Last night, for my birthday dinner, we went to Miss Conni's Avant Garde Restaurant, now playing at the Ohio Theater on Wooster St. Not your usual restaurant, Miss Conni and her team of crazies serve up delicious food to several dozen patrons, accompanied by song and dance that is a bit upside down.
The evening starts with cocktail hour when the players mingle with the guests. They don't blend in so it's easy to spot them, and they make a good effort to talk to everybody. We are all invited to take a name badge - we were Mr. Softy, Swine Stew and Captain Hookworm. Miss Conni herself was bedecked in a beautiful, couture hat created from some very fancy panties, complete with garter. They coordinated well with her cat frame glasses, frilly dress, platform shoes and lacy other things. The rules are provided: no changes to the menu, do not call the actors waiters, everything is a prop, and this is never to be called Dinner Theater. No it is not.
The plot of the evening is mostly medical based and starts out with the doctor running naked through the dining room being chased by two scantily clad nurses. Miss Conni, aka Miss Muffin, aka Miss Conni wants to have a baby. Her brother, Peter's Character, impregnates her during a song and dance routine that carries the sperm right to Miss Conni aka Miss Muffin aka Miss Conni just before the salad is served. As the evening progresses, we learn that Miss Conni aka Miss Muffin aka Miss Conni does not really want a baby. No problem. Miss Goody Twoshoes will take over and through another routine, set to Led Zeppelin's Baby I Want to Leave You, the fetus is transferred. You get the picture.
At some point, just before the main course, we are all offered prescriptions for the Gintermission, which turns out to be held in a separate space outfitted in plastic. We are each handed a Pabst Blue Ribbon with a pre-cut hole in the side. Turns out we will be doing beer shooters. Mine didn't work, as I am not schooled in the ways of drinking games, but the husband was pretty stoked for a free beer, after guzzling free sangria for the past hour, and was pretty drunk after that. Etc.
The five course meal with unlimited sangria was delicious and well prepared. My only advice is to eat some bread or a potato before arriving, as the first several courses are based on fruit and vegetables, and the main course isn't served until fairly late in the program. With all that alcohol and no carbs, it was a little uncomfortable.
A really fun evening, one to remember. Max was delighted, as he didn't know what avant garde meant and because it was French he had pictured something closer to opera or Kabuki than high camp. Highly recommended and for $40 arguably it's the best not dinner theater bargain in town. I think tonight might be the last night of performances.
Other reviews (with much better photos):