Oh Winnipeg! A Surprising Musical Memoir, starring John Pippus because the city of Winnipeg plays only a minor role: the major roles are taken by John himself and the many forms of music that he loves. From 50s icons like Bobby Dee and Del Shannon, through the Kingston trio and the Limelighters, and the Beatles and the Stones, with heavy doses of blues legends like Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee, Pippus loved them all (as the song goes), even though he wasn’t able to accomplish all that he dreamed of (at least not in the time frame that he imagined). We get tons of blasts from the past including a two-tone blue ’57 Chevrolet New Yorker, the Beatles’ Ed Sullivan concert, nude camping in Hawaii and even a failed OFY grant application* but the best parts of this one-man show are when Pippus is playing music: showing us how to impress girls by playing four chords strongly and relentlessly, demonstrating how he learned to play blues harmonica (you have to bend the notes) while hitchhiking or just performing a tune. A good show that would have been even better with more tunes and, by extension, more passion.
*In the 70s, OFY grants were given out by the federal government in support of all kinds of crazy creative projects that were supposed to (and often did) bring art in all its forms to the community, and vice versa. What a time we had then.