3 for the road: Kitchen Dog’s entry in the Foote Festival is a trio of sweet short stories

THREE-PEAT | Five actors play all the parts in Kitchen Dog’s three one-acts.

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES  |  Life+Style Editor

One thing I have learned from sitting through most of the entries in the Foote Festival is this: Horton Foote is a better storyteller than playwright. He sharply observes the way people talk and the atmosphere of Texas (rural life especially), with good dialogue that evokes bygone eras. What he doesn’t do well is action.

That ends up benefiting Kitchen Dog Theater for 3 Foote, its collection of three one-act plays by the author. More like staged versions of short stories, they are brief and varied enough that for the most part they don’t grow stale or stodgy despite the supreme absence of things going on.

The first, Blind Date, is probably the best. A sour girl (Lisa Marie Gonzalez), living with her aunt and uncle (Shelley Tharp-Payton, Chris Hury), scowls so much she’s deemed unmarriagable, despite auntie’s best efforts to teach her social graces. A set-up with the town dullard (Joey Folsom) proves to be a last-ditch attempt destined to go astray. Only maybe not.

Tharp-Payton chews up the scenery with hilarious enthusiasm as the fading socialite, but it’s really Folsom — jaw locked in a Skoal-dipping underbite, eyes as vacant as church on Tuesday — who steals the show. He’s effortlessly hysterical.

Tharp-Payton is even better in the third act, The Man Who Climbed Pecan Trees, although the play itself is the weakest of the three. Her transformation between acts is perhaps most startling.

Between them, the 15-minute The One-Armed Man is a tour-de-force for Hury, who plays a self-made businessman whose cavalier dismissal of a man injured on the job (Folsom again) leads to unexpected consequences. The play itself is a masterful rondo that divides your emotional loyalties — a bit of Poe in Texas.

—  John Wright

Family Research Council webcast on how gays are hijacking the military to advance an agenda

Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins, head wingnut at Family Research Council Action, will be holding a Webcast at 2 p.m. CST, today, on the subject “Mission Compromised: How the Military is Being Used to Advance a Radical Agenda.”

Perkins says that he is being joing by “veteran military commanders, members of Congress and policy experts” who will discuss the “shortcomings” of the Pentagon’s recently-released report showing that the large majority of those in the military have no problem with repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” and allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly.

(Looks like a clear-cut case of “If the facts don’t support your position, ignore them and make up some that do.”)

In a press release announcing the Webcast, Perkins said: “The U.S. Senate could vote very soon on the Defense Authorization Act, which, if enacted, would force open homosexuality on the military and turn military medical facilities into abortion clinics. The vote is expected to be very close which is why it’s so vital that you encourage your friends and family to tune into this live Webcast. They will learn what action steps they can take to stop this last ditch attempt by outgoing liberal senators to force a liberal social agenda onto the military.”

Here’s the list of guests joining Perkins for the Webcast: Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, a member, Senate Armed Services Committee; Gen. Carl Mundy, former commandant of the Marine Corps; Brig. Gen. Douglas Lee, a retired U.S. Army chaplain; Sgt. Brian Fleming, veteran of the war in Afghanistan and Purple Heart recipient; retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Bob Maginnis, senior fellow on National Security with the Family Research Council; Cathy Ruse, senior fellow in Legal Studies with the Family Research Council; and Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for Policy Studies with the Family Research Council.

Hmmm. Sure sounds like a well-balanced and unbiased array of speakers to me!

What’s your opinion on the matter? Want to share it? If so click here to watch the Webcast, and e-mail your questions and comments to missioncompromised@frcaction.org, or text your questions and comments to 24453. Type in DADT, followed by a space and then your question or comment.

(Thanks to Patti Fink for the heads up on this one.)

—  admin