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Barbeque, Knick-Knacks and Snow White: Dinner Theater With a Contender

SnowWhite

Last evening we went to a special event. The Catholic high school in Seguin has a tradition of delivering great one-act plays; they’ve been to State competition several times, and this year will make three trips in a row. Maybe they have an unfair advantage or two. Like truly engaged teaching and coaching. Parents who not only support, but actually work the productions. And the Knights of Columbus giving it all they’ve got.

One thing those Knights have is a really, really big barbeque pit. And they’re not afraid to use it. Regularly. A team of experienced cooks got up early Saturday morning and began to smoke chickens, cut in half. Boxes and crates of chicken. Enough to feed an army, or the more than two hundred hungry diners they expected for the show. These guys know their ‘que, and charring up a few hundred pounds of bird barely challenged them. (We heard there was only one small incident during the day, and that is rumored to have involved Shiner.)

Meanwhile, other volunteers were tasked with getting the rest of the meal together: Scalloped potatoes, Southern-style green beans, and peach cobbler. Huge, heaping trays of each. All home-made, with plenty of love baked or simmered in.

I could hardly wait!

After 6 P.M. the crowd began to arrive, and a half hour later or so the Hall was full and boisterous. I bought drinks (Shiner, the troublemaker’s brew apparently, and some daiquiris) and found the rest of the Clan who were attending. Oh, they tried to get rid of me, sending me off for drinks and then disappearing. But I knew they didn’t mean it, for two reasons: A) food hadn’t been served yet, and B) I had their adult beverages. It’s good to be holding all the cards. I finally found them, hiding seated at our table clear across the hall from the booze concessions. I don’t know how our social secretary managed that; I’ll have to have a sternly-worded chat with her later.

PeachCobbler

One compensation of our location, though, was that we had a wonderfully decorated table. Each of the tables had hand-made knick-knacks and doodads, all for sale to support the school’s drama department. You simply found what you liked and paid for it. Oh, and you could cruise the room for goodies that others hadn’t claimed. Everything was for sale, and each table had different stuff. A very eclectic mix of art and handcrafts, including some really nicely done ceramics and pieces in wood. Lots of birdhouses; I think maybe the school had a big push on making little wren estates and the like.

There were two ceramic crosses on our table that were styled out of red chile peppers. I was considering buying one of them when this rube really big, polite fellow wanders over and snatches them both! (When you’re that big, you can afford to be polite.) I was right on the edge of being offended, and then I remembered the first rule about the table art: You snooze, you lose. Oh well, there’s always next year.

Dinner was served quite efficiently by students from the school. I was forced into getting bought another round for the table from the concessions stand; a good thing, as I needed the exercise to have room for all that great-smelling food. Oh, it’s not up-scale restaurant fare, but it sure tasted great! Our server was very astute made a slight mistake and gave me two pieces of peach cobbler, mine and PJ’s. The solution was simple, actually; PJ simply reached for her dad’s piece. He doesn’t need it, right? Simple.

After the meal the drinks were topped up and the silliness play began: Snow White and the Seven Dudes. Yes, think the Brothers Grimm meet City Slickers. The playwright, Matt Flick, was in attendance, which gave the troupe extra incentive to act their hearts out. And they certainly did.

CastleA

After starting with the fanfare from Masterpiece Theater, the play settled into the highly predictable, if delightfully bent, plot and action. Queen Miriam has a daughter, but dies before she can raise her little Snow White. The king (who we never see, of course) remarries the evil Judith, “the hottest chick in the kingdom.” (It’s good to be the king, sometimes. Other times, not so much.) The sadly truthful mirror’s pronouncement leads to a plot to do in the lovely girl, and “Prince” (complete with cape and glasses) is called in to perform the dastardly deed.

Well, Prince hasn’t the heart (or the gray matter) to do the princess in. Instead, he abandons her at a dude ranch on the edge of the kingdom. Enter Bucko, the ranch owner; Bozo the clown; Hobo the domicile-challenged person; Emo the bard, who’s, shall we say, different; Cholo, the mechanic; Chef Boyardi-O, who keeps the group fed; and Mimo, the mime (of course). In their own inimitable ways, each teaches Snow White about life. While evil Queen Judith festers with hate that she’s still not the hottest chick in the kingdom. She vows to do the job herself, and she cooks up the required poisoned apple.

One point confused me a bit. How is it that a Groucho Marx disguise always works in fairy tales? Anyway, Judith gets Snow White to eat from the apple, and then she revels in once again being the hottest chick in the kingdom. (Trust me, I’m not repeating myself nearly as much as this obsessed royal did.) To make a short story long, Prince rides to the rescue, late as usual, but all ends well when he knocks out the Queen, kisses the lovely Princess, and they ride off into the sunset. Or something like that. I was distracted by a last bit of cobbler at the very end, so some of the details are a tad fuzzy.

I chatted briefly with Matt after the shindig was done, and he thinks they’ve got a shot this year. Not that he’s biased or anything. If they win next week, it’ll be a big feather in the school’s cap, and something they’ve obviously worked very hard for. I know about 250 well-fed supporters who are cheering strongly for just that outcome!

We’ll see. In the meantime, I wonder if there’s any peach cobbler left over? I’m feeling a bit peckish after all that play-watching…

Enjoy the (Fairy Tale Food) Heat!

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