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The earliest cartograms -- maps whose boundaries are distorted to reflect a set of data other than area -- began appearing in the late 19th century. This cartogram by General Electric is the earliest example -- OK, the only example -- I've found in the Minneapolis Tribune archives:
A century later, a bizarre story like this would generate tens of thousands of page views on a newspaper website. Maybe more, with a little help from Fark. For that, we’ll need a far better headline than the one that topped the original. Whaddya got, people?
|The Crystal Bay rail station near Lake Minnetonka in about 1910. (Photo courtesy of mnhs.org)
The Guthrie moved to its new building on the Mississippi River in June 2006. “Hamlet” brought the curtain down on the old building, with Joe Dowling directing and Santino Fontana in the lead. Here's a link to a review of that final production. And below is the Minneapolis Tribune’s May 8, 1963, review of the theater’s first production.
[Originally posted May 7, 2006; reposting to fix formatting and update the introduction and links.]
By DAN SULLIVAN
Minneapolis Tribune Staff Writer
Tyrone Guthrie’s production of “Hamlet” is always interesting, often compelling and sometimes great.
|Theatergoers in formal attire gathered in the Guthrie’s lobby on opening night. (Photo by Gerald Brimacombe, Minneapolis Star)|
Some feared – you had the feeling that some almost hoped – it would be gimmicky. It isn’t.
Despite the tennis rackets and umbrellas, it is in the best, nonacademic sense of the word, a traditional performance.
Guthrie has done us a very great favor by presenting “Hamlet” virtually uncut. In a little less than four hours it unfolds like a novel in a pattern of tension, relief (often comic relief) and greater tension. No minor character from Cornelius to Fortinbras is eliminated, and the result is a balanced picture of a world off-balance.
If the play seems at times incoherent and tedious, the reviewer will mention the heresy that this may be more the fault of the author than of the director.
“Hamlet” is a great poem, trapped inside a bulky melodrama, and you can’t cut the melodrama without hurting the poem.
Nor, since its hero does not quite know what to make of himself, it is surprising that he leaves us a little puzzled, too.
Guthrie’s Hamlet is George Grizzard. It is an excellent performance, conveying best the hero’s youth, his sense of fun, his basic decency, and most important, his strength.
Grizzard’s Hamlet is no moony sentimentalist dripping self-pity at every pore. He is a sturdy, fine young man for the first time up against one of the ugly facts of life. That he is unable to cope with them illustrates more their power than his weakness.
Though Grizzard’s rhetorical force is considerable, his performance is basically realistic. The famous soliloquies, for example, are not set pieces; they flow naturally from the mind of the man.
Grizzard’s performance lacks the extra dimension of greatness, but is masculine, sympathetic, consistent and very, very intelligent. It should deepen as the season progresses.
|Tyrone Guthrie chatted with theatergoers after “The Miser” opened on May 8, 1963. Dressed to the nines were Mrs. Frank Bowman of Minneapolis and Mrs. Henry Rea, right, of Pittsburgh, Pa. (Photo by Powell Krueger, Minneapolis Tribune)|
“Great” is the word for Ellen Geer’s Ophelia. The girl shows backbone in her early interview with the prince (“Indeed, my lord, you made me believe so” is delivered without the customary whimper) and in the mad scene she is actually mad.
Hair in dirty disorder, gown stained with grass, she falls to her knees with a sob and claws the floor of the palace with her fingernails. She is raking her garden – or is it the grave of her father? This double image of fertility and decay is one of the finest moments in the play.
There are several others. Gertrude (Jessica Tandy) enters in her wedding finery in Act One. She looks at Hamlet; Hamlet looks back; his eyes drop; her eyes drop. The situation is revealed as it could not be on the picture frame stage.
Guthrie makes audacious use of his semi-arena stage in the play-within-the-play sequence. The lords and ladies ringing the platform hush Hamlet’s taunting of Ophelia; they came to see a show. The bone-white beam of a portable spotlight makes the Player Queen’s “None wed the second but who killed the first” a shocking breach of social decorum. Claudius (Lee Richardson) purples as he gets the point. He lunges at his nephew and the stage – the theater, too, it seems – and explodes in panic. The final duel scene also is beautifully staged.
Guthrie’s invention extends to characterization. Robert Pastene’s Polonius is, within his limits, a rather capable adviser. Ken Ruta’s Ghost is a very substantial figure suffering very substantial pain in the next world and bitterly resents it. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (University of Minnesota graduate students Alfred Rossi and Michael Levin) are two thoroughly modern sellout types whose fate we do not regret.
