May I just say that I love living in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, which boast the nation’s second highest number of arts opportunities per capita (after New York City)? Well, I do.
Here are my most recent adventures:
First, my friend Anna and I went to the Fitzgerald Theater, St. Paul’s oldest theater, to hear Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus, be interviewed for Minnesota Public Radio and the Star Tribune’s “Talking Volumes” event. You may remember that I posted earlier this year about The Night Circus, which blew my mind and was one of my favorite books I read this year. It tells the story of two magicians in a competition who end up in love. Morgenstern was so sweet and unassuming, and she seemed legitimately surprised that so many people would show up to hear her interview. She talked about how the book is being made into a movie, and how the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab is making a Night Circus line of perfume. Some musicians at the event had written a song called “Morgenstern’s Circus in C Minor.” It’s like fan fiction in different media! Absolutely loved it. Spin-off art!
I was very encouraged to hear Morgenstern speak because she was so real and told us that The Night Circus didn’t even have a plot when she first wrote it! It reminds me so much of the writing of Lights All Around, when, day after day, I would just sit down and write whatever was on my mind, hoping it would all eventually be “book-shaped,” Morgenstern’s word for it.
The next night, I went with Eir to the Mixed Blood Theater in Minneapolis to watch the musical “Next to Normal.” A musical about bipolar disorder … I wasn’t sure how it was going to be, but it was unbelievable! The music was beautiful, and the story was heart-breaking. I held in my tears for the whole two hours– but barely! To show such a deep depression through the evocative power of music just rended my heart. And for this obsessive-compulsive girl who has fought such similar battles, it struck so close to home! The depression, the sadness, the way it hurts the people you love, all the pills and the therapists and grasping at straws. If you ever have the opportunity to see this musical (which has been on Broadway in the past), please do. It may very well change you.
I love my cities. I never believed this smalltown farm girl would say something like that, but it’s so true!