Updated: 02/18/2014 9:27 AM KSTP.com By: Barry ZeVan
I caught up with Vineeta Sawkar, Charlie Rose and The History Theatre after a month's laziness (mea culpa)!
I was honored to be invited by Vineeta to attend her going away gathering at Mancini's in St. Paul last Friday night. After 18 years at KSTP-TV (and KSTC-TV) she's moving on to other pursuits.
As anyone who regularly reads these blogs, it's evident I'm frequently and expressively anal about correct pronunciation, delivery of television newscasts and the personalities of the anchor people who truly "get it."
Vineeta, in my opinion, was the best, here in the Twin Cities, and arguably among the best in the nation. I told her many times throughout her long tenure at KS that anyone who didn't hire her as a national anchor DIDN'T "get it."
Her personality and intelligence brightened the screen (and our mornings and afternoons) with class-exceptionable. Her husband, Jason, was, of course, there that evening, and meeting him for the first time definitely signaled these two were a match made in Heaven. Intelligent, fun and great personality. Brava and bravo to Vineeta and Jason for brightening the human landscape to the highest level of luminescence and quality. I'm certain they will continue to do so.
I sometimes have the luxury to watch Charlie Rose's quality interviews and interviewees during repeat broadcasts (from the preceding evening) in the early afternoon on TPT2's "Life" channel.
His guests this week have been, in my opinion, especially enlightening and important to our continual learning process. One guest in particular, was Jacksonville Jaguars football team owner, Shahid Khan. It was Mr. Khan's first appearance on Charlie's show, but will probably not be his last. His entire life story, with which I'm certain many of you are familiar, was chronicled to Charlie with dignity and grace sorely lacking in much of today's "upper echelon" society.
Encapsulating all he told, he arrived in this country from Pakistan with $500 in his pocket, and went to Illinois because he had relatives there who had preceded his journey to the U.S. to seek the American dream. He made Champaign-Urbana his home. Still does. He eventually owned (still does) the company that hired him as a grunt. His rise to wealth and power was not on the backs of those who helped him ascend the ladder, but rather because they recognized this man was a thinker-extraordinaire. He knows how to identify the best and worst in people, and in business. If that doesn't fit the job description of those at the top, Mr.Khan's comments to Charlie Rose should be on the first page of every executive hiring manual. This man "walks on water," and one of his goals is to have his football team become real contenders for Super Bowl status. If Mr. Khan can't make that happen, no one can.
The History Theatre, St. Paul
It's legendary to those who know the depth and breadth of Twin Cities performing talent, especially on our many stages, professional or non, that we have, also arguably, the core of the best of the best of actors, singers and dancers, anywhere. Currently running through May 19 at St. Paul's History Theatre (formerly Chimera to those of us who remember the early '70s theaters here) is a stunning tribute to St. Paul's F. Scott Fitzgerald, via Artistic Director Ron Peluso's production of THIS SIDE OF PARADISE.
No superlatives would match the dynamic, profound, compelling, enlightening and delightful performances of each cast member. I had not known F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald's marriage had been as tempestuous and tumultuous as it was, but since the plays at The History Theater educate as well as entertain, this particular production certainly educated ME! This is one production to not miss. Absolutely excellent.
Thanks for taking the time to read these geezer thoughts. I'll be resuming the A SENIOR MOMENT webcasts in a couple weeks. Forehead cancer-removal scar will be mostly unnoticeable by then. All best wishes to you and yours..
Barry ZeVan is a columnist for KSTP.com.