Steak or Cake?

I was a fat kid.

Well, for a short time in my life I hadn’t had that growth spurt I needed to lengthen all of this God-given-goodness up into a taller leaner me.  😉 As I waited for that day, that never seemed to come, I ate a lot of crappy food and didn’t exercise. My eating choices consisted of Little Debbie snack cakes for breakfast, junk food lunches of cheese curls and ding-dongs with a healthy dose of potato chips and ice cream as an after school snack.

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Not my parent’s fault, I was a sneaky little chub. Supper included all of the truly healthy foods that I had to eat as I was under the watchful eye of my mom and dad. Foods of substance that would ensure I didn’t become obese and acquire diabetes at the ripe age of 12.

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From then on out it was very important to read the ingredients of what I put in my body. It started a routine for me that I keep to this day.

It also is a practice I apply to forms of entertainment that I choose to see or even to participate in.

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I like cake, I like pie, I am partial to a really good chocolate chip cookie but I can’t survive on that alone.

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I need a balance of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins… something of substance that nourishes my body and mind.

I like pure comic entertainment, I love singing and dancing and corny jokes I am partial to comedy of the baser variety at times (a dark “blue” joke goes over well with me).

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But what do I live off of, what do I crave?… Entertainment of substance that engages my mind and stimulates conversation for hours if not days after I’ve seen it. Even if I don’t necessarily agree with a point of view of a character, if I am challenged to think and consider all sides of an argument I am hooked like that piece of salmon that I’m craving in another way.

Also the “cooks” of a production are important. Would you rather eat a meal by Eric Ripert or Chef-boy-ar-dee?

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I’ll give you that after a night of drinking you may want to tie into a can of spaghettiOs but if you are sober you may think twice… or maybe just once.

Now consider the chefs in a “kitchen” of a Broadway show like THE VISIT!

Songwriting team of Kander & Ebb: Cabaret; Chicago; Kiss Of The Spider Woman; “New York, New York” etc…

Playwright Terrence McNally: Ragtime; Love, Valor, Compassion; It’s Only A Play etc…

Star Chita Rivera: West Side Story; Chicago; Kiss of the SpiderWoman etc…

Star Roger Rees: Nicholas Nickleby; Cheers; Robin Hood: Men in Tights etc…

Choreographer Graciela Daniele: Ragtime; Marie Christine; Once On This Island etc…

Director John Doyle: Sweeney Todd; Road Show; Company etc…

Already, you can tell that these cooks know what they are doing.  I haven’t even listed our design team Scott Pask (The Coast of Utopia), Anne Hould-Ward (Into The Woods), Japhy Weideman (Of Mice and Men)… the list does go on and on.

Each and every one cooking on all four burners and at the top of their game. A team like this doesn’t happen every season or every several seasons and chances are this may be your last chance to experience the creative brilliance of this particular team.

So do yourself a solid and make sure you take advantage of this cornucopia of music theatre delights now in previews at the Lyceum Theatre on Broadway and opening on April 23rd. You’ll have something to talk about and to gnaw over for quite a while.

 

“You be good, and I’ll try”

 

Jason

 

2 thoughts on “Steak or Cake?

  1. THE VISIT is definitely steak! I came up from DC to see the first preview. It’s an amazing show which is beautifully conceived, written, designed, and executed. It definitely leaves you with a lot to think about. I saw this show about 6 years ago when it ran at Signature Theatre in Arlington VA. I thought it was terrific then (I believe that TIME listed that production as one of the Ten Best of the year), and it is even better now under John Doyle’s direction. All of the elements you mention, Jason, are first-rate. People are definitely at the top of their game. What a treat!!! Bravo!!! (Come back to Signature one of these days, Jason!)

    • Thanks Harrell, for your comment. I’m glad you enjoyed it again, maybe even a little more. 😉 I would love to come back to the Signature in DC. Hopefully Eric and I can find another show to collaborate on. All my best to you.

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