A year-and-a-half ago, Garrison Keillor’s performing career looked to be over. After 42 years of hosting a much-loved weekly radio variety show, A Prairie Home Companion, the celebrated humorist and author became yet another cultural icon to fall into ignominy with the rise of the #metoo movement. After a colleague came forward with accusations of sexual harassment, Minnesota Public Radio severed all business ties with Keillor, canceling his daily poetry show The Writer’s Almanac. He had already retired from A Prairie Home Companion, passing it on to the young mandolinist Chris Thile, who still hosts the show in its old Saturday-night timeslot under the new title of Live from Here.
At age 76, with nine volumes of Lake Wobegon stories in print, a pile of awards including a Peabody, a Steinbeck, a Grammy and medals from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the National Endowment for the Humanities, not to mention having undergone heart surgery in 2001 and suffered a stroke in 2009, one would think that Keillor would be ready to settle into a comfortable retirement. But he has worked out a settlement with Minnesota Public Radio that allows him to post his radio archives on his own website, and new editions of The Writer’s Almanac are being distributed in podcast format. Now he has taken to the road again – playing more modest venues than in his heyday, but still drawing devoted audiences.
On Saturday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m., the Woodstock Playhouse hosts the next stop on Keillor’s National Poetry Month tour: a solo performance benefiting Performing Arts of Woodstock. Tickets for Garrison Keillor: An Evening of Poetry and Song cost $125 for Gold Tier (Rows A-F), $75 for Blue Tier (Rows G-N) and $45 for Green Tier (Rows P-Q). For an additional $25, fans can attend a reception and book-signing preceding the show at 6 p.m., also at the Playhouse. Keillor is donating his services for this benefit. To purchase tickets to the performance, call (845) 679-6900 or visit www.woodstockplayhouse.org/garrison-keillor-benefit. For the reception, call (845) 331-2369 or visit https://garrisonkeillor.brownpapertickets.com.
Garrison Keillor: An Evening of Poetry and Song, Saturday, Apr. 27, Reception 6 p.m./Performance 7:30 p.m., $25-$125, Woodstock Playhouse, 103 Mill Hill Rd., Woodstock, (845) 679-6900, (845) 331-2369, www.woodstockplayhouse.org, https://garrisonkeillor.brownpapertickets.com