Tanya Moiseiwitsh’s splendid 20th century costumes are almost always an asset, clarifying relationships and, since they are mostly formal, illustrating the “royalty” theme as well as costumes from any era might.
The cast is well spoken; Miss Tandy and Richardson are excellent; Nicholas Coster (Laertes) and Graham Brown (Horatio) are capable. The Guthrie Theater is off to a happy start.
|The Guthrie filled all 1,437 seats for opening night, according to Barbara Flanagan’s Page One account the next morning in the Tribune: “By 7:10 p.m., five minutes before showtime, everybody was seated. Old theater hands, used to the late-coming Broadway audiences on opening nights, were amazed.” (Photo by Gerald Brimacombe, Minneapolis Star)|
Minneapolis Tribune copy editors of 1886 faced a challenge beyond anything we encounter in today’s newsrooms. Day in, day out, the big story on page one required a half-dozen or more subheadlines. Let’s give it up for the anonymous craftsman who managed to write 13 dramatic and informative subheds for the story below. At the same time, he could have done a better job editing the story, which is filled with overwrought prose, tangled syntax and contradictory assertions. My favorite is the writer’s habit of saying a scene is impossible or “too piteous” to describe — and then describing it in great detail. Must be an 1880s thing.
Which is not to say that the tornado that hit St. Cloud and Sauk Rapids on April 14, 1886, was anything but a disaster of historic proportions. It is the deadliest tornado in Minnesota history. More than 70 people were killed, and Sauk Rapids was all but blown off the map.
[Originally posted June 16, 2008. I'm reposting in connection with a presentation I'm giving at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Stearns County Historical Society in St. Cloud. Free to members; $5 for nonmembers. Details here.]
|Unroofed: The first house struck by the tornado in St. Cloud. (Photo courtesy mnhs.org)|
[SPECIAL DISPATCH TO THE TRIBUNE]
St. Cloud, April 14 – This place was today the scene of the most terrible calamity that has ever visited the Northwest. It is impossible yet to say entirely how terrible it is.
|St. Cloud’s rail yard did not fare well. (Photo courtesy mnhs.org)|
The morning was stormy. Last night a severe thunderstorm passed over us, and during the forenoon there were frequent showers with occasional flashes of lightning and the noise of distant thunder. Soon after noon the storm grew heavier and became severe at 2 o’clock, but seemed to have again passed off by 2:30. Shortly before 4, however, the air darkened again, and sharp gusts of wind, bringing sudden showers of rain and hail, shook the city. Nothing of any moment, however, occurred until about 4:30. The air was then dark and thick, and growing momentarily darker. Suddenly the sky toward the southwest deepened from dark to absolute black. The air was close and sultry; but still no one seemed to fear anything more than an ordinarily severe thunderstorm.
Your correspondent was standing with a knot of men in the shelter of a doorway looking at the blackening sky. Some one jestingly suggested a cyclone. Then the talk turned lightly on former cyclones – these at Rochester, New Ulm, Highmore; and reminiscences of the ruin caused by the storms went round. Meanwhile the wind had dropped and the rain ceased. Everything was still and close. Your correspondent walked up the street – his back toward the threatening quarter. Suddenly a cry arose, and people rushed from door to door. Simultaneously came another fierce, sudden burst of rain-laden wind. Fiercer and fiercer it blew. Turning to the southwest your correspondent saw
|More of the devastation in Sauk Rapids. (Photo courtesy mnhs.org)|
A Solid Mass of Cloud,
dense black except where it was tinged with a strange greenish color, sweeping apparently towards the city. The lower end of the cloud appeared to rest on the ground, being narrow. Thence it broadened upwards until the top of the funnel – or inverted pyramid – covered half the sky. But there was not much time to study it. The wind, already a gale, grew momentarily worse; first a tempest, then a tornado. Above the wind one could hear the crash of houses, the breaking of timbers and the shock of falling walls. It was probably only a few seconds while the storm was passing; but they were terrible seconds – utter blackness and an inconceivable din of crashing buildings and roaring storm. Then came the rain again – not in drops, or bucketfuls, but sheets – driving before the gale like vertical sections of solid waves of water. Then the air slowly lightened. The sky towards the southwest had grown gray again, and the terrible, black mass blotted out the northeastern horizon. The cyclone had passed.
Around where your correspondent was no damage was done. All the buildings still stood. It had fortunately missed the central business section in the city. As fast as possible I made my way towards the northwest part of the city, which is chiefly
Made Up of Residences.
