Irwin returns to delight WPA audiences
Published 8:22 am Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Nationally acclaimed storyteller Andy Offutt Irwin was right at home at the We Piddle Around Theater in Brundidge Friday night for the Brundidge Historical Society’s annual Chili Country Christmas storytelling event.
Irwin tweeted Friday afternoon that he was in Brundidge, home of the We Piddle Around Theater, one of his “favorite storytelling venues in the world.”
“The We Piddle Around Theater is what the Cracker Barrel tries to be but can’t,” Irwin said. “The WPA Theater is real.”
Irwin said he was just as intrigued by the town’s antiquated Christmas lights. “Brundidge is Bedford Falls,” he said. “This town is real. This theater is real.”
Irwin pointed to the screen door on the theater stage. “You don’t need a screen door to make this place look quaint,” he said. “Folks, you don’t have a floor. This place is already quaint.”
The Chili Country Christmas audience applauded in response to Irwin’s appreciation of “the real thing” but that was just the beginning of the appreciation for the storyteller from North Georgia.
Gentry Hassett, who “just wouldn’t miss a Chili Country Christmas,” said she loved everything about the annual event, the music, the chili, the teacakes, the atmosphere and Andy.
“Andy Irwin is amazing. His stories brought back memories of my childhood,” Hassett said.
“I loved the story about the tax and the Bazooka bubble gum and how Bazooka bubble gum helped him with his reading and math.
Our table was laughing and giggling all night. What a wonderful way to celebrate Christmas with stories, laughter and friends.”
Don Renfroe and his wife, Susan, are regulars at the We Piddle Around Theater and fans of storytelling. They took their grown children, who where first-timers to storytelling.
“They didn’t know what to expect and they really enjoyed Andy Irwin,” Renfroe said.
“They laughed and had a good time. We all enjoyed the Benton Brothers, too. We had a big ol’ time. We always have a big time at the We Piddle Around Theater.”
Irwin performed for students at Pike County High School Friday afternoon and then for a sold-out audience at the We Piddle Around Theater Friday night.
The Brundidge Historical Society will host the 10th Annual Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival the last weekend in January. For information and tickets, call 334-685-5524 or 670-6302.