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Oddfellows Stages Virtuoso Show of Culinary Theatrics

The youth playhouse outdid itself with a Food Improv benefit at the Wadsworth Mansion Thursday — with tiny gourmet plates from the area's best restaurants and caterers.

Visitors to the Thursday evening were met by a strawberry blonde pigtailed Hope Wright-Martell, whose turned her teeny tiny cupcakes into edible works of art — inspired by none other than the beloved characters of the "Wizard of Oz."

The mansion's 19th-century Beaux Art-style rooms were the backdrop for a unique and top-notch theatrical-themed tasting of the area's finest eateries, a benefit for scholarships and program support.

Wright-Martell's was among 14 others, each provided with a performance from Oddfellows' nearly 40-year archive of youth stage shows. She offered delicately decorated masterpieces: Wicked Witch of the West, pistachio; Cowardly Lion, vanilla; Dorothy, red velvet; Tin Man, cherry amaretto; Wicked Witch of the East, devil's food; and the Scarecrow, coconut.

Roaming from room to room with bamboo plates and utensils in hand was a who's-who of Middletown, including host and executive director of Oddfellows Matt Pugliese; Mayor Dan Drew, Board of Education member Ava Hart, John Hall of the , organizer Lucy McMillan and her twin sons; Heather Tolley-Bauer of Done on the Run LLC, Dic and Marcella Wheeler of , Justin Carbonella of and many, many more.

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Participants were: The Riverhouse at Goodspeed, Miya Sushi of New Haven, , , Eli Cannon’s Tap Room, , NoRA Cupcake Company, , A Little Imagination Cakes, Mattabesett Canoe Club, .

Beverages and alcohol were offered by and Thomas Hooker Brewery.

The Oddfellows Traveling Circus and an improv group performed midway through for those gathered outside on the back terrace.

It was sponsored by Citizens Bank and Connecticut Rental Centers, Cardinal International, Centerplan Companies, Restaurant Equipment Paradies, VerTerra, Done on the Run and GG Beverage.

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