Vickijoan Keck

Storyteller, actress, and poet Vickijoan Keck will be making her debut as a featured performer this Friday, but she is no stranger to Patrick’s Cabaret. She has performed in other people’s works, and has been an audience member many times, since before we were even at this location.

Vickijoan Keck will be presenting ‘A Taste of Archy and Mehitabel’ by Don Marquis, with herself as Mehitabel the alley cat and Lawrence Ripp as Archy the cockroach. A prolific journalist of the 20s and 30s, Don Maquis liked to claim that Archy (the reincarnation of a former Bard) would leap up onto his keys at night and type out stories of him and his friend Mehitabel for Maquis to discover in the morning. Vickijoan liked the piece because of the combination of acting and storytelling it provided, and was drawn to Mehitabel’s combination of dignity and chutzpah “because she is somewhat of a rabble rouser and does not take sh** from anyone.  I’ve always been taught not to rock the boat and do whatever I can to get along with people, so it’s refreshing to play someone who is the opposite of that.” In June 2008 she did Mehitabel as a solo piece for the MN Association of Community Theaters, where she met Larry Ripp, an actor who expressed interest in playing Archy. They collaborated on the piece and reprised in in Stillwater in the fall. Vickijoan said, “We are looking at expanding the work in the future – Marquis wrote a couple of Volumes about Archy and Mehitabel.”

And the most important message to take from this piece? That “no matter what circumstances are in life, one should be ‘toujours gai’ (always happy), and be true to oneself!”

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