by Kirby Lindsay‘We’ve got lots of booze on board,’ sings the First Mate during Bounty! An Epic Adventure in Seafood. That boast barely plumbs the depths of all this ‘ship’ contains, as it sets sails on a wild excursion from its location, very much on terra firma, in the south end of the Theo Chocolate building at 3400 Phinney Avenue North. The latest offering from Café Nordo, an outrageous mix of food, theater, and experimentation, can be experienced May 13 to June 19, 2010.
What There Is To See
Step inside, and leave conventional expectations beyond the riggings. This is not dinner theater, with bland food and canned acting of a stock play. Created by Terry Podgorski and Erin Brindley, who met once upon a Circus Contraption, Café Nordo offers an elegant, fine meal in a theater, and an outrageous theatrical work that literally feeds the body.
The cast - Devin Bannon, Opal Peachy, Maridee Slater, Ryan Barrett, Carter Rodriguez, and Colleen Carey – must act, sing, dance, and serve a five-course meal. During rehearsals, actors were encouraged to experiment and invent background stories for their layered characters. On top of all this, the multi-talented, and multi-tasking, cast will perform bits of puppetry and tend the ship’s riggings, during a show that also incorporates tastes of four wines, champagne and, of course, dessert. Finally, Podgorski left a lot of leeway in the script, and the actors improvise each evening depending on the audience mix they serve. This means each performance provides a rare adventure.
Café Nordo first launched in fall of 2009, with a show about a controlling, ego-inflated chef spouting off about the life of a chicken. The show created an extremely positive buzz among those few who got to see it, and for Bounty! diners will six to a table, with only eight tables total. In the new installation, Podgorski said they “decided to take on a lot more this time.” More singing, more dancing and the evening will feel “a lot more theatrical,” Brindley explained, as composer Annastasia Workman wrote the music, except one song penned by Drew Keriakedes.
What There Is To Eat
“We don’t have the limitations of a culinary training,” Podgorski joked, yet working with Chef Chad Fuhreck, they’ve put together a creative, unusual and fine repast to tantalize any gourmet. Through allegory, the show educates on the importance of ‘good food, well-gotten’ through sustainable, local sources – and serves up delicious examples. Podgorski and Brindley want people to think about their food – enjoy it, but also take it seriously.
Brindley described the evening as a form of experiential dining. Certainly the blending of food and theater can cause some odd influences, as Stage Manager Murphy Stevens had to instruct actors, at rehearsal, the correct method for packing and unpacking dishware. Brindley also described this as “experiential spectacle.”
“What it is,” Brindley explained finally, “it’s a lot of fun!” Remember though, the impeccable service, lively but thought-provoking entertainment, and delicious feast will only be available a limited time – and will likely sell out. Book your voyage today, before this Café Nordo vanishes into the mists on June 19. Tickets can be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets – although questions on the menu or seating options can be answered either on the website or at firstname.lastname@example.org
- A Wealth of Original Plays, and Playwrights, at Stone Soup
- by Kirby Lindsay, May 10, 2010
©2010 Kirby Lindsay. This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.