The cast and crew of Wits' End Theatre's third annual Madrigal Dinner entertained many throughout the weekend with a bit of foolery and much merriment. In front, from left, are Lynn Harstad, Beth Hennessy, Vicki Dietz, Matt Dietz, Joan Verdegan, Philip Engesser, Levi Cole, Luke Dietz and Tom Barnes. In the second row are Shari Cole, Emily Whitcomb, Rachel Schieffelbein, Jayna Harstad, Sara Chase, Shannon Glenzinski and Katy Jablonski. In back are Randy Wilson, Joe Chase, Colby Verdegan, Tony Cole, Kelly Puent, Mark Neppl and James Engesser.<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->
The cast and crew of Wits' End Theatre's third annual Madrigal Dinner entertained many throughout the weekend with a bit of foolery and much merriment. In front, from left, are Lynn Harstad, Beth Hennessy, Vicki Dietz, Matt Dietz, Joan Verdegan, Philip Engesser, Levi Cole, Luke Dietz and Tom Barnes. In the second row are Shari Cole, Emily Whitcomb, Rachel Schieffelbein, Jayna Harstad, Sara Chase, Shannon Glenzinski and Katy Jablonski. In back are Randy Wilson, Joe Chase, Colby Verdegan, Tony Cole, Kelly Puent, Mark Neppl and James Engesser.

Wits' End Theater presented the third annual Medieval Feast on Nov. 15, 16, 17, featuring musicians, comedians, singers, performers and dancers to accompany a fine medieval meal catered by Old Tyme Cafe of Chatfield.

Upon entering Castle Potter of the Chosen Valley, those gathered were instantly enthralled by the beautiful scenery set on the stage, the stone-like walls of the castle and the warmth of Wassil.

This year's dinner theater brought a variety of entertainment, climaxed by the play, "Sir Grayson, the Grey Knight and the Seven Shady Women" which was written and directed by Joan Verdegan. In addition to writer and director, she also stepped into many roles throughout the evening. As Gossip Hildagard, Verdegan joined Gossip Winnifred (Jenny Bradt) at the stocks to cackle remarks as honored guests arrived at the Royal Feast.

The play was produced by Lynn Harstad and Verdegan and is based on the classic fairy tale of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." Verdegan's play, however, takes listeners on the comical journey of a noble knight, Sir Grayson (Randy Wilson). As a newcomer to the Chatfield area, Wilson, as Sir Grayson attempts to escape a sentence of death from his childhood friend, King Jarvis, who is played by James Engesser.

The storyteller, Joe Chase, narrates this saga and Grayson encounters talking animals, rescues "seven average-size women" from a bewitching spell and eventually is given the title of King.

Many characters were woven into the evening. A bumbling king (Tony Cole) and his forceful, no-nonsense wife (Kelly Puent) sit at the royal table with their children, the musical Princess Cecily (Katy Jablonski), the skeptical Prince Proteus (Mark Neppl) and poetic Princess Snooki (Shari Cole). Also present at table are the good Friar Basquette (Colby Verdegan) and the Royal Guard (Matt Dietz) with musicians, Lynn Harstad on guitar and drum, Beth Hennessy on flute, Emily Whitcomb on violin and Joan Verdegan on violin, keyboard and drum sending melodic tunes through the night.

Entertaining encounters were abundant throughout the night as The Wipefeet Warblers presented an "Obligatory Madrigal." Participants included Shannon Glenzinski, Lynn Harstad, Katy Jablonski, Mark Neppl, Joan Verdegan, Emily Whitcomb and Randy Wilson.

Paddy, the Rat Catcher (Joe Chase) explains in song "why Paddy was not at work today," Dance Master (Tom Barnes) set about to educate the audience in the art of dance and juggler (Luke Dietz) kept time flying by as well as balls and rings.

The entire court was able to chatter with Buddy, a political fundraiser (Philip Engesser) promoting "My Guy" and seeking donations for the campaign, which is "just around the corner in four years."

A wonderful three-course meal provided by Old Tyme Cafe was served under the direction of Head Wench Vicki Dietz. Her crew consisted of Terry Bradt, Levi Cole, Tyler Desrosier, Al Dietz, Mark Glenzinski, Matt Opat, Josiah Smith and the Lady Mary of Old Tyme and her unnamed cohorts behind the stonewall.

The Story of "Sir Grayson, the Grey Knight" begins with a vain and self-involved royal, King Jarvis (James Engesser) who turns to a Magic Mirror (Rachel Schieffelbein) for affirmation and advice, then discovers his trusted childhood friend (and not Jarvis) is the most virtuous mortal in the kingdom. Jarvis sends for Sir Grayson and decides to "let him go" discreetly.

As the tale unfolds, it is to be during a hunting accident that Grayson is to meet his fatal end. However, the huntsman (Mark Neppl) cannot follow his orders and sends Grayson in the direction of the Seven-Averaged Sized Women.

As the huntsman is preparing to shoot a deer in the enchanted forest in land of "Castle Wipefeet-on-Mat" he changes his mind when the deer (Katy Jablonski) speaks to him. Soon, other talking animals join him on stage. They are a mouse (Emily Whitcomb), a fox (Shari Cole), a bear (Sara Chase), a rabbit (Shannon Glenzinski), an owl (Kelly Puent) and a hedgehog (Jayna Harstad).

Sir Grayson, the Grey Knight of the Castle Wipefeet-on-Mat, eventually falls under a spell just after he frees the Seven Averaged-Sized Women from their enchanted state.

Ending in a "happily ever after" way, Jarvis gives his kingdom to the revived Grayson and lives with the Seven Averaged-Sized Women.

"Wits' End Theatre would like to thank Funk Trucking and Sunshine Foods for their donations to this production. Wits' End is extremely grateful for the many volunteers whose time and talents made this evening possible, and to those of you in attendance," shared director Verdegan.