By Dan and Alison Tingley
Once again, it’s time to grab a handful of wet-naps and head off to the Station Dinner Theatre’s A Canterbury Feast. This is the 33rd annual running for this show. (you: 33 years! That’s longer than I’ve been alive! Alison: shut up.) The show takes us back to medieval times with plenty of food that you eat with your hands. (and your mouth. The point is really that you don’t use utensils.) This year’s A Canterbury Feast is written and directed by David Durst. It’s a show within a show. The well-costumed knaves and wenches serve the abundant food and drinks and coach their tables in complex toasts.
The show starts with the Greensleeve Players singing and dancing while they introduce themselves to the audience. The wenches are Zelda (Pam Durst), Glissando (Carrie Smith), Lucia (Amy Welker Rowe), and Tabitha (Jennifer Bussiere). The knaves are Thurio (John A. Burton), Wilhelm (David Durst), Chester (Chad Santos), and Westly (Roger Dobry). The players lead us in a rousing drinking song. Next they bring us our soup, salad, and bread, change into more fabulous costumes, and treat us to a play called “Canterbury Casanova.”
The story goes like this. Casanova (Santos) owes a lot of people a lot of money. So he plans to skip town. (That’s what we would do.) As soon as he sneaks off, the wealthy Lady FaDa (Rowe), arrives with her son, Franco (Burton), to offer Casanova a large sum of money to prove Franco’s fiancée, Cheri (Bussiere) unworthy of Franco’s affection by compromising her virtue. Casanova’s creditors – the Baker (Pam Durst), the Butcher (David Durst), GQ the tailor (Dobry), Helen (Smith), and the servant (Bussiere) – overhear the plan and devise a plot of their own. GQ will pretend to be Casanova, deflower Cheri, collect the money, and pay them all off. Simple, right? Well. It’s not. Does GQ succeed? Go and see.
To save space and time, everyone is absolutely wonderful in this show. If you want adjectives, go get your own thesaurus and go nuts (mad, batty, wacky, silly, cray-cray). We would especially like to commend Rowe and Burton for some fabulous singing. Also, we found Dobry to be absolutely captivating. His every move and expression is pure poetry. We hope to see him in more shows.
After dessert is served, the Greensleeve Players change back into their knave and wench attire and get ready to end the show. They lead us in another amusing drinking song and then say goodbye with a sad song.
Carrie Smith plays the piano perfectly. The set and costumes are super. The show is well-written and well-directed.
A Canterbury Feast runs through November 9th at the Station Dinner Theatre. Our recommendation: wash your hands thoroughly and go see this show. For tickets and more information, call the box office at 814-864-2022 or Toll Free 1-866-848-2022 or go to http://www.canterburyfeast.com/.