BWW Review: A MOVEABLE FEAST's Sumptuous Supper, Song, and Story at Café Nordo

BWW Review: A MOVEABLE FEAST's Sumptuous Supper, Song, and Story at Café Nordo
Andre Nelson, Jen Taylor, and Riley Shanahan
in A Moveable Feast from Book-It and Cafe Nordo.
Photo by John Ulman.

Welcome to the world of Ernest Hemingway's Paris in the 1920's. Just like with any of the Café Nordo shows, the instant you walk into Nordo's Culinarium you're transported to another time and place but they seem to have outdone themselves with their current collaboration with Book-It Theatre with "A Moveable Feast" and the rich sensorial delights they've concocted.

The story itself is fairly simple as it's a memoir from Hemingway (Riley Shanahan) pertaining to his life as a struggling artist. And he and his wife Hadley (Harriette Dunn-Feliz) are surrounded by other artists including the likes of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald (Andre Nelson and Jen Taylor), Ezra Pound (Raymond Chapman), and Gertrude Stein (Susanna Burney).

So the story is not as strong as some other Book-It shows as it's basically a series of vignettes with one character to tie them together. But when coupled with this incredible meal filled with recipes from Alice B. Toklas' cookbook and a stunning trio of musicians bringing this vibrant mood to life you could not ask for a more satisfying evening. First let's discuss the menu which included a Flan of Mushrooms À La Crème, Potato Leek Soup, Salmon with Sauce Hollandaise au Beurre Noisette, and Custard Josephine Baker. If you're not drooling yet then there's something wrong with you. As with most Nordo fare, every bite was more delectable than the last. And then that trio featuring Dexter Stevens and Sari Breznau and led by the incredible Annastasia Workman truly brought the evening to life with some new compositions from Workman that complimented the memoir as well as some standards of the era.

Shanahan makes for a most dashing and likable Hemingway giving his every story tons of depth and Dunn-Feliz makes for a wonderful counterparT. Taylor and Chapman pull double and triple duty with a multitude of delightful characters especially Taylor who's Zelda Fitzgerald was the perfect foil for Nelson's F. Scott. Burney makes for a completely formidable Gertrude Stein with a gravitas that insists you listen and listen well. And Opal Peachey is a delight as the ever present maid Lisette.

There's really only one more thing I wish I could tell you about the show which is to get your tickets to it, however it's completely sold out for the entire run. I have been told there is a waiting list you can get onto and it might be worth it to give that a shot as this was truly a superb evening. And so with my three letter rating system I give Café Nordo and Book-It Theatre's "A Moveable Feast" a sumptuous YAY. Truly a feast indeed for all the senses.

"A Moveable Feast" from Book-It Theatre and Café Nordo performs at Nordo's Culinarium through March 26th. For tickets or information on the waiting list contact the Book-It box office at 206-216-0833 or visit them online at

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From This Author Jay Irwin

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