Theatre Review: ‘Oh, Gastronomy’ at the Humana Festival

The cast of "Oh, Gastronomy" live it up

“Oh, Gastronomy” by Michael Golamco, Carson Kreitzer, Steve Moulds, Tanya Saracho and Matt Schatz
Directed by Amy Attaway
Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville
Through April 1, 2012

View Chuck Lavazzi and Joan Lipkin’s video blog

The synopsis: “Food, that most delicious human unifier, is rife with contradiction. It can signal both comfort and compulsion, imply both nourishment and deprivation, and make your mouth water—or your stomach turn. Get ready to dig in, as five hungry playwrights join forces with twenty-two ravenous Acting Apprentices to serve up the pleasures—and paradoxes—of food.”

“Oh, Gastronomy” is a snappy collection of 28 short plays (and more than a few songs) all dealing with food, family, and friends.  Most are comic, a few moving, and all completely entertaining.  The program stars the company’s young interns, and they certainly shine here as their characters find love, companionship, camaraderie, and a really killer fudge recipe (the results of which were available in the lobby after the show).

There are too many performers to list individually here and, of course, too many plays to make it possible for me to go into detail on each one.  Some of my favorites were: “Ordering: Memories” in which customers at a restaurant order slices of their past from the menu; “The Family Feast”, which called to mind the massive holiday dinners with my “logical family” (to quote Mrs. Madrigal); and “The Mix”, in which both that tasty fudge and a relationship is cooked up.  Others probably had their highlights, but the bottom line is that the show was tremendous fun to watch and, I think, to perform as well.

Join in the discussion on Twitter with the #hf36 hash tag and follow me @clavazzi. Look for Joan Lipkin’s reviews at The Vital Voice.

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