This adventure involved a large group of friends attending a late night catechism class at CenterStage in Federal Way. We carpooled it and then most of us entered the lobby. Celebrity Jan Runbeck, fresh from a recording session on NPR's StoryCorps bowed to our wishes and autographed the granite sign of the Knutsen Family Theatre. Before she and her husband sold Tacoma Monument, they sandblasted their way around Puget Sound creating signs like this beautiful piece and others.
Our group was looking forward to an afternoon of laughter. Many of us had seen and appreciated the improv antics of the actresses that play the nun who is teaching an adult class of catechism. We were not disappointed.
Most of us were a little surprised when Sister did not make us stand when she entered the room, but she became my favorite nun when she singled out her first victim. "Are you chewing gum," she demanded. We howled with glee and then grinned and waited. As Mel Brooks points out, a large amount of humor depends upon "anticipation and payoff." "Did you bring enough to share?" I think the woman was surprised. Obviously, it was her first time at the rodeo. Sister confiscated her purse: the payoff.
The nun was played by Nonie Newton-Breen an alumnus of Chicago's Second City. She was spot on and delightful in this version of Late Night Catechism. When the last two members of our group arrived late we were treated to more humor. If you can't laugh at your friends, who can you laugh at? I think my favorite part of the performance was when my buddy Johnny sneezed in the row behind us. Sister plucked a few tissues from a desktop box and marched up the stairs and into the audience. She gave the tissues not to Johnny, but to our friend Randy who was sitting in front of him. She thought he might need them to wipe his bald head.
After the performance we traveled north to Redondo. We read an ad in the program, which promised a 3-course meal at Salty's in Redondo for $30.00 with a ticket stub. We called ahead to make sure they were open and made reservations. The weather had been kind, while we were laughing and enjoying ourselves. We drove to the theatre during the tail end of a windstorm, but on leaving the wind had died down and we had the remains of a beautiful day. From CenterStage to the restaurant took perhaps fifteen minutes, but most of the time was spent recalling the funniest bits of the wonderful live theatre experience.
We not only gleaned a super deal on food, but found additional plays and presentations that we will try to fit into our busy lives.
We arrived about twenty minutes early. We were ushered into the bar to wait, and then decided that we could simply make the bar our dining room. Debbie began giving orders and we moved tables and chairs.
I don't think the restaurant was prepared for us. No one knew about the special being advertised in the CenterStage program, but we made do. I thought the waitress would be a little overwhelmed, but she had everyone's order correct as well as the pairings by couple. That took some doing, especially since the couples weren't necessarily sitting at the same tables.
The bar was a little loud, but that may have just been us. All of the service people were very accommodating and friendly.
The food surprised me. I usually love Chef Gabe's selections, but we had a few disappointed people. Donn thought his pork sliders were bland. I said, "That's what you get for order non-seafood in a seafood restaurant." Both Donn and Johnny had the same opinion of their pizzas. Not enough sauce.
I ordered a "kicked" Cesar Salad with crab and bleu cheese crumbles. I kept looking for the kicked part. It needed to be lifted away from the bland comments I heard from several friends. My salmon was good with its salsa and lightly peppery taste. Peg had two appetizers and so I happily munched on her asparagas, which were perfect.
My dessert was over-promised. I don't remember the description, but I don't think it involved the words "dry white cake." Basically, I think I was trying to stay around the $30 figure, which lured me in. I should have simply ordered the items that I wanted to eat. Peg did and she really enjoyed her meal. I would have spent another ten of fifteen dollars, but it would have made all the difference in the world to me.
We had a great day with a group of friends. We laughed and enjoyed good food together . . . the food should have just been better.