Iowa’s Governor and First Lady will perform the play “Love Letters” at Buena Vista University Saturday night as a fundraiser for the library in Storm Lake. It’s a two-person play, and the “actors” — in this case Governor Tom Vilsack and his wife, Christie — don’t have to memorize a thing. They have the script in hand on stage, as the idea is the two are reading the letters each has written the other over the course of a lifetime. Christie Vilsack says it doesn’t require lots of rehearsals or costumes. She jokes that her husband probably likes that part, since she has insisted that the Governor parade around her annual “Spring Fling” reading celebration at Terrace Hill in costume. Vilsack has dressed as Friar Tuck, Winnie the Pooh and the Scarecrow. In the play the Vilsacks will read this weekend, the Governor will portray a United States Senator who is a Republican.Mrs. Vilsack says she and her husband really didn’t know what the play was about when they agreed to do it, but she says they have no qualms about performing. The play does include some adult subject matter. Mrs. Vilsack says she’s a bit “uncomfortable” saying some of the things her character will say, but the First Lady says she doesn’t want to “destroy” the play by making edits that’ll changes from the way it was originally written. Mrs. Vilsack says one reason she likes the play because it highlights how couples can get to know one another by writing letters. She has saved the letters she received from her husband over the course of their courtship, and Mrs. Vilsack has the letters her parents wrote early in their marriage when her dad served in World War II. Former Iowa Congressman Fred Grandy — a regular on the “Love Boat” TV show — performed “Love Letters” with his wife in Washington, D.C. and Des Moines right before he launched his unsuccessful bid to unseat Governor Terry Branstad in 1994.
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