Cone Man Running Productions Raises Money for the Houston Food Bank
A REVIEW BY H.G.WELCH
As the holiday season is upon us, the Houston community theatre turns its attention to helping the poor. Last night Cone Man Running and Landing Theater company hosted Smattering 9: The Whole Nine Yards, benefitting the Houston Food Bank. Eight short plays were presented, all of which were written in just 24 hours.
Then a director and actors were assigned and the insanity ensued during two performances. Many laughs were had and the performance raised $1500 for the Houston Food Bank.
Each playwright was given a different genre they had to fit their story in, giving eight very different plays. All the plays had to incorporate a “guilty pleasure” song, a joke about a bucket list, and a hoola hoop as an added challenge. The production also honored the late Scott Holmes, a long time staple of Houston community theatre, by having his picture used in every single performance. The playwrights lived up to the challenge and each put out eight very different but entertaining pieces.
The plays came fast and funny, the laughter barely dying down before the next play started. The musical offering involved a trespassing fairy with song in his heart that he forcefully shared at gunpoint. The science fiction entry was an absolutely ludicrous time travel adventure that included hobo sex, premeditated murder and possibly the worst proposal ever conceived.
A bake sale was the focus of the superhero play, with a defeated hero regaining her henchman and finding a new purpose in life. The western genre saw a tale of a two timing charro and a scheming neighbor.
Afterwards the audience voted on the various categories the Smattering was awarding. Best use of the hula hoop prop went to the mystery Don't Keep Us in Suspense, a raunchy and pun filled mystery that would have turned Agatha Christie fifty shades of pale. Best use of the tribute to Scott Holmes was taken by Walk it Off, that introduced us to the competitive world of bathrobe modelling.
Two plays dominated the awards, Rosemary's Teenager's writer, Ben Plopper won for Best Script. It also won Best Genre, Best Song, and Best Actress in it's telling of the Anti-Christ's adolescent years. Helen Rios won for her deep throated portrayal of Damien, the demon child who tries to get along with his step father and plan his 14th birthday.
The extremely overlong titled play The Ongoing Adventures of the Reluctant House Mexican (Episode 427: Who Would Even Want To Eat Cake by the Ocean? Seriously, Why is That Even a Thing?) took home Best Bucket Joke, Cast That Had the Most Fun, Best Actor for Andreas Hunt, and Best in Show. The play was madcap and extremely self referential, even shattering the fourth wall at one point to make fun of the production's artistic director, to the guffaws of the audience.
So the actors enjoyed themselves, the audience laughed and the Food Bank got much need supplies. Everyone walked away happy, and talk of the next Smattering was in the air. When and where remains to be seen, but everyone attending can't wait for the next one.