Gene D'Alessandro and More Join freeFall's AN EMPTY PLATE IN THE CAFE DU GRAND BOEUF; Cast Announced!

Gene D'Alessandro and More Join freeFall's AN EMPTY PLATE IN THE CAFE DU GRAND BOEUF; Cast Announced!

Casting has been announced for freeFall Theatre's upcoming production of Michael Hollinger's An Empty Plate in The Café Du Grand Boeuf. No menu necessary at the world's greatest restaurant, the Café du Grand Boeuf in Paris. Why? "Because we have everything," headwaiter Claude admonishes waiter-in-training Antoine.

On this hot July night in 1961, the two join waitress Mimi and chef Gaston in awaiting the imminent arrival of Victor, the Café's owner and sole patron. But when "Monsieur" returns from the bullfights in Madrid, disheveled and morose, his wish is simple: to die of starvation at his own table. The frantic staff, whose very lives depend on Victor's appetite, try all means to change his mind, but to no avail. Finally, they make a last-ditch plea: Out of respect for their life's work, will he let them prepare one final meal-provided they leave it in the kitchen? Instead they will describe it, course by course, over a series of empty platters. Victor reluctantly consents, and the "feast of adjectives and adverbs" begins...A "comic tragedy in seven courses" celebrating the joys of cooking, sex, bullfighting and the collected works of Ernest Hemingway.

An Empty Plate features Gene D'Alessandro (Victor), Matthew McGee (Claude), Natalie Symons (Mimi), John Lombardi (Gaston), Greyson Lewis (Antoine) and Roxanne Fay (Miss Berger).

Tampa Bay audiences will recognize John Lombardi and Roxanne Fay for their excellent turns as Herr Schultz and Fraulein Schneider in freeFall's record-breaking production of Cabaret, which ran for 10 weeks this past summer. Ms. Fay has also starred in numerous performances throughout Sarasota and Tampa Bay and won acclaim for her one-woman show My Unspeakable Confessions: Gala Dali Declines to Explain Herself. Gene D'Alessandro recently starred as Capulet in Romeo + Juliet with freeFall, as well as numerous film and stage productions throughout the country. Natalie Symons and Greyson Lewis come to freeFall fresh off their appearances in the hugely popular production of The Foreigner at American Stage. This is Greyson's first appearance with freeFall. Natalie Symons played the title role in Becky Shaw with freeFall and is a noted playwright. Her play, Lark Eden is being produced throughout the country. Comic actor Matthew McGee rounds out the cast after having been last seen as Dr. Frank 'n' Furter in American Stage In the Park's The Rocky Horror Show this Spring. McGee won a Jeff Norton Award for his performance in that show and has been seen at freeFall as Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream and Pluto/Shaw in Sondheim's The Frogs.

An Empty Plate is directed by freeFall Artistic Director Eric Davis. Recently, Mr. Davis was named Critic's Choice Best Artistic Director and Reader's Choice Best Director by Tampa's Creative Loafing.

An Empty Plate in the Café du Grand Boeuf runs January 25 through February 17, 2013. Tickets are $39 or $46, depending on seating, with discounts available for students, teachers, seniors and military. $22 "rush tickets" are sold on an as-available basis 30 minutes before each show to students and teachers with ID's, and industry artists (show an AEA ID or your name in a printed program.

For more information and tickets visit or call (727) 498-5205.

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