Off the Couch: Another Ironman, lots of theater on agenda for Chattanooga area

The cast of "The Real Inspector Hound" includes, from left, Jennifer Bryant as Felicity Cunningham, Joshua Chisholm as Simon Gascoyne, Jim Eernisse as Magnus Muldoon, Laurie Shaw as Cynthia Muldoon, Trevor Miles as Moon, Chuck Nalley as Birdboot and Katie Olsen as Mrs. Drudge.

BARRY COURTER: Lisa, I heard a funny comment the other day, and I thought you'd appreciate it. It had nothing to do with events that are going on this week, but it made me laugh. Some folks were commenting about a skinny pregnant woman they knew and one of them said, "Well, if it's a boy, we'll know it."

LISA DENTON: Speaking of funny, I know you saw the hubbub surrounding the Denny's restaurant mascot. It actually debuted in 2014 but found new life last week on social media.

BARRY: I did. It's a talking brown sausage link. Not a good look for a restaurant.

LISA: Yeah, I heard it was their No. 2 option.

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photo Lisa Denton and Barry Courter

BARRY: Hey-oooo. We're here all week, folks.

LISA: I guess we should actually turn people on to some real comedy, like "The Real Inspector Hound" at the Ringgold Depot, or "The Sugar Bean Sisters" at the Gem Theater in Etowah, or "The Drowsy Chaperone" at the Cumberland County Playhouse in Crossville.

Or we can get more serious with "The Glass Menagerie" at Mars Theatre in LaFayette, "The Last 5 Years" at Harris Arts Center in Calhoun, Ga., or "Twelve Angry Jurors" at Tennessee Valley Theatre in Spring City. When the word "angry" is in the title, you don't go expecting a knee slapper.

BARRY: Maybe we could convince Rex Knowles and Sherry Landrum at Chattanooga State to do a whodunit mash-up similar to their "Nutcracker Christmas Carol: A Musical." Just spitballing here, but maybe something like "The Real Inspector Hound Investigates the Shattered Glass Menagerie After Twelve Angry Jurors Spend a Week with the Sugar Bean Sisters and a Drowsy Chaperone."

Or not.

LISA: No, I think you're on to something. And Knowles and Landrum would be just the people to pull it off.

And we've talked about "The Wiz" before, but don't forget that it continues through Oct. 1 at Chattanooga Theatre Centre.

BARRY: And Wayne-O-Rama ends its run on Rossville Avenue at the end of this month as well.

Did you know that Ironman returns this weekend for the Little Debbie Ironman?

LISA: Wait a minute. Didn't we just have Ironman?

BARRY: That was the Ironman 70.3 World Championship.

LISA: Oh right. That's the one that brought in 4,500 athletes from around the globe. I think they all crossed the street in front of me the night before the race when I was waiting to turn from Eleventh onto Carter going home.

BARRY: I bet it was like you were racing with them. Did you feel the breeze in your hair, or was the car window closed?

LISA: Not much of a breeze. I think they were coming from dinner and they'd all been carb-loading and were saving their speed for the next day. There was definitely more mosey than sprint.

So the one this weekend is the regular, full-distance Ironman we've had before, not to be confused with the 70.3 Ironman that's here in May.

BARRY: Hopefully this one will get weather like the last one had. It was pretty amazing, and the city did itself proud by all reports I've heard.

LISA: The weather was great until it wasn't. Some of the people who waited around to leave got stranded because of the Hurricane Irma chaos at airports south of here. Most seemed to take it in stride and said they'd just sight-see until they could get a flight out. There are definitely worse places to be stranded than Chattanooga.

Unless you're stranded at the corner of Eleventh and Carter trying to get home.

Get event details every Thursday in Chattanooga Now or online anytime at

Contact Barry Courter at or 423-757-6354. Contact Lisa Denton at or 423-757-6281.