Sunday, March 8, 2015

Wilbo Visits Manistee @PureMichigan to Experience the Ramsdell and Vogue Theaters.

I have always wanted to catch a theater production at the Ramsdell Theater in Manistee, and after eight years of trying, so to speak, I have yet to be successful. I have attended art gallery openings at the Ramsdell. I have taken a tour of the building. However, being in town on the right day and time to catch a theater production has eluded me. According to the calendar, I have to wait for April.

James Earl Jones, the famous actor, once lived in an apartment high above the stage of the Ramsdell Theater, his history in Manistee celebrated by a framed poster of the actor in the role of Othello. That's why I am always a fan of small local theater because a few actors go on to grace the silver screen in Hollywood. I have my eye on about ten locals whom I think will catch an updraft.

Since the art gallery sign was out near the street, I decided to try the door to Hardy Hall, where art exhibits have been staged. Instead, I found a party of friends and family putting together a wedding shower and doing a beautiful job. Five friends of the bride were rapidly festooning the walls with gauze and lace, and it looked incredible. I could see the Bloody Mary fixings set up on a long table. The tables were set with genuine China and sterling silver tableware. Only a raffle could gracefully decide who gets to take home the brilliant centerpieces. I asked permission to take a picture of the bust of Thomas Jefferson Ramsdell. It was granted. Art is sublime, and yet wedding rentals keep the lights on and the boiler making steam.

On the way out the front door, I saw a parade of men arriving, bearing trays of food and fancy cakes. I did my part and held the door open until the five men marched past me with their happy burdens.

My day in Manistee has a plan. I'll drift along the Manistee River walkway and pound on my laptop's keyboard at Goody's Coffee Shop. My new doctor suspects that my rheumatoid arthritis has a connection to my low vitamin D level. Makes sense as my RA flared up in late September, shorter days lessening the vitamin D from the sun. So I'm planning to fill my face with nutrition by gazing up at the sky. At 4:30 PM, the movie Birdman rolls at Manistee's second theater, the Vogue. Maybe I'll stay for the 7:30 PM screening of that Boho classic, Still Alice. I've waited years to see a show at this Manistee Theater too.

Great plans, ready to go after I finish this pint of CEO Stout from Right Brain Brewery and free myself from the spell of a collection of Sheryl Budnik paintings on the wall of Blue Fish.

Will Juntunen

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