CCAC Night of Chocolate a Sweet Delight

Thursday, December 19, 2013
Unpleasant birthday girl Rosemary (played by Glenna Bookout, center) creates a scene during "Café Murder" at Saturday's Night of Chocolate event at the Rector Community Center.

The Clay County Arts Council's 13th annual Night of Chocolate was certainly a sweet delight for those in attendance Saturday night at the Rector Community Center. The popular event emerged from a week's postponement due to inclement weather with a flourish, delighting an appreciative crowd with a delicious meal catered by The Traveling Whisk, the ever-popular chocolate fountain and desserts, as well as an entertaining and interactive production of "Café Murder."

Diners enjoyed beautiful renditions of holiday music as performed by the talented Larry Norred of Piggott. Members of the cast also made the meal all the more enjoyable, visiting each table while in character.

Once everyone finished their meals, the action began onstage. The play, written by Nathan Hartswick, was produced with special arrangement through the Pioneer Drama.

The audience was captivated by a talented cast made up of Ronda Haney as Detective Flash; Buddy Bradberry as the Ma"tre d; Glenna Bookout as Rosemary the birthday guest; Charlie Grimes as Mark the banker; Jane Gatewood as Melanie the hippie; Christa Hedrick as Valerie the valley girl; Cathy Jane Norred as Volleny the truck driver cowgirl; Joseph Hargrave as Franc the charming chef and Kailyn Conley Fender as the waitress. Gail Burns served as stage director for the production.

The over-the-top nature of the characters, and the antics of those offering the portrayals, struck a chord with the crowd. The makeup of the production included audience participation, with a spokesperson from each table able to question the cast in order to solve the mystery behind the disappearance of Rosemary.

The sounds of laughter served to show the audience's appreciation for the humorous production and the efforts of all involved.

"I thought our cast did a wonderful job," Burns said. "The audience seemed to enjoy watching them perform, and I know the cast enjoyed embracing these colorful characters."

Persons interested in becoming a member of the Council may contact Christa Hedrick or Gail Burns for information. Membership fees run from year to year and are $25 for individuals, $50 for families and $15 for students. The sponsor levels include Platinum ($1,000), Gold ($500), Silver ($250) and Bronze ($150). Clay County Arts Council, Inc. is a non-profit 501 ( 3C) organization . All donations are tax deductible.

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