BWW Review: BON APPETIT! Serves up the Charm and Cake of Julia Child
There are so many wonderful things going on in "Bon Appetit! The Julia Child Operetta", the show about one of the world's most recognizable cooking personalities, Julia Child, that it's unbelievable it all happens in under an hour. But then Julia always did make magic happen in such a short time herself.
Part history, part operetta, and part chocolaty treat, the evening begins with the grandniece of Julia Child, our host Julia Child Prud'homme, sharing delightful memories of her Aunt, reminding us all what a vibrant force of nature she was. Then we segue into a cooking lesson from Julia in the form of Lee Hoiby's operetta based on one of Julia Child's television episodes, where she bakes her delicious chocolate cake on stage. Performed by Seattle favorite Anne Allgood, she beats, whisks, and bakes her way into our hearts. The 20 minute operetta is then followed by a few more fantastic anecdotes from Prud'homme. And if that weren't enough, the audience is treated with a piece of that amazing chocolate cake on the way out.
Director Jane Kaplan has crafted an enchanting evening with just the right mix of music and stories to remind us all of this great lady. And lest you think that Allgood is just miming making this cake, think again. Other productions have faked it, but Allgood is working with the actual ingredients and techniques on stage making the experience even richer. And the entire evening is underscored beautifully by Mark Anders on piano.
It's wonderful having Prud'homme on hand with actual tales of her famous relative complete with keepsakes she got from her Aunt and namesake. She leads us through these stories with utter charm bringing us face to face with the great lady. And the incomparable Allgood then takes us through the recipe in this singular way capturing the essence of Child and her outrageous style. She completely nails the effervescence and vitality of Julia Child but never takes it to a pale imitation of the woman. And then we get cake!
Prud'homme, Allgood and Kaplan bring together a lovely evening that not only feeds your appetite but your heart. And so, with my three-letter rating system, I give "Bon Appetit! The Julia Child Operetta" a sumptuous YAY. You definitely want to try and catch one of the few remaining performances before they run out of cake.
"Bon Appetit! The Julia Child Operetta" performs at the Jewelbox Theater at The Rendezvous on October 13th and November 10th. For tickets or information, visit the Rendezvous at www.therendezvous.rocks.