CURRENT AND UPCOMING PRODUCTIONS
The Accidental Hero - Fall Dates To Be Announced Soon!
Downstairs Cabaret Theatre is honored to present The Accidental Hero, the true story of a WWII officer who ends up liberating the same Czech towns where his grandparents lived. Matt Konop had grown up speaking Czech on a farm in Wisconsin, ashamed of his humble background. Thrown into WWII, he hits Omaha Beach, is a hero in the Battle of the Bulge and survives to the final days of the war. Then his story takes a turn from yet another soldier's tale to something more epic when he is given the dangerous assignment to go behind enemy lines into Czechoslovakia. At the border, he decides to poke in alone. His life would never be the same, as one coincidence after another brings him face-to-face with his identity. What once was a source of shame becomes his greatest pride as the people of his grandparent's hometown hailed him as their "liberator." They, in fact, liberated him. Told by his grandson - actor Patrick Dewane - with never-before-seen color movie clips from WWII, vintage music and photos, The Accidental Hero is a multi-media delight that has captivated audiences across the country.
Originally called The Mushroom Picker after the seemingly-goofy CB handle Dewane's grandfather used during the 1970s, the title was really a clue to Konop's incredible story as a WWII Czech-American soldier fighting in the forests of his family's ancient homeland. Whenever young Patrick would beg for stories about the war, his grandfather would change the subject or make a joke but never talk about it, typical of the generation who remained silent. Then years after his grandfather's death, Dewane was handed a pile of type-written pages that a family member had discovered in a box in a basement. Czech scholar Daniel Freeman said in a statement, "It is easy to image The Accidental Hero as being tailored primarily to audiences of veterans, World War II buffs, and Czech Americans, but it has an appeal that extends far beyond those interest groups. At the most basic level, anyone intrigued by family history will find it fascinating. Without sermonizing, it also offers poignant testimony about ways that individuals coped under extreme conditions that few modern American ever need face." Patrick Dewane has spent 26 years in the performing arts, involved with over 50 new works.