Travelogue: Southeastern Missouri State University


Marc T. Engberg

[Once a month we have a company member report to us about life on the road. This month, it's Marc T. Engberg sharing what went on outside of the show at Southeastern Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, MO.]

Some people say Texas barbecue is the best. Hogwash! Some claim South Carolina as the standard bearer. Bull feathers! Others still will say you haven’t had ‘cue ‘til you’ve had the ‘cue down Tennessee way. I say, hey, impressive use of apostrophes, but no. Missouri BBQ is where it’s at, folks. I don’t know what it is, but the Show Me State does it right. Maybe it’s those killer side dishes. I mean, the baked beans, the mac and cheese, the coleslaw, the meth! Everything was on point.

After gorging ourselves on bucket after bucket of jalapeno creamed corn and enough pulled pork to feed the entire standby tickets line at Hamilton, we left St. Louis and headed south for the glorious Cape Girardeau. Cape Girardeau is situated on the storied banks of the Mississippi River, where Shania Twain famously penned The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Among Cape Girardeau’s veritable cornucopia of selling points is the fact that it lies equidistantly between St. Louis and Memphis, making it the ideal landing spot for Broadway’s Next Hit Musical. Remember, if your city has an airport, we here at BNHM don’t want anything to do with it. Did I mention we are sponsored by Hertz?

Cape Girardeau – which I keep wanting to just call Gerard Depardieu - is home to the Southeast Missouri State University Redhawks (also the name of a decommissioned Soviet missile fleet) and some 573 antique shops. I’m not kidding. If you need a set of turn-of-the-century wicker rocking chairs or a politically incorrect dollhouse, rent a car at Hertz and drive down to Cape G. As with many college towns, there are plenty of hip bars; but there are way more antique shops, which is odd. In one of the bars, I had to purchase an entire set of Victorian crockery before they’d even let me order my Zima.

Cape Girardeau is also home to a whole host of missed business opportunities. Why, for example, is there no e-cigarette shop called Vape Girardeau? Want to open a wine store? Easy! Welcome to Grape Girardeau. Hell, why not open a magician outfitters called, well, Cape Girardeau?

Oh, yes! There was a show. And what a show it was. The audience in Cape Girardeau was, unequivocally, our best audience of the season. Now, yes, this was technically our first show of the season, but woah buddy did Cape Girardeau set the standard high! The pressure’s on, West Bloomfield, MI.

Now, you’d think that after a couple hours of adrenaline-pumping improvisational comedy, a troupe of improv actors would just want to chill out, have a drink, blow off some steam, and discuss the national debt, but no. Broadway’s Next shows are inevitably followed by all of us repairing to a bar to, well, do improv games with each other. This is why we all get along. It is also why we were all captain of our respective high school football teams.