Last week was the 12th time I'd spent a week in Farmington, Minnesota, performing scenes and songs written by Pete Martin and Eric Peltoniemi (and even a few by me!) in a little production called Dakota Chautauqua. It began as a way to commemorate the sesquicentennial (150th anniversary) of the founding of Dakota County, Minnesota. It has continued as a way to promote Dakota City Heritage Village and the Dewey Roth Sweat-Your-Way-To-Your-Perfect-Weigh weight loss plan.
Of course the hitch to the whole weight loss thing is all the fair food I ate throughout the week (which ends up sounding like the 12 days of Christmas): 32 ounces of fresh cut fries, 1/3 pound Angus burger, one-and-a-half servings of deep-fried cheese curds, two waffle cones, two roasted potatoes (with bacon and cheese), one Pronto Brat, a root beer float, and a New Zealand Breakfast Meat Pie.
The show itself was stuffed full of the weird and goofy things that make Minnesota and its overwhelmingly Scandihoovian residents...how shall we say it...unique.
- Norway vs. Sweden: The Lutefisk Controversy (white sauce or butter?)
- "Doncha know"
- Moonshine-makin' mamas
- An obsession with Paul Bunyan
- Arsonist, thief, and murderer: Marjorie Congdon Leroy Caldwell Hagen
- The total fabrication of St. Urho (Giving Finns a reason to drink the bars dry the day before St. Patrick's Day)
As for the bloopers mentioned in this post's title?
You should have been there for the opening night performance when the whole cast totally blew the words of the closing song, which - appropriately enough - was titled "Uffda!" We just stood there shaking our heads at one another and repeating the word "uffda", but with none of the other lyrics intact.
Not to mention my mini panic attack every performance because I could never guarantee whether I would say the scripted "We keep the chicken-heads out of Wisconsin and they keep the margarine out of Minnesota" or if "marmalade" would inexplicably spring from my lips instead.
Oh wait...I guess I DID mention it.
Gotta love live theater.