A Prairie Home Companion Post-Performance Reflection

Apr 26, 2014

Tell us about your experience watching University of Minnesota Alumnus Garrison Keillor on the Carlson Family Stage for a live broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion.

How did the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra sound and feel with Northrop's new acoustics? How did Garrison's skits, stories, and songs interact with the audience and venue? What memories did being in the revitalized Northrop call up for you?

Tell us about your experience with the show and your evening at Northrop.

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On Saturday, April 26, my family had seats D456-459, fourth row, fourth balcony ( GalCir). These seats had VERY Obstructed view. The right half of the stage had an orchestra for the first thirty minutes. That group we could see. The entire next 1.5 hours, we could see about 10% of the left side of the stage. These seats should have been sold OBSTRUCTED VIEW. Garrison was amazing, as usual.

Was in 1st balcony, president's circle east, and loved those seats. What a beautiful theater, and what a great show to test it out on - every kind of sound and music and all sounded superb. This is now my favorite perf arts venue in the twin cities (as long as i can avoid obstructed views).

Was in 1st balcony, president's circle east, and loved those seats. What a beautiful theater, and what a great show to test it out on - every kind of sound and music and all sounded superb. This is now my favorite perf arts venue in the twin cities (as long as i can avoid obstructed views).

Garrison was in grand form! Love the SPCO, the Steeles, and all the rest. My seat had been changed to one on orchestra level because I was told the cheap one to which I had been assigned had terrible sight-lines and probably that area wouldn't be used in the future. Love the leg room! Love the acoustics! HATE only two entrances with side exits blocked by a metal railing about 4 seats in from the edge. The side aisles ended part way, which meant for me to get out it would be necessary to join the crush in the center aisles or climb over a seat to use the side aisle in the row ahead of me. In case of fire…HELP!!!!!

Beautiful venue. Have been to see PHC many times, since the beginning. We sat on left side in the rear. Seats fine and quite comfy. Liked the leg room.

The performance was truly enjoyable. My seats were 1st balcony center and view of stage and sound was wonderful.

My husband and I really enjoyed our first time in the PHC audience. We were center front row in the Gallery. Our first time back to Northrop since a "never again" experience with expensive, unexpectedly obstructed view seats for a ballet. the redesign is impressive. Two suggestions - we were not the only people to spend time in a line for what we thought was "will call", as it was identified only by signs indicating where to be by last name. A sign indicating the purpose of that particular line would have immediately corrected our mistake. The woman next to us was terrified of heights. She and her companion were unaware that the gallery is a very uncomfortable choice for seats for those with such a fear of heights. This fear is not uncommon. Perhaps ticket buyers for this area should be forewarned?

Always fun to be in the audience for Prairie Home Companion, but it was VERY disappointing to sit in the newly modified auditorium and be unable to see the stage. We were in the second (middle) balcony, 3rd row, on the west side - could see only part of the right side of the stage. Remainder blocked by balcony and people. Seats are also very narrow. The public spaces are nice, but seating in the new auditorium is not good.

Great show and we had great seats and sight-lines from the orchestra pit. Now that Orchestra Hall and the Guthrie allow their guests to bring their purchased beverages into the hall, why a restriction at Northrup? Signage directing attendees to their seating areas is woefully inadequate..or maybe they are still waiting for the letters to arrive.

The acoustics at Northrup are so great that PHC band sounded better than ever and we have been going to see them for years. I think it is sad that there are so many obstructed views in such a new space. Garrison was in top form and we loved his keeping U of M and MN in so much of his show. His choice of musicians and singers could not have been better. Keeping some of the old as well as adding such a great new space is perfect. However the entrance to the hall is a little small. Over all a great job and we will return whenever we can.

Garrison said it best, "this time they got it right!" A couple of things to still work on though including event parking and allowing beverages inside the theatre. The notification of the Church St. ramp closure the day of the event not the most timely, and not allowing drinks inside is unlike most TC theaters . Guy behind us brought his own airline bottles, cup, and coke to mix. Probably thought he was back in school.

My feet hanging at least 4 or so inches from the floor when sitting all the way back in the seat made me feel I was being treated like a child. I have never sat in a theater where I could not at least reach the floor with my toes. I am not too far below the average height of women and have unusually long legs for someone my height. I had to take off my shoes and sit cross legged. Unfortunately this colored my enjoyment of the show. Unless it's a not to be missed show, I won't be back.

Really enjoyed the show. I thought the redesign of Northrup was masterful, respecting the past while incorporating great design and features for the future. We sat in the President's circle, the first balcony, near the middle. Sight lines were great and the acoustics were very good. We will be back.

We had six tickets Orchestra East Row N. Great seats & leg room. Sound was fantastic as noted in many other comments. We attend the SPCO often in St Paul at the Ordway and site lines on the side balconies are an issue there too. The greeters in the Great Hall could assist with directional information for patrons. An usher or greeter at key locations offering directional assistance to seating would be a great help as the community gets to know the new Northrop. I would avoid cluttering the walls with signage which doesn't always help people wayfind anyway. As for PHC, our group listens on the radio all the time. I was a good show but we missed "Life of the Cowboys". Certainly not a regular PHC crowd in the house Saturday night. Our group all look forward to being at Northrop again. Congrats on a job well done. ps I wouldn't let drinks and food into the hall for awhile if ever!

Loved the theatre and the performance. Great sound and seats.

We had people around us on the 4th level using their "smart" phones (reading, texting and surfing) throughout the performance. Some even tried to take a photo until they realized their flash could not light up the whole place. Please consider making a public announcement before the show that these devices cannot be used in the hall. Also, when we asked the beverage vendor if we could take our wine into the hall he said yes; we then had to chug it down at the entrance because it is not allowed. This policy should be made clear at the beverage stand. We are OK with no drinks in the hall, we just need to know. Other than those annoyances, the show was great!

We sat almost dead center, front row in level 4, WAY UP THERE!!, and the sound was as good as anything I've heard (I'm an audiophile who has spent 10+ years building and assembling a really nice music system--I pay attention when I listen). If Saturday night's excellent sound wasn't a fluke of some kind, Northrop will be a fantastic concert venue.

great time. We listen to the show weekly. My wife and I also wanted to compliment the progressive city and friendly people of the twin cities. Thank You, we will be back.

I think all the positive adjectives have been taken! It was glorious. I ushered at Northrop 50 years ago, and went to Mpls. Orchestra concerts there in the late 60s. The new design is a vast improvement acoustically, and the seats are much more comfortable. I sat next to a young man who will study music at St. Olaf ... a nice contrast to all the grey hair (like mine). I like the promotion idea of taking your grandchildren to a concert ... maybe with Peter and the Wolf and some John Williams thrown in.

Gair, Brought you to TX A&M. Now coming to University of Minnesota for AAPT convention, and will be speaking. Press Releases soon to be released

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