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|A CurtainUp Review
By Amanda Cooper
In a nutshell, C this is somewhat like a kitchenized, more camped-up version of Stomp. For those of you who have yet to see that show, Cookin' has a small group of "chefs" cooking up some dishes, but mainly fooling around with the kitchen equipment in order to create all sorts of rhythms and music. This results in moments of pandemonium, dancing, fighting, and permeating excitement.
So what's wrong with this menu? The chief fault is that the show doesn't give itself enough credit. In order to sustain its captive audience, the performance includes an unnecessary story line; to be specific: the "chefs" have an hour to cook all the food for a wedding reception, and their manager is keeping a close watch on the time and their work. To further complicate matters, the manger's, goofy young nephew is there to help or, to be more precise, to screw things up. The fact that the show's sole woman wears a tight, tummy-baring, tight chef's outfit seems a