Last night we went to Donk's Theater, which is also known as Virginia's Li'l Ole Opry. (www.donkstheater.com.)
Donk's is located in bustling downtown Hudgins, VA, which consists of a convenience store that sells clean drinking water, beef jerky and toilet paper (aka The Mathews County Essentials); a church organized in 1776; and a post office. All right next to this theater which Dolly Parton has visited.* (Seriously. Mathews County might not have any stoplights or stores that don't sell beef jerky, but we can and do attract the occasional celebrity. Just ask Tom Cruise, who considered buying a house here, and John Lennon, who actually did.)
Donk's is a mixture of Hee Haw meets Real Talent with a side order of Eccentricity, heavy on that.
But it is also a place for wholesome, family entertainment provided by folks with a genuine, straight-from-the-heart passion for music. And corny jokes. **
Last night was their talent search. The house band, which is very good, played the opening set, which included one song that pretty much sums up the spirit of Hudgins and the Lil Ole Opry: Betty's Got a Bass Boat. In between songs, the emcee would interject his own special flavor of humor. **
Next, the four talent contestants did their thing. The first poor lady started off strong but then couldn't remember the words to her song and left the theater in shame and humiliation, all self-inflicted. I wanted to run and give her a hug but feared she'd call The Law on me.
The second act, I'll call him Guitar God, was a young boy who played the guitar. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I have NEVER heard a guitar played as well or in that style before. Ever. And while it is true I do not get out much, I don't know how anyone could disagree with the statement that he's a Guitar God. A sheer genius.
The third act was a young couple singing a duet. They came in second place and did reasonably well.
The fourth and final act was a Mathews native who also managed to forget a few words but who gets an A for effort.
Guitar God won, and I am sure y'all will be reading about him in years to come.
And if you ever have the chance, give ole Donk's a try. It really is good, clean fun with some great music, lots of heart and plenty of corny jokes.
* The emcee at Donk's said that when Dolly Parton gave him a hug, it was the two best things that ever happened to him.
** What did the Mamma Bullet say to the Daddy Bullet? We're gonna have a BB.