(Royal Dumpe, Laclede's Landing)

Something's definitely going on up there on that antique shop of a stage, but it's hard to tell what it is. Something about King Henry VIII and sixteenth-century England, banging and wenches.

"Banging" refers to what you do with the six-inch dowels you're given -- instead of applauding, you're supposed to bang your dowel on the table. "Wenches" is what your servers, who are also performers in the show, prefer you call them. And the theater is interactive: Performers come out into the audience and pull victims up onstage. One guy got pummeled with bread crust. Singing, dancing. General merriment. Wild gesticulations. A little hullabaloo. A little hokum, even. All of it bouncing off the walls, boinking off your head before you can grab it. Bing! Another joke hits you on the melon.

When will it end? Where's the drink you ordered? And God forbid they pull you up there and put you in the stockade and pummel you with bread or humiliate you in some other public fashion.

Then again, it might prove to be just the ticket. Maybe it's what we all deserve.

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