Tuesday, August 20, 2013

One-man Churchill show coming to Carr Gallery in September

Sir Winston Churchill on April 5, 1955, the day he resigned as prime minister because of declining health. (Source: British Pathe Archive)
I saw this on Facebook today, and as a student of history I found it interesting. The Idaho Falls Arts Council is bringing Churchill, a one-person show, to Idaho Falls Sept. 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the Carr Gallery. Tickets are $50.

Set in April 1955, Churchill agonizes in his wartime bunker below London whether to resign as prime minister. As he tries to decide (Spoiler: He did. He was 80 and had suffered a stroke in 1953), he reviews his uniquely eventful career, filled with history-changing events and people, glorious speeches, pithy comments and funny stories. The show promises all the wit and wisdom that has made Churchill into an imperishable legend. 

Limited tickets are available to create these intimate performances in the Carr Gallery. Selections of sweet and savory desserts are included in the admission price. It is being sponsored by Jerry and Carrie Scheid and Tim and Anne Hopkins. For tickets, go to www.idahofallsarts.org or call 522-0471.

As an aside, I can't imagine whoever is playing Churchill will smoke the way the great man did. Not in an art gallery. Yet for the record, here is brief bit from Cigars Magazine:

The man for whom the imposing Churchill cigar size is named smoked eight to 10 cigars a day, primarily Cuban brand. Not even the necessity of wearing an oxygen mask for a high-altitude flight in a non-pressurized cabin could prevent Churchill from smoking. As the story goes, the prime minister requested that a special mask be created that would allow him to smoke while airborne. Naturally, the request was fulfilled. On another occasion, Churchill hosted a luncheon for King Ibn Sa'ud of Saudi Arabia, who did not allow smoking or drinking in his presence. Rather than submit to the king's wishes, Churchill pointed out that "my rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them." The king was convinced.

I remember Hal Holbrook as Mark Twain (20 to 40 cigars a day) many years ago at the Colonial, and all the coughing and consternation over the clouds of cigar smoke billowing from the stage.