Laura Littleford

And in the kind of above-and-beyond investigative journalism you’ve come to expect from me, I’ve copy-pasted information on Laura Littleford from the Patrick’s Cabaret website below, that you may edify yourselves. I will finish typing up the transcripts of my in-person interviews. No, really, I will. I swear. No, no, I’m not crossing my fingers. That’s, um, a secret Star Trek hand gesture. Yeah.

Laura Littleford is an award-winning writer, performer, and teacher, who specializes in the arts as a tool of healing. Her one-woman shows have toured the Midwest and been featured at national and international health conferences.

“Romeo and Juliet in Winnipeg” is a true account of a thwarted high school romance in 1968-1969. Caught between two warring Southern Baptist families (religious wars of the ’60s), she and her boyfriend lived out the tumult of the nation and the 1960s religious wars.

This is both a unique slice of Minnesota history–Southern Baptists in Minnesota–and a universal story of love and coming of age. Of course, anything about Southern Baptists is funny but also maddening–“Romeo and Juliet in Winnipeg” will be both outraged and poignant.

The Witherspoon Trio

Okay, I gotta say this: these kids have the coolest names ever. Seriously: Alastair. Imala. Nygel. WITHERSPOON. Really, try saying one of them out loud: “Alastair Witherspoon.” Don’t you feel all awesome? And for some reason, vaguely British? Good times.

In addition to having fantastic names, these three siblings are also very musically talented, as those who saw them at “Patrick’s Cabaret Live” four years ago can attest. Coming from a family where we consider it an epic accomplishment to get through ‘Happy Birthday’ more or less on key, I’m pretty much in awe of these guys’ prowess. Alastair, who is eleven, has been studying the viola since he was seven, and in the last two years has started playing the violin as well. Imala (she’s nine) has been playing the violin since just before turning five. And Nygel (age seven) started out on the violin when he turned three but has since moved on to the cello.

And now, why don’t you get further acquainted with these delightful and ridiculously talented young people?

Alastair puts hot sauce on almost everything. Now there’s a kid with sense! (I personally find that drinking salsa is a great stress reliever, Alastair. Have you ever tried that? It’s fantabulous.) He also enjoys Harry Potter, bike riding, and playing with dogs. His favorite composers are Bela Bartok and J.S. Bach, and his favorite performers are Robert Mann and William Primrose. His favorite pieces to play are Preludium and Allegro and Viotti Concerto ( for violin) and J.C. Bach Concerto in C Minor ( for viola). His favorite piece to listen to is the Bartok Viola Concerto; he also enjoys listening to Ben Folds. In the future he wants to play the viola in an orchestra and teach music. 

Imala loves learning new pieces and playing music with her brothers (though in the future she’d like to be a soloist!). She says “I love my violin because it’s part of my life and I love playing it.” She would someday like to learn to play the piano as well. Her favorite song to play is the Accolay Concerto (Accolay is one of her favorite composers), but she wishes she could play the Sibelius Concerto. She loves to listen to ABBA. Her musical hero is the violinist Midori, whom she actually got to meet! Amala also loves cats (they have two, Maurice and Riley) and likes to design clothes. Her favorite books are The Diary of Anne Frank and theHarry Potter series.

Nygel attends Augsburg Suzuki Program and loves composing pieces on cello. He says that what he likes about the cello is its deep tone, and that he would like to someday learn to play the guitar and the piano. His musical hero is his music teacher David Holmes. Nygel’s favorite piece to play is ‘Hunter’s Chorus’; his favorite to listen to is ‘Lully Gavotte.’ He enjoys playing with his siblings, working in the garden, eating apples and all kinds of sweet things, and reading his favorite book, the school science textbook.