Everybody else (those who were not still hiding, terror stricken, in cellars and corners of their houses) rushed in the same direction. Turning a sudden corner we found the road apparently barricaded halfway down the block. It was the edge of the cyclone’s path, and three houses which had been together were in ruins across the street. Climbing over the wreck were a dozen men and women. On one side a knot was gathered where a child lay stretched on the sidewalk – dead.
|The tornado flattened much of Sauk Rapids. (Photo courtesy mnhs.org)|
From there on the scene was terrible. Description is impossible. One every side lay piles of ruins, where there had lately been comfortable, happy homes. From some, strong hands were lifting the dead and insensible. From others the shrieks of persons still imprisoned were heart-rending. Block after block was desolated. Yet here and there, in the very central path of the storm, houses stood – not always the stoutest or largest, and with no other reason why they should have escaped the wreck of their neighbors than the caprice of the storm as it passed.
After the Storm,
The whole population of the city had crowded to the ruined quarter. Business men rushing to their homes, found in their stead masses of ruins. Some found the bodies of their wives and children already extricated from the wreck. Others came in time to help them out, and save their lives. Others only in time to help to lift out their corpses. Not a few had to wait for hours before they knew whether the heaps of shattered timbers in front of them covered all that they loved on earth or not.
Some of the scenes were too piteous to be described. A mother who had been down town came back only to stand by and listen to the shrieks of her buried children grow fainter and fainter, as the workers above tried to make their way to them. In another place your correspondent saw a girl carried away raving and apparently hopelessly insane as the moving of a timber disclosed her mother’s face – pale, save for the blood which had flowed from the blow that had killed her. On every side friend was calling for friend; child for parent; parent for child, and strong men sat on what had been their homes and sobbed like children over the bodies of their wives. It is too horrible!
|The ruins of a school in Sauk Rapids. (Photo courtesy mnhs.org)|
In all some thirty dwelling houses are destroyed – and not one of the thirty but in its fall either killed or horribly mutilated some of its inmates. Cutler and Webb’s brewery is completely demolished. Round this and the Manitoba freight depot (which also lies in ruins) surged the greatest crowd. It is impossible to say yet who may not lie dead in the ruins of either. The brick house of John Swartz is merely a chaotic pile – close beside it a frame house sands unroofed, but the walls still standing.
The path of the cyclone seems to have been about 600 feet wide – cut as clean as a swathe in a hay field. Sauk Rapids has also suffered badly. The bridge across the river is down. It is impossible yet to learn what the loss of life has been.
All the while that the search went on the rain descended in torrents. Now and then it clears for a space; but soon thickens again. Overhead there is a continual rumble of distant thunder, and vivid flashes of lightning ever and again throw the desolate scene into awful relief. It was some time before any organized system of working on the ruins could be arranged. Every man was doing all he could, but the confusion was hopeless. The mayor and city officials worked well, and the members of the fire department. Assistance was promptly telegraphed for to St. Paul and Minneapolis. The work of searching in the ruins was not unattended with danger, for in many places the dismantled walls still stood, rocking in the wind, and at intervals the crash of falling timber was heard over the cries of the wounded and the wailing of the bereaved. More than one person has been hurt in this way in trying to save others.
Many of the dead bodies taken from the ruins are mutilated beyond recognition. As nearly as it can be ascertained now the number of dead in the two places – for Sauk Rapids has suffered at least as badly as St. Cloud – is 30, and about a hundred more are more or less mutilated. The court house here is unroofed and the county records are exposed.
|Sauk Rapids courthouse was reduced to a pile of rubble. (Photo courtesy mnhs.org)|
|Two stores once stood on this site in Sauk Rapids. (Photo courtesy mnhs.org)|
A gripping profile in prairie courage from the Minneapolis Tribune:
|Brave as Eunice Albertson was, I can find no photo of her. You'll have to settle for this haunting image of an anonymous woman carrying pails across a desolate stretch of the northern prairie in about 1900. (Image courtesy of mnhs.org)|
|Eunice W. Albertson was listed as an assistant matron at the Woman's Boarding Home on S. 10th in the 1910 Minneapolis City Directory.|
|"Mrs. Brown's boarding house" -- not Miss Albertson's -- at 9th Street and 6th Avenue S. in Minneapolis around 1900, give or take 15 years. (Photo courtesy Hennepin County Library)
|Great Northern tracks skirted the north side of Cedar Lake in this 1898 photo by William G. Wallof. (Courtesy Hennepin County Library)