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Conni’s Avant Garde Restaurant

December 4th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments


Dr. Smith, Mrs. Robinson, and Hunter take the stage.

I went and saw Conni’s Avant Garde Restaurant last night at Cleveland Public Theatre and it was a blast. It was a wonderful theater experience, dining experience, and drinking experience all rolled up into one. A group of friends and I went so we had a table of 10 which set us back $400, but because we purchased tix in bulk it was $40 a pop for the tickets rather than the door price of $60, so we saved some coin by purchasing that way. For $40 a ticket, you get A LOT. The show comes with five courses: appetizers, soup, salad, main course, desert and there are 3 bottles of wine at each table gratis. After that, or more likely before, you’re on your own; but CPT had a wide variety of beverages available for purchase.

How it Works

When you show up and “check in” you’re greeted by nurses who offer you a tray of name badges from which you may choose. You choose the one that “speaks to you.” I was immediately drawn to Amish Barber, and for people who know me they’ll understand why. The nurses have names as well, my favorite nurse was named Pluperfect, a tense that she was quite capable of explaining–and she was correct in telling me that by the end of the evening I will have loved the Conni’s experience: I did.

Silver3 gives her introduction

After the name selection bit, you are provided with appetizers and mingle around the CPT bar in the Gordon Square space. You eat some, drink more, and mingle around with all the other strangely named sojourners on your trip. After a bit, a trumpet sounds out and begins playing (very New Orleans like) and a dirge-like procession begins of the main Conni’s inhabitants. One of them holds aloft a photograph of Conni, who cannot be at the event that night. Once the folks from Conni’s are in place, the ground rules for the evening are laid out. Once all is in order, a curtain is pulled back and everyone enters the main dining room and is seated. To get a sense check out Silver3’s page on Facebook.

Silver comes in and does her introductions, as Ms. Conni cannot do it herself. The grand introduction is interrupted however by Dr. Smith, who is totally naked and being chased by all of the nurses. Gee, what a predicament‚Ķ The plot kicks in, which revolves around the pregnancy of Muffin Handshake, but I wouldn’t hang your hat on the plot too much. The show is more mayhem and frolic. Large amounts of drinking, eating, and merry-making ensue. Songs are sung with appropriately modified lyrics; children’s books are read, with appropriately modified thematics;

Muffin Handshake reads the Little Match Girl to Bee and Bear

Mrs Robinson the rocker took my wife and went off somewhere to chang pants with her; Miss Goodi Two Shoes caressed my beard; Dr. Smith gave several at our table prescriptions to shotgun a Pabst; a hunter shot a deer which turned into brussels sprouts; Mr. X sang fantastic rock ballads as a lounge singer; a woman was inseminated by a large purple worm; later, the resulting baby was moved from one womb to another through an astonishing moment of female-to-female scissor action driven forward by the thumping rhythms of Led Zeppelin; the chef kept cooking, everyone at the table kept eating and drinking; an interactive game show popped up at which my brother-in-law Dave Rogers did fantastically; everyone bantered with nurses and took pictures; and the general manager made sure everything worked out without a hitch.

It was theater the way theater should be: alive, filled with energy and excitement, a thing in which everyone was and wished to be involved.

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