by Andrew Crisp
On Feb. 24, the Egyptian Theatre became a spoof of all things game show during The Cabin's new benefit, Celebrities in Jeopardy. Hosted by local authors Anthony Doerr and Alan Heathcock, the literary center's brand-new benefit also featured The Cabin's new mascot the Book Worm.
"We had maybe 450 or 500 people," said Cabin Executive Director Dede Ryan. "It's been so great."
It's safe to say nobody in the audience was prepared to watch Boise Democratic Rep. Cherie Buckner-Webb and Margaret Montrose Stigers, mother of jazz legend Curtis Stigers, bust out refrains of Liza Minnelli and the Beatles. For their category, Buckner-Webb and Montrose Stigers were tasked with singing the final verses of a song, often taking artistic license to clap their hands and lead the audience in finishing much more of the song than necessary to answer the question.
Their opponents included Idaho Public Television's Peter Morrill and Opera Idaho's Mark Junkert ("team Mo-Junk"), Boise State President Dr. Robert Kustra and his wife Kathy, and radio personalities Tim Johnstone and Ken Bass of 94.9 The River. The event's proceedings were judged by Steve Trott, retired Ninth Circuit Magistrate, banging a mallet-sized gavel on the table to hand down his decisions.
"The next Outdoor Idaho segment," Heathcock ribbed Morrill, "will feature two people from the North End ... that actually leave the North End and venture to a place called Nampa."
While the show itself was laugh-out-loud hilarious, awkward and deliberately goofy, the organization of the event was anything but silly. Upon entrance, each attendee was given a snack box with skewered meats, vegetables, bread with a garlic spread, a strawberry and stuffed mushroom. At intermission volunteers handed out taffy, licorice and cupcakes.
After a final round brought a BCS algorithm that dropped all the scores to 11, Buckner-Webb and Montrose Stigers answered a final question to take the game.
To cap the evening, Bev Harad, the woman behind much of the event's success, took the stage to lead the audience in a chorus of "Joy to the World" with Buckner-Webb and Montrose Stigers. She asked the audience if they would come to the event next year, which received a huge round of applause.