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One-man show shines light on Whitman

Patrick Scully portrays Walt Whitman in the one-man show “Leaves of Grass - Illuminated,” which comes to Crossings at Carnegie Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, in Zumbrota. Photo courtesy of Patrick Scully

ZUMBROTA — Crossings presents Patrick Scully's "Leaves of Grass — Illuminated" 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15. This solo performance summons the spirit of America's great poet, Walt Whitman, revealing Whitman's many sides: from the furtive — changing genders to "straighten things up," to the fierce — defying the censors and getting banned in Boston.

Whitman is truly an artist for 2017, according to Scully. A poet who loved America, he used his writing to strategically transform what he believed needed to be changed.

"Leaves of Grass — Illuminated" reflects on Whitman's utopian dreams and his 19th century tribulations. The performance pulls from history, art, literature and opera as it presents aspects of Whitman's life, times and work that are fascinating today, now that discussions of male/male relations have finally moved out of the shadows into the light of day.

This show is the product of more than 10 years of research and development. A large cast version of this show opened in Minneapolis to critical acclaim in 2014. Scully developed the one-man show during a residency at MANCC at Florida State University in 2015. "Leaves of Grass — Illuminated" premiered in New York City and Minneapolis in 2016.

He is touring the show to 24 communities in Minnesota, with support from the Minnesota State Arts Board's Legacy Funds.

Tickets are $14 in advance and $17 day of show. Visit, call 507-732-7616 or stop at 320 East Ave., Zumbrota.