Actress Dale Dickey is a Knoxville treasure. The Clarence Brown Theatre and her alma mater, the University of Tennessee, recently recognized her as such with the Clarence Brown Theatre Artistic Achievement Award, presented at the theater’s annual gala.
Held at the Jackson Terminal in Knoxville’s Old City, the event featured an “Around the World in 80 Days” theme in salute to the Clarence Brown’s recent season-closing performance of the play. Dickey was visibly moved by the salute presented by actress Carol Mayo Jenkins and Cal MacLean, the Clarence Brown Theatre’s artistic director.
“I owe everything to my family and friends and the Clarence Brown Theatre and the University of Tennessee,” Dickey said in accepting the award.
For her part, Jenkins acknowledged Dickey’s reputation as “the reigning queen of Southern gothic,” and declared, “We are so proud of her and we love her.” Jenkins also declared Dickey’s portrayal of the character of Blanche DuBois in “A Streetcar Named Desire” at the Clarence Brown Theatre to be “definitive.”
Dale Dickey is popping up everywhere these days. She’s been in 50 television projects and 40 films. She won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female for her role in the film, “Winter’s Bone.” On TV, she is best known for her recurring roles in “Christy,” “My Name is Earl,” “Breaking Bad,” “Justified,” and “True Blood.”
Finally, here are a few considerations for folks planning high-priced ticket events like this in the future.
It was a nice evening seeing Dale Dickey receive her award, and we really loved the decorations. Usually, I post photos of great food at these events. But, unfortunately, our food at this one wasn’t up to par. The beef main course, which was described on the menu as “Chateaubriand,” was grey and tasteless. It is really hard to serve a well-prepared piece of beef to so many people at once. And there’s no way you are going to be able to let each person order it at the temperature he or she prefers.
Worse was the service. When we sat down, we asked the server if my husband, Alan, who is on a heart-healthy diet, could have a vegetarian plate and were told that he could. But when the food came, it was the steak for Alan, just as for the rest of us. We reminded the server that we had ordered Alan the vegetarian plate and he apologized and went away to fetch it. He returned with the original plate and explained the kitchen was out of vegetarian plates. So, Alan just ate the few little vegetables that were on his plate. Tickets to this event ranged from $200 to $500 a piece — and higher. This was disappointing.
Additionally, when it came to white wine, there was no pinot grigio, only sauvignon blanc, which tasted like grapefruit juice, and chardonnay. I opted for water. And, for those who did want to drink the wine, the bar ran out of wine glasses and started serving the wine in plastic cups. Not appropriate for such an expensive event.