Sun, 10 June 2012
Like the Cadillac, the ice cream cone has an exalted place in American culture. So it's appropriate, we suppose, that we are near the famous Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, TX bringing you the story of how the ice cream cone may have been invented at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis.
Our characters are based on actual individuals supposedly involved in the development of this iCone (that's our word for an iconic cone): Charles Menches, the former acrobat and circus manager who was the alleged inventor; Estelle Bordeaux, the daughter of a steamboat captain and the object of Charles' affection; and Earnest Hamwi, a Lebanese immigrant who was selling zalabia (a waffle-like sweet from which the cones may have been invented).
Like the fair itself, the invention of the cone was the stuff of legend - so nobody knows exactly what the real story is. But we like the version of our tale, because it shows what can happen when you "dream big".
Which just happens to be the theme of of the summer reading programs at libraries across the country. Which happens to be why we're performing this story at many of them. Which is why we happen to be in Amarillo, having just opened our new production in Albuquerqe, and now headed to our next performances in Arkansas. As for the reason we stand on our hands when we visit a place like The Cadillac Ranch... well, we just don't have a rational explanation for that.