Belinda the Butter Queen doesn't know it, but the plateful of food she is about to serve to Stefan the Sausage King and Frieda Fettuccine has been poisoned.
Stefan and Frieda certainly have no clue it's laced with hemlock, and neither do Abbott Geoffrey and food critic Adipose Ego, both of whom are clamoring for a first taste.
Adipose Ego wins the little tussle, takes the first forkful – and soon the audience will watch his grisly death scene, complete with dropping of dish, clutching of throat and ultimate collapse.
"Jeremy Shrawder has that part. He's hysterically funny. When he's dying, he's always very dramatic," said playwright the Rev. Gerald Gurka, whose "Murder at the Pierogie Wedding" will be presented at 2 p.m. Sunday immediately before the parish bazaar at St. John the Baptist Church in Larksville.
Shrawder's character – whose name pays homage to Anton Ego, the gaunt food critic in the animated film "Ratatouille" – does take a long time to die, so long that the audience will be prompted, via hand-held signs, to shout "Drop dead already!" and "Let's get on with the show."
This play is the third installment of a "Pierogie Wedding" series that began in 2010. For the bazaar that year, and each year since, members and friends of St. John the Baptist Church have decorated their costumes with cabbage leaves and bits of potatoes and portrayed members of an "interfoodal kingdom."
Attend this year's show and you'll meet such characters as Belleville the Butler, who is driven by love to do all sorts of things; "Hedda Cabbage," a reporter who delivers celebrity gossip a la the famous Hedda Hopper, and Inspector Foodsleau, who may be just as adept at solving crimes as the famous Inspector Clouseau.
You'll also have a chance to sample some tiny sausages that play into the script.
"Father Jerry," as his cast affectionately calls him, said he was influenced by the films "Who's Killing the Great Chefs of Europe," "The Pink Panther" and "Ratatouille." He also researched poisonous herbs as he worked on the script.
After the play, the parish bazaar will take place from 3 to 10 p.m. with ethnic foods, a flea market, bingo, children's activities, a dunk tank and more.
What: "PW 3 – Murder at the Pierogie Wedding"
When: 2 p.m. Sunday
Where: St. John the Baptist Church grounds, 126 Nesbitt St., Larksville
More info: 779-9620