Round House Theatre Presents I LOVE TO EAT, 10/17-11/4

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Round House Theatre continues its 2012/13 season with the regional premiere of I Love to Eat by James Still, which runs October 17 thru November 4. Leon Major directs this look at the delightfully zesty life of renowned chef James Beard. Nick Olcott portrays the culinary maestro described as "the face and belly of American gastronomy." Opening night is Monday, October 22, 2012.

Before Julia Child, Emeril, and the Food Network, there was television's first chef, James Beard, who brought fine cooking (and his jolly presence) to the small screen in 1946. The author of 20-plus cookbooks, he helped establish an American cuisine. This portrait of America's first foodie gives an intimate, delicious look at a man who exuberantly embraced every aspect of life – but may have wanted too much. Julia Child once described James Beard as "endearing and always lively…[he] loved people, loved his work, loved gossip, loved to eat, loved a good time."

Ryan Rilette, Round House's Producing Artistic Director, said, "We're thrilled to bring celebrated actor and long-time Round House collaborator Nick Olcott back to the stage for this delightful portrait of one of America's best known chefs."

I LOVE TO EAT, written by James Still and directed by Leon Major will feature Nick Olcott as James Beard.

Creative team: scenic designer Misha Kachman, costume designer Frank Labovitz, lighting designer Kristin Thompson, sound designer Matthew M. Nielson, props master Andrea Moore, stage manager Che Wernsman

I Love to Eat runs October 17 thru November 4, 2012 with performances on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday begin at 8pm; and matinees on Saturday and Sunday beginning at 3pm. Opening night is Monday, October 22. Please note: there is no performance on Tuesday, October 23, 2012.

Tickets range in price from $10 to $61 and may be purchased by calling 240.644.1100, online at www.roundhousetheatre.org, or at Round House's box office in Bethesda. Round House Theatre Bethesda is located at 4545 East-West Highway, one block from Wisconsin Avenue and the Bethesda station on Metro's Red Line. I Love to Eat is recommended for age 15 and above.

AUDIENCE EVENTS

Designer Discussion (with the costume, set, lighting, and sound designers): Wednesday, October 17 at 6:45pm

Director Discussion (with Leon Major): Friday, October 19 at 7:15pm

Audio-described performance: Saturday, October 27 at 3pm

Post-Show Talkbacks: Wednesday, October 17 thru Sunday, October 21, Sunday, October 28, and Sunday, November 4

Parents' Matinee: Sunday, October 28 at 3pm. Patrons can drop off children (ages 3-12, must be potty trained) to an RHT teaching artist while they're seeing the show at this designated Sunday matinee. The kids enjoy a fun-filled afternoon of theatre games and arts activities. Childcare reservations are required in advance by 5pm on October 24 by calling 240.644.1100.

Sign-interpreted performance: Saturday, November 3 at 3pm. Reservations for sign interpreting services must be made by October 20.

BIOS

James Still (Playwright) A playwright and director, James Still's plays are notably diverse in form, style and substance and have been performed in leading theatres across the United States as well as Canada, Europe, Japan, and Australia. These include The Heavens are Hung in Black which reopened Ford's Theatre in celebration of Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday; Iron Kisses; and The Velvet Rut. His plays for young audiences and families have graced the stages of America's most notable youth theatres and countless community, university, and high school theatres and include his docudrama And Then They Came for Me: Remembering the World of Anne Frank which has been translated into several languages and continues to be produced around the world. His plays have been commissioned from many notable theatres including Indiana Repertory Theatre, People's Light & Theatre Company, Cornerstone Theatre Company, the Kennedy Center, and The Children's Theatre Company. His awards, among them The Charlotte B. Chorpenning Cup for Distinguished Body of Work, the William Inge/Otis Guernsey New Voices Award, two Pulitzer Prize nominations, and election into The National Theatre Conference, are numerous and far ranging. Still also writes extensively for film and television, most notably in children's television for which he is a five-time Emmy nominee for such shows as Maurice Sendak's "Little Bear," Bill Cosby's "Little Bill," and the innovative pre-school series "Paz" for Discovery Kids. His artistic home for the past twelve years has been the Indiana Repertory Theatre where he is the Playwright in Residence. IRT's 2012/13 season includes the world premiere of his new play, The House That Jack Built.

Leon Major (Director) was Artistic Director of the Maryland Opera Studio at the University of Maryland from 1987 – 2012. In Washington he has directed productions for the Opera Studio at The Clarice Performing Arts Center as well as Washington National Opera at The Kennedy Center. He has directed plays and operas though the United States, Canada, Europe, and Latin America and has given master classes in Shanghai, Mexico City, Tel Aviv, and Toronto. Recent productions include The Inspector (Boston Lyric Opera), Miss Havisham's Fire (Maryland Opera Studio, Intermezzo (New York City Opera), Don Pasquale (Washington National Opera), and Later the Same Evening (Glimmerglass Festival). His book The Empty Voice: Acting Opera was published last year by Hal Leonard Publishing, New York.

Nick Olcott (James Beard) is making his first appearance on stage in over ten years. Washington audiences know him better as a director, especially for the thirteen productions he has mounted at the Round House over the last twenty years, including Around the World in 80 Days, A Year With Frog and Toad, The Cherry Orchard, The Weir (Helen Hayes Award nomination), Uncle Vanya, and All in the Timing (Helen Hayes Award nomination). Directing credits elsewhere include productions at Arena Stage, Theater J, Constellation Theatre, Imagination Stage, Adventure Theatre, the Kennedy Center Family Theatre, the Berkshire Theatre Festival, and the Philadelphia Theatre Company. Prior to 2000, he acted extensively, including roles in Dead Funny at Woolly Mammoth (Helen Hayes Award nomination); Expecting Isabel, Nothing Sacred, and The Man Who Came to Dinner at Arena Stage; Faith Healer at Scena Theatre (Helen Hayes Award nomination); and seven productions at Round House. Mr. Olcott is also active in opera, with directing credits at Wolf Trap Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Cleveland, and the In Series. He is Interim Director of the Maryland Opera Studio at the University of Maryland, where his production of Mozart's The Magic Flute opens on November 16.

Nick Olcott photo by ClintonBPhotography. James Beard kitchen photo © Krishna Dayanidhi, courtesy of The James Beard Foundation.

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