The West Bank’s most reliable source for scrappy, punk-flavored performance was transformed into a dinner theater Thursday eve.
In conjunction with its new show, “The Turducken,” Minneapolis’ Bedlam Theatre started offering its audiences four-course meals. Guests are treated to a serving of soup, an appetizer and then a choice of entrée: brown sugar trout, roast beef with gravy or pierogi. Finally, all will enjoy a delightful cup of coffee with their choice of dessert.
“Yes, it’s all very fancy,” assures Bedlam co-artistic director Maren Ward, who was reached by phone.
But it’s not such a long shot for this tiny bubblegum-and-shoestring troupe to simultaneously serve 60 guests. “Well, we have a restaurant and a bar already — so the restaurant is making the food,” says Ward. “We have been thinking of different ways to encourage people to come eat before the show — to let people know we even have a restaurant, because a lot of people don’t know we do.”
As for “The Turducken,” an original play by Bedlam regular Josef Evans, Ward describes it as a send-up of dinner theater, holiday productions and — perhaps most hysterical of all — Anton Chekhov’s so-called comedy, “The Seagull,” a play in which the unimaginable goes wrong for a ragtag assortment of creative folk.
As for the thespians who populate “The Turducken,” Ward says they attempt to stage a Renaissance Festival but “nobody comes.” After that, they attempt to make money by way of the holidays — they dress up in Santa suits, get gigs at dinner theaters and such. But alas, they are as doomed as poor Konstantin! “There are a variety of attempts at holiday employment, achieving a brief success and then failing again,” says Ward with a laugh.
“The Turducken.” Through Dec. 21. Bedlam Theatre, Minneapolis. Tickets: $35 in advance for dinner and show, $50 at door; $15 for show only. More details here.
Editor’s note to readers: So, how’s the food and fare at Bedlam Theatre?