THE ART OF DINING Opens Oct. 26 At Gloria Gifford Conservatory
Juicy. Delicious. Salivate your way through The Art of Dining, a hilarious exploration of tantalizing appetites and desires. Then eat with the cast. Gourmet meals at every show (for V.I.P. ticket holders).
The play takes place in the late 70s in upscale New Jersey at the shore. Ellen and Cal have opened a restaurant, The Golden Carrousel, and after four weeks, the place is taking off with the dinner crowd. Ellen is the passionate gourmet chef, and Cal is the passionate Maitre'D, host, waiter and bartender. They have been married for eight years and this restaurant is their baby. Tonight, we join them and their very eccentric guests as Cal worries about paying off their $75,000 business loan, impressing the diners for future reservations, and Ellen lovingly and sensually creates gourmet meals. Tonight's guests are the married people who are gourmands and cannot control any of their appetites; the women who show up to eat and diet at the same time; the shy, neurotic, romantic female writer hoping for everything who is meeting the charming, debonair publisher who has an appetite for life. Everyone craves and eats and laughs, and the audience will smell the food, join in the laughter, and feel the passion, and eat.
Tina Howe is the playwright. Her best-known plays include Painting Churches, Museum, Coastal Disturbances, Approaching Zanzibar and Pride's Crossing. The recipient of number awards, she was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 2017. Gloria Gifford directs The Art of Dining. In 2006, she directed the Los Angeles Premiere of Guirgis' Our Lady of 121st St. The production was rated a Critic's Choice by the Los Angeles Times and received an L.A. Weekly Award nomination.
The New York and Broadway- trained director/actress/teacher Gloria Gifford received an M.A. from the New School, where she studied Criminology after graduating with a degree in Political Science from SUNY New Paltz. She has directed over 75 stage productions, including On Golden Pond (with Salome Jens and Andrew Prine), Much Ado About Nothing, The Motherf*cker with the Hat, The Tempest, Romantic Comedy, A Bed and a Bar, Summer and Smoke, Wait Until Dark, and many more. A veteran actor with credits on Broadway, in hit films (opposite Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, John Candy and Tobey Maguire), and recurring roles on four TV series, she has also been known as an acting coach to emerging stars and as the producer of the Rebel Planet Short Film Festival in Hollywood. She received best director awards for Antony & Cleopatra (2019) and Much Ado About Nothing (2018) from the NAACP Theater Awards, and she won a Valley Theater Award for best sound design for Antony and Cleopatra. The Art of Dining is double-cast.
The company includes Joey Marie Urbina, Kelly Musslewhite, Billy Budinich, Chris Jones, Chad Doreck, Danny Siegel, Lucy Walsh, Keturah Hamilton, Kasia Pilewicz, Sabrina Won, Haile D'Alan, Dan White, Leana Chavez, Jade Ramirez Warner, Irini Gerakas, Abigail Kochunas, Gloria Alvizar, Rosa Frausto, Christian Maltez, Justine Estrada, Nancy Vivar, Cynthia San Luis, Samiyah Swann, Amber Dancy, Benito Paje, Joe Filippone, Joshua Farmer, Keith Walker, Raven Bowens and Sam Mansour. Stage managers: Keith Walker, Michael Barker. Set design: Gloria Gifford, Keturah Hamilton, Lucy Walsh. Lighting technician: Teagan Wilson. Properties: Michael Barker. Hair/Make-up: Kasia Pilewicz. Costume design: Gloria Gifford, Lucy Walsh. Prepare yourself for a scrumptious evening of theatre with The Art of Dining.