Acorns Don’t Sing, Chanterelles Don’t Dance
The Dame Jayne Weedy Dinner Theater In The Round.
From The Front Row Center: A Review
It’s Autumn in Beaverlick, where the new theater season begins early and the harlequin leaves arrive late.
So it was with no small sense of excitement that this humble reviewer looked forward to the opening, Friday last, of “Acorns Don’t Sing, Chanterelles Don’t Dance”.
What was there to look forward to?
The fantastical extravaganza promised much, featuring:
Dame Muffie Cryptworth, straight from off-off-way-off Broadway.
Linc Baritone straight from the Hollywood movie blockbuster in 3-D Cinematrophy “Hey Kids Let’s Build A Barn And Put On A Show”
The Tommy Tooney Dancers Whose DVD “Hard Dancing And Synchronized Calisthenics” has sold near a million copies.
Ford Brassmount – Beaverlick’s own favorite son and graduate with honors, of the C J Huponahogg Junior College Department of Creative Communications – School of Theater Emoting.
The authors and producers of the extravaganza? The brothers Baylor and Elwin Carp, whose cash flow, when they’re not not writing, producing, and staging plays, begins with their big box store – Carps’ Buy More Bait and Ammo SuperShack, on Rte 18 and Tarmac Road. For the relentlessly prolific ‘odd’ couple, ADSCDD is their third Weedy mounting in as many years. The Boys Of Beaverlick’s Broadway – Possum Ridge Road, Baylor and Elwin, apparently, will not rest until they have themselves a vehicle to New York. I believe the chorus to the Carp brothers’ aspirations would belt out, “If I can make it in Beaverlick, I can make it anywhere.”
How that, the infatuation with Broadway, had become an aspiration was when the Tommy Tooney Dance Troupers had played Beaverlick’s Red Velour Theater & Strip Tease Academy eight years back, and Elwin got himself a huge crush on Tommy. In the hopes kismet would take heed, Elwin talked Baylor into tempting Broadway by doing it in Beaverlick first.
The boys are on a mission after the odd couple’s previous effort, “Slag” closed after three days when federal agents raided the dinner theater for serving non-FDA approved Illinois grown horseradishes in their shrimp cocktail sauce.
(As per the Municipal Courts decree A14296xYp, Judge Jerry Pearberry presiding, I must leave the review of the Dinner Theater’s bill of fare offerings to the Gazette’s Food Critic, the breathlessly jurisdictional flit, Conklin J. Skidroe)
So what can you expect from “Acorns Don’t Sing, Chanterelles Don’t Dance”?
Curtain Up & Overture
Well, can you imagine Peter Pan being dragged into the woods by Wendy?
Can you imagine flying pixies harnessed and cabled, flitting about overhead, annoying the the dinner audience and trying desperately to not crash into each other?
Can you imagine going to the theater and getting Mush-Mush, the emancipated Chanterelle, falling for Itzy-Bitzy, an acorn come to life to sing all his lines and strangle a couple?
Well, if you’d imagined all three, you’d be right, and not a little peculiar.
Muffie Cryptworth adds pizzazz and jazz hands in an animated performance as Mush-Mush, the grounded mushroom from Chanterelle, an idyllic, little, but somnolent, village that springs to life one day a year. Come to life, the chanterelles are freed from their roots and take to dancing, pirouetting, flitting, and soaring, And, just as the chanterelles, the acorns, silent and trod upon, spring also to life. And, inevitably, love blooms and the nuts and fungi discover inter-species bliss for all the day.
Dame Muffie’s performance was, at once, a tour de force – when grounded, and a tour de farce farce when airborne. Airborne, Muffie flits about in a harness on a wire, thighs flapping un-aeronautically above the stage and the dining audience, dive bombing them all like a Stuka. Unlucky man on an aisle seat had his toupee undone and blown into Section C seating by the turbulence.
And a note to the star’s makeup artist… Muffie’s makeup was so thick she could have better, more easily, portrayed a flying pancake. I had small flakes of pastel beige makeup on the shoulders of my royal blue Armani coat.
The other half of the dynamic duo, Linc Baritone, was masterful as Itzy-Bitzy, the acorn brought to life only to discover acorns are not gender binary and if he wants any love, he’ll have to do the “icky.” Will he be saved from this indignity by Mush-Mush who has fallen in love with Itzy-Bitzy, but must make a man… a male… a? of him first? You’ll have to see for yourselves, folks.
Before I leave you go, two notes. The Tommy Tooney Dancers added explosive energy to the production. Where’d they come by it all for near two hours of gyrating and frugging to drum and electric guitar surfer music, I’ve no idea, but they got me doing the “frug” in my seat.
The other note – The spritiest pixie on stage may well have been Beaverlick’s Ford Brassmount in the role of – Buhhdapan. The rising star of Beaverlick may soon be plucked from Possum Ridge’s theater row and set down on the broader boards and brighter lights of the Great White Way.
All in all, “Acorns Don’t Sing, Chanterelles Don’t Dance” is a decent night at the theater, but it doesn’t beat out Monster Truck Rallies by much.
And the Smoked Herring/Potato Au Gratin was not worthy of a thumbs-up, but I’d heard tell the Kreplach was superb. (EAT IT, CONKLIN!)
Remember, tip your wait staff, and until next time we meet Front Row Center, ta-ta.