The play consists of James in his kitchen telling stories, preparing food, reading letters from fans, and talking on one of three phones to fans or friends (including Julia Child). He is alone on stage, but you get the feeling that he craves connection, hence his generous contact with fans. We learn a little about his childhood in Portland (an ideal childhood is not necessarily a happy one), his travels, and his TV show. James hosted the first TV cooking show in the late 40s, and we see a few scenes from the show, talking to a cow puppet, the sponsor of the show. He makes his beloved onion sandwiches (with homemade mayonnaise), and a few lucky audience members get a taste! He focused on "every day American cookery" rather than pretentious fancy meals, encouraging his fans and students to use the preparation and eating of food to bring people together, as it has throughout human history.
|James Beard (Garry Geiken) with his co-host|
James believed in "good food, simply cooked," and using the best ingredients. I Love to Eat is a theatrical meal James would approve of - the best ingredients combine in a story simply told. Sometimes sweet, sometimes bitter, but always tasty. The title says it all - he loved to eat, and he conveyed that love through his cooking and through his teaching. Like a good meal, you'll leave the theater feeling happy and satisfied. Playing now through May 18, with half-price tickets available on Goldstar.