Music departments at Cape Girardeau's Central High and Egyptian (Ill.) High School want to take diners back in time.
Both schools are holding an evening of 16th-century entertainment and food. However, a touch of 20th-century accommodations -- silverware -- will be provided so diners won't have to eat with their hands as did those in the 1500s.
This is the first year Egyptian will hold a Madrigal dinner, but Central has been having such feasts for more than 10 years.
At each school guests will dine with the representative king and queen and their court.
Juggling acts, court jesters, sorcery and song will amuse guests as they dine on coq au vin (chicken with mushrooms in a red sauce), oven-roasted potatoes, green salad, wild rice and a black forest torte for dessert at Central's feast.
A rendition of Geoffrey Chaucer's 14th-century classic "The Wife of Bath," contained in "The Canterbury Tales," will entertain diners at Egyptian's feast of roast beef, potatoes, green beans, "figgie" (bread) pudding and rolls.
Both schools will have a traditional "wassail" (hot apple cider) toast and tea and coffee available as beverages.
The Central Middle School recorder choir will serenade guests beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, as they wait for the town crier, Darryl Morgan, to call each guest into the feast by name. Central's feast will begin at 6:45 p.m. with Father Time taking guests back to 1589 as they snack on fruit, cheese and crackers. Tickets are available in advance. For pricing or to purchase tickets, contact Central High School at 335-8228. Parents are asked to use their discretion when bringing children.
The festivities will end between 9 and 9:30 p.m.
The Egyptian feast will begin at 6:45 p.m. on Dec. 17, with a prelude beginning as the doors open at 6:15 p.m. Instead of a town crier, an announcer will welcome the guests with a "wassail" toast to begin the festivities. Tickets available only in advance from Lisa Essex in the school office. For pricing or to purchase tickets, call Lisa at (618) 776-5251 extension 100. No tickets will be available at the door.
335-6611, extension 127