by Kirby LindsayFor the third installment of the Café Nordo series of outrageous, experimental and unparalleled blendings of food and theater, audiences can enjoy an evening of jazz, noir and cocktails. October 8 – November 13, in the southend of the Theo Chocolate factory, Chef Nordo Lefesczki and “Best Bartender in America” Murray Stenson (according to the 2010 Tales of the Cocktail festival) offer up an incredible mixing of cocktails and bar food – while an exceptionally talented group of performers, led by writer Terry Podgorski and director Erin Bridley, stage a story of mystery and betrayal.
Cocktails, Jazz and Noir
“I’m so excited about what we are bringing to the plate,” admitted Opal Peachey, a cast member, “it doesn’t feel scaled down.” She also appeared in the previous two Café Nordo shows, which featured full five-course meals. Bounty: An Epic Adventure In Seafood focused on the Salish Sea while audiences feasted on outrageous concoctions made of fresh, local marine ingredients. During The Modern American Chicken, diners sampled an evolving series of delicacies that represented the lifetime of a chicken.
In Sauced, the menu has shrunk slightly – along with ticket prices. Brindley and Podgorski acknowledged concessions made toward more affordable prices, although they expect audiences will still leave quiet satisfied at “our take on bar food,” explained Brindley, “it’s not super-filling,” but it exceeds most expectations of hors d’ouvres.
The food is bound to impress, and so will the alcohol as “everything has to do with alcohol,” in Sauced, Podgorski admitted, including a special, super-secret final concoction. “We think it’s worth more,” Podgorski admitted. “The production costs are the same,” Brindley explained. Yet, tickets start at $35, for the food and the show, including servings of wine and beer, and the ability to purchase the cocktails a la carte. Tickets purchased for $55 include all of the above, plus a set menu – the flight - of four cocktails.
Who Brings the Plate
Tickets might be cheaper, but “they’re hitting it out of the park with the show,” declared Peachey. A graduate from Cornish, she has worked as a Stage Manager and Assistant Director to gain theater experience, and get her foot in the door of the kinds of productions she prefers – specifically, new theater. “In my heart, I feel like a performer,” she admitted, but working behind the scenes led her to Podgorski and Brindley – and got her parts in all three Café Nordo shows.
She played Isabella in Bounty!, and Cochin, a sous chef, in Modern Chicken, but “I hope Valerie will be the favorite,” she said of her roles, “because she’s the new one.” Peachey prefers to be part of developing, never-before-seen works. “It’s great to be able to work with the playwright,” she explained, even though Podgorski continues to tweak punch lines and consult with her on the secret ‘Valerie’ carries through the show. Plus, she enjoys, “seeing the story develop because of the performance.”
“Working on something like this doesn’t feel like work,” Peachey said, “the feeling I have with the audience is like no other feeling.” She talks with the audiences, in character, about what is on their plate. The shows are physically challenging, and “I’ve had to grow with the music,” she admitted, about the original jazz score, composed by Annastasia Workman and performed live by the Café Nordo House Band. “And,” Peachey admitted off-hand, “you get tips. That never hurts anything.”
For Peachey, Café Nordo depends upon “the relationships between the tables, the relationships between the audience members, and making sure the audience is riding the wave with us.” To be a part of this unique theater and dining experience, and to find out Valerie’s secret, purchase tickets through Brown Paper Tickets. For more information, check out www.cafenordo.com.
- A Bounty of Theater & Food
- by Kirby Lindsay, May 14, 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.