THEATER REVIEW | “An ‘Eventually’ Christmas” at the Mill City Museum: Theater in an elevator


An “Eventually” Christmas has the audience at the Mill City Museum riding the elevator in the flour tower, a feature that’s also prominently featured in the regularly scheduled mill tours. This time, we are viewing preparations in the mill for the 1920 company Christmas party.

The script, written by Joseph Scrimshaw, has the audience moving among floors in the mill—including a milling area, the bagging area (where the women worked), and the top-floor corporate offices. The character of Bill Smith, entertainingly played by Brian Columbus, starts as the Mill City Museum tour guide who is enlisted by the Ghost of Mill City Past (Richard Rousseau) to fill in and take a part in the play. He ends up traveling up and down (hopefully with access to an elevator of his own) among floors and playing several parts (toting along and referring to his weighty script throughout).

While the show is entertaining, its primary mission is to educate and Scrimshaw does a good job of balancing the two. An interesting fact I learned is that WCCO Radio took its call letters from the Washburn Crosby Company when the company purchased the station in 1924 and saved it from financial shutdown. I also learned that Washburn Crosby Company had an unbelievable annual marketing budget of $650,000—almost $17 million in today’s currency—in 1907, when it created the slogan that provides the name of the show. “You are going to try Gold Medal Flour eventually…why not now?” This slogan was used from that time until well into the 1940s.

Even if you are not a history buff you will enjoy a glimpse into the milling industry which is such an important part of the history and growth of Minneapolis. If you don’t make it to the remaining shows this year, plan to go…eventually!

Also read Jay Gabler’s 2009 review of An “Eventually” Christmas.

Coverage of issues and events affecting Central Corridor communities is funded in part by a grant from the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative.