Bodies of water are frequent metaphors in poetry, due to their unfathomable depths, unknowable sprawl, and unattainable porpoises. Glide into an enigma with today's GrouponLive deal: for $28, you get two tickets to Flying Pig Productions’ presentation of Escanaba in da Moonlight and two drink tickets on Padelford Riverboats’ Centennial Showboat, docked at Harriet Island Regional Park in St. Paul (up to a $56 total value, depending on the performance). This deal is valid for one of 15 performances from Thursday, October 6–Sunday, October 30. A full bar where guests can use their drink tickets opens one hour before the show.
The University of Minnesota’s gifted thespians take to the stage at the Centennial Showboat’s vibrant 225-seat playhouse every summer, performing timeless plays and musicals as the vessel rocks gently in the currents of the Mississippi River. Penned by renowned funnyman and cryptozoologist Jeff Daniels, Escanaba in da Moonlight follows the supernatural misadventures of middle-aged Reuben Soady as he attempts to bag his first buck and reclaim a modicum of respect from his father and brother. Reuben’s quest to impress the hunt-happy duo leads him to adopt some unorthodox rituals that inadvertently trigger a series of strange and inexplicable events at the family camp. As whiskey turns to syrup and blinding lights burst forth on Soady Ridge, Reuben realizes that he must face his fears or remain forever unfit to don the proud orange vest of his forebears.
The showboat venue’s air conditioning or heat (depending on the weather) keeps audience members comfy during scenes that provoke warm laughter and applause. After the curtain draws closed, guests can reenact their favorite lines on the showboat’s outdoor decks or in a pair of opulent Victorian reception rooms.
In 1969, the founder of Padelford Riverboats, Captain William D. Bowell, Sr., launched the Jonathan Padelford steamwheeler into the Mississippi, hoping to bring visitors to the riverfront for leisurely jaunts. After more than 30 years of expanding his fleet and ferrying passengers along the historic waterways, he handed the reigs over to his daughters and nephew. Today, the family operates five boats equipped with dance areas, bars, sun decks, and the nostalgia that William hoped to keep alive. With the Twin Cities' skyline and the rugged, green banks of the river as the backdrop, US Coast Guard–licensed vessels float passengers past sights such as Pig's Eye Cave, Fort Snelling, and Pike Island. Some cruises also include dinner or fireworks, and special holiday cruises are also available.