Before Julia Child
, Emeril and the Food Network, there was television's first chef, James Beard
, who brought fine cooking (and his jovial presence) to the small screen in 1946. Garry Geiken (2008 Ivey Award, Ensemble Acting, Orson's Shadow
, Gremlin Theatre) evokes the "face and belly of American gastronomy" in Illusion Theater's regional premiere of I LOVE TO EAT: A LOVE STORY WITH FOOD, opening April 26. The one-man show is on stage through May 18 at the Illusion, 528 Hennepin Ave. in downtown Minneapolis.
Beard went on to become America's first "foodie," and the award bearing his name is still the prize most coveted by chefs. The author of 20-plus cookbooks, Beard's message of good food, honestly prepared with fresh ingredients, helped establish an authentic American cooking style. Playwright James Still has crafted a charming, affectionate portrait of the culinary maestro.
Set in 1984, the year before his death, the play translates Beard's passion for opera into an hour of operatic memoir: his huge torso, his gossipy phone calls and his unsatisfied desire for a grand love story to call his own. Now past his glory years, the renowned chef reflects on his career, one restless evening at his New York home. I Love to Eat gives an intimate look at someone who exuberantly embraced every aspect of life - but may have wanted too much.
Director Michael Robin
s said, "In our nationally-recognized food community with many James Beard
Award winners and nominees, it is fitting that we're presenting the regional premiere of I Love to Eat
. While Beard's name may be familiar, his trailblazing career, his quotable wit and his recipe for onion sandwiches* will be new and fascinating. Audiences will eat it up!"
Tickets for I Love to Eat: A Love Story With Food
are $15-28; on Food Industry Night (April 29) all tickets are $15. Group discounts are available for groups of 10 or more people. Tickets are available at the Illusion Theater Box Office at 612-339-4944
or online at www.illusiontheater.org
. Audience members who bring non-perishable food items to be donated to Second Harvest Heartland hunger relief organization will receive a free ticket to one of Illusion Theater's Fresh Ink plays in Summer 2013.