During the month of April, I participate in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. That is 26 posts in one month, for each letter of the alphabet, time off for good behavior on Sundays. Over 1800 bloggers are participating this year. Last I checked, I was #931. This year, Millie and Willie Cottonpoly, my sock puppet creations, are here to tell you their story and share reviews, ideas, and inspiration with you. They’re also helping to teach theatre classes for kids in the Brainerd area, and continue to view and review theatre productions and some books. This retired couple doesn’t just sit around watching reruns on MeTv. (Although, Willie does like to put up his feet whenever Petticoat Junction comes on. It’s that sound of the train whistle. Millie makes no apologies for watching the Lassie marathon while holding her dog Tillie on her lap.)

G is for Great Theatre, and my Gratitude for being invited as media to view and review plays and other arts and entertainment in the metro and beyond here in Minnesota. It all started the the Guthrie Theater when they put out an all call for blog reviewers a few years ago. I then got invited to the Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, The Ordway in St. Paul, The Illusion, The Jungle, and Park Square Theatres. A few more smaller theaters have sent out invites, and I’m working them into my schedule. Most recently, I attended Shooting Star at Park Square Theater. Millie and Willie are here to help with the review.

Willie: Millie, do you remember the day we met?
Millie: Like it was yesterday, Willie.
Willie: I was trying to balance that large bucket of change.
Millie: You spilled half of it on the floor, making quite a racket!
Willie: I saw you there behind the teller line at the bank, got all nervous, and zoom, there it went.
Millie: The other girls and I were trying hard not to laugh.
Willie: Do you ever wonder what would have happened if I’d done my business at another bank?
Millie: Or, if you decided that life on the railroad was more exciting than settling down with me and my dogs?
Willie: There was never a question in my mind, Millie. The first time I laid eyes on you, I knew you were the one.
Millie: I’d just broken up with someone.
Willie: You never told me.
Millie: That was old news. I was looking for something, someone, new. You added the spice, Willie.
Willie: I knew you were the right match for me, Millie.
Millie: We do make a perfect pair, Willie.


In the play, Shooting Star by Steven Dietz, two people who were once lovers reunite in a moment where they’re forced to reconnect. Reed McAllister and Elena Carson are trapped in an airport somewhere in the Midwest during a snowstorm. All the flights are cancelled. They have no one else to talk to, and can’t easily avoid the other person. At first, it’s comedic how they recognize each other, try to avoid eye contact, pretend they’re all cool and collected, then finally reveal that they still care about each other. Their theatrical trailer gives you a great glimpse into the essence of the show. It’s that moment that we all could have, when we run into someone from our past, the person who once knew us better than anyone else could. But, you went your separate ways. You lived a different life, a separate one, then you see each other again, and wonder, “What if?” This is a terrific play, one that you snuggle in with. You want to grab your honey and go, or see it by yourself and allow yourself to feel and remember your own loves, and lives, lost and refound. Sally Wingert and Mark Benninghofen are two of the finest actors in the twin cities. They reunite on the Park Square stage and shine like “Shooting Stars.” They sparkle and wink and leave us longing for another reunion. I could easily watch this show over and over again.

Go. Create. Inspire!

Journaling Prompt:  Who would spark that nostalgia in you if you ran into him or her at an airport? What is different about the life you live from the one you dreamed about when you knew each other?