How to Talk Minnesotan — one more time!
Howard Mohr himself didn’t see the popularity of his book, “How to Talk Minnesotan” coming.
But the book turned into a cult favorite, then into a theater play and now it’s being revisited once again at Southwest Minnesota State University, where Mohr used to teach.
The Cottonwood man’s popular book will be the opening show of SMSU Theatre’s 50th anniversary season.
An audience favorite, How to Talk Minnesotan: The Musical, will open at 7:30 p.m., October 19 at the SMSU Fine Arts Theater.
Mohr, whose mother was a resident of the Minneota Manor before her death, was a well-known figure to Minneotans.
He used to drop into the Mascot office on occasion just to share old times with the publisher.
“We met when Mohr was writing for the Prairie Home Companion show,” said this publisher.
Mohr made his book special by helping readers know that even if you’ve lived in Minnesota all your life, you can pick up some handy tips on the positive power of the negative.
For instance, he helped us understand how to accept food on the third offer, the basic uses of “You bet,” “Whatever,” and “That’s different,” and the perfect recipe via the song, “Hotdish Hallelujah.”
How to Talk Minnesotan: The Musical features music by Drew Jansen and lyrics by Jansen and Mohr.
How to Talk Minnesotan: The Musical features Ed and Lucy Humde and their friends up at the Lost Walleye Lodge, presenting a series of lessons and songs on the fine art of living and talking Minnesotan.
It’s directed by Assistant Professor of Theatre and SMSU Theatre Arts alumnus Mike Lenz of Cottonwood, who is also the scenic and lighting designer and technical director.
Professor of Theatre Sheila Tabaka of Marshall is the costume designer. Cat (Caitlin) Schmidt, a sophomore Theatre Arts major from Gaylord is the stage manager.
Professor of Theatre Nadine Purvis Schmidt of Estelline, S.D., is the producer. The cast and major crew include:
•Morgan Benson, a senior Theatre Arts major from Tracy, as Lucy Humde. Benson is also the Publicity Manager.
•Danny McDonnell, a junior Theatre Arts and Elementary Education double major from Jordan as Ed Humde.
•Paul Ragan, a junior History and Secondary Education major and Theatre minor from Fosston, as Miller Johnson.
•Raxson Rax, a sophomore Theatre Arts major from Milan, as Donny.
•Dean Zinda, a junior Culinology & Hospitality Management double major from Oak Creek, WI as Russ Renner. Elizabeth Zoya, a freshman Theatre Arts major from Maplewood, Minn., as Darlene Humde.
•Whittney McCamish, a sophomore History major and Theatre Arts minor from Ellendale is the assistant stage manager.
•Malorie Hudson, a junior Early Childhood Education major and Theatre Arts minor from Rochester, is the house manager.
The play is on ....
Performances are October 19-21 and 26-28 at 7:30 p.m. and October 29 at 2 p.m. Dinner theatre is available for the October 21 and 28 performances.
Show tickets are available at www.SMSUtickets.com, with limited tickets available at the door.
All performances are in the SMSU Fine Arts Theatre, with free parking available in lot B-1.
The performance on Thursday, October 19 is free to SMSU students with a valid student ID.
The dinner theatre is available on October 21 and 28. The dinner features a Minnesota-themed menu created and prepared by the SMSU Student Hospitality Opportunities (SHO) Club: fried pickles with variety of sauces, wild rice, tater tot hotdish (vegetarian version available), and blueberry tart with vanilla cream.
For more information, please call the Theatre Office at (507) 537-7103.