn’t say anything to him. I only said to my friend,” that’s Dean Butler.” He was in town for a screening of the Farmer Boy documentary and a preview of the Laura one. If I had known sooner we’d have scheduled for the 2nd instead and gone to that screening too. Oh well, more about the actual play tomorrow.

UPDATED June 27 2017: I added the link at the top and the signature block at the bottom.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.