Tonight, a group of self-anointed “cougars,” Megan, and I (the only male) traveled to Findlay to see a production of Pump Boys and Dinettes. Before our hour and a half trek began, piling into the minivan was almost worth a few dollars to see itself. I would have gladly given up my front seat but to see the ladies crawling over each other to get a seat was priceless. We drove through quite a bit of rain… so much for the “Slight chance of evening showers.”
For dinner, we decided on a place called The Gathering that was right beside The Tavern in the Inn (I almost thought I was back in NYC at Tavern on the Green). I decided on the restaurants signature ribs. Thank goodness, I decided on the Piglet order instead of the full-rack Oinker platter. I barely finished the half-rack. Guess I was not as hungry as I was when I tackled the full-pound sirloin burger.
Ths show itself was billed as “a country music review.” However, while most of the music had a country feel, I did notice a few pieces that had a rock sound from the 50s-60s. The music was ALL ORIGINAL. Since the show was a review, the plot was totally secondary and seemed to be spliced together from old bits of Hee Haw corn. The small cast included sisters Rhetta and Prudie Cupp who run and operate the Double Cupp DIner and the three main attendants at the garage/filling station next door. The leader of the Pump Boys, Jim, seemed to be the MC of the evening and introduced the ladies man, Jackson and the more suspicious, L.M. The pit was included on stage and the two guitar players, pianist, and drummer each seemed to have personalities of their own without saying a word. I would say my favorite selection was L.M.’s recollection of a week he spent while attending the concert of a certain buxom blonde country legend.
The set really made you think you were in a small backwater town in Carolina where the men far outnumber the ladies (inbreeding). Where beer is home brewed as well as the ‘shine and a cow eats the field of marijuana (be sure to have that milk tested).
After the show, Megan and I were encouraged to check out the green room in the basement. Although the ceiling was a bit low (thank you Megan for pointing that out as I hit my head more than once), I must say that I found myself thinking of making a switch. There was furniture galore (comfortable furniture), a large television which served as a monitor showing the action on stage (very nice to have), as well as cast pictures from previous shows. As the Fort Findlay Playhouse is also constucted inside a hollowed out church, it made me wonder how many theatres have been converted from places of worship.
On another note, it seemed that the Fort Findlay Players stole our theme idea for a season (or more members of their board were more receptive to the suggestions). Next year, the theatre is doing a Salute to Hollywood by presenting a series of plays that were also movies. Shows like Arsenic and Old Lace, House of Frankenstein, Singin’ in the Rain, and The Wizard of Oz (the version based on the 1939 classic film), and The Odd Couple are on the season. See… it is possible.
Pump Boys and Dinettes was just a fun bit of escapist fun that just flew by. The vocal talent was extraordinary and the choreography was simple yet energetic. I could see myself doing it. That again is saying A LOT.