Eventually... why not now? So went the popular slogan for Gold Medal flour in the early 20th Century, the height of the flour milling business upon which our fair city of Minneapolis was built.* What was once the Washburn A. Mill (the Washburn-Crosby Company later became General Mills) is now the site of the Mill City Museum, right next to the river in Minneapolis, just down the block from the Guthrie Theater. The vacant building burned down in 1991, but most of the external structure was saved. The museum opened in 2003 and showcases the history of the milling industry and the city that it helped to build. I've been wanting to visit the museum since it opened, but in typical theater geek fashion, it was theater that finally got me there. An "Eventually" Christmas: Holidays at the Mill is a unique theater experience written by talented local writer/comedian/actor Joseph Scrimshaw (whom I only recently discovered thanks to his hilarious and odd little Fringe show this summer). At just $14 for the short play, which also includes admission to the museum (an $11 value), it's a steal - for just three extra dollars you can experience the museum plus this fun little play that helps you imagine the lives of the people that worked in that very location. I love the idea of theater happening in the exact location where similar events might have taken place (see also: After Miss Julie, produced by Gremlin Theatre in the basement kitchen of the James J. Hill House); it makes me feel like I'm witnessing history, instead of just a made-up drama.
|the cast of An Eventually Christmas
I've always said that theater is my window to the world, and in this case, it's my window to the world of the past. An "Eventually" Christmas: Holidays at the Mill is a great addition to the museum and helps you experience life in the mill as it was 90+ years ago, while standing in that very location. History + theater = a great day in my book. And the next time someone says "eventually" to me, I'll respond with "why not now?" Sounds like a great motto for life, as well as flour.
An "Eventually" Christmas continues this weekend only, three performances a night Friday and Saturday. Click here to find more info and make reservations (space is limited in the elevator, so reservations are recommended).
*When you visit the museum, be sure to watch the short film by another local talent, Kevin Kling. Minneapolis in 19 Minutes Flat gives the entire history of the city of Minneapolis in an abridged version. While I would happily watch a two hour film on this topic, the under-twenty-minute version is entertaining and informative.