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Let’s Cook: Come, Take a Seat

By Staff | Jun 5, 2015

Submitted The Overture Tree is ready for another season of Minot State University’s summer theater.

The year was 1965 and Petula Clark’s hit song, “Downtown” was playing on radios everywhere. In fact, in downtown Minot at Bader’s Fashions one could admire in the front windows a kelly green textured rayon pullover top with tie and trim button slits right at the hem-all with a coordinating elastic-waist skirt. I know because my mom purchased this outfit with matching white hat and gloves. She stood in front of the three-way mirror realizing that trim buttons could conceal the extra sugar lumps that happen with life. Now if we move away from downtown Minot and head to North Hill, we will meet what the Ramsey Lewis Trio sang about in their 1965 hit song, The “In” Crowd.

The “In” crowd in Minot happened to be a group of young directors, actors, musicians, and technicians who started Minot State Summer Theater. They have now been “in” for 50 years!

Our connection to Summer Theater has been Kevin Neuharth-an artistic director who hails from Sheridan County. Neuharth spent his youth in McClusky-the land of the Dragons! It is any wonder he can direct with such fire? His roar and bellow have brought about magical theater for many years. He was recently featured in the Minot State University Red and Green newspaper and a photo shows him relaxing in the new outdoor seating in the amphitheater.

The seating at the amphitheater has seen several changes over the years. How many of you remember the orange, gold, green, and blue molded, plastic modern 70’s style seats? After each performance they would be stacked like tumblers in a cupboard. Adding a bit more comfort were the former pale mustard colored seats recycled from the renovation of McFarland Auditorium. Now, after a well-run, buy-a-chair campaign, the seating comes forth in a wave of blue, new seats well anchored and ready to set sail for many theater seasons.

Neuharth has sat in many a seat. He has been a long-time faculty member at Minot State, husband, father, grandfather, and repeat dinner guest at the table of his in-laws, Joe and Elise Black of Knox. Rumor has it that he also takes the seat in the farm loader tractor from time to time in Benson County! He has lots of practice sliding from one demanding chair to another. But it is his theater seat with his tempo and timing-along with dedicated practice-that has brought many a fine performance. He and his family have been in numerous Summer Theater performances and his wife Cindy will be in this year’s production of “The Music Man.” This season marks his 39th year of being involved with the stage on the hill.

This summer we have a family member practicing songs and routines. Lydia is playing a role of an orphan in the production of Annie. She has taken great delight with the direction that Carlen and Connie Gilseth are bringing to this performance. Both are gifted, but when Connie showed, rather than told, how to twirl around on stage after doing a perfect cartwheel and then glided with ease into a step and dance routine, Lydia tossed her a dozen red roses. This has been, and will continue to be, the strength of Summer Theater-the blessing of talented directors-charter directors, seasoned, and new.

As a father, I recently observed in our home quite a performance as Lydia was looking for her hair brush. It was not easy to find, and after listening and watching her facial expression, I said, “I only hope that you give a performance like that at Summer Theater; if you do, you will receive a Tony!”

Many wishes to MSU Summer Theater as it marks its Golden Anniversary. We are delighted that this season will bring five favorite shows: “Nunsense” will run June 9-11, “Annie” June 17-21, “Greater Tuna” June 26-30, “Little Shop of Horrors” July 7-11, and “The Music Man” July 21-25. Minot’s overture tree-you know-the tree on the west side of the stage, along with all theater goers are in for a marvelous Summer Theater season. Come take a seat, and as an added bonus-admire one of the most beautiful views of the skyline of our city. Only adding to that pleasure will be the fact that root beer floats will be served at intermission.

We know that elementary teachers are superb at coming up with a Mother’s Day craft gift. It is assumed of them just like you expect a pastor to whip off an impressive prayer on the spot. Kevin’s mother-in-law, Elsie, when she taught, put together a wonderful cookbook-even before Pinterest-as one of those elementary projects! She gathered the mothers’ treasured recipes, typed them up, ran them off on the mimeograph machine, stapled the 6×9 booklets together and adorned the covers with colored construction paper or patterned oil cloth. We would not have expected anything less from a woman who comes to Summer Theater equipped-I have witnessed her choose from the back of their wood-paneled mini-van which coat to wear for the performance: either a light-weight summer sweater, medium jacket, and one cold evening, even her winter wool coat!

Both of her daughters have well-used copies of this cookbook and use them yet today. Featured here are daughters Joline and Cindy’s favorite recipes.

Joline has made these for her choirs in Colorado. They simply love the texture and the taste.

Prairie Maid Wheat Puff candy square

1/3 cup butter

cup corn syrup

1 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons cocoa

1 teaspoon vanilla

8 cups puffed wheat

Melt butter in saucepan and add syrup, sugars, cocoa, and vanilla. When this begins to bubble, remove from heat. Add puffed wheat and mix well. Put in buttered pan and press down. Cut in squares.

Presented by Mrs. Frank Brossart.

Cindy makes these treats every year at Christmas and claims they are wonderful and easy to do.

Caramels

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

cup corn syrup

cup butter

Bring this to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Add 1 cup of cream gradually. Do not allow boiling to stop. Cook until it forms a hard ball when tested in cold water. Pour into a buttered 9×9 pan without stirring. Nuts may be added. Presented by Mrs. Hilda Buckmeier.

The cookbook is a gem filled with good recipes and here are just a few other listings with the women who contributed them to this prairie jewel. Ma’s Fruit Cake by Mrs. John Brossart, Banana Nut Bread by Mrs. Leo Hoffert, Raisin or Date Bread by Mrs. M. Olson, Christmas Bread by Mrs. Oscar Nelson, Stuffed Cabbage Rolls by Mrs. Mike Wolf, Chocolate Cake by Mrs. Mae Holt, and Red Rose Cake by Elsie Black.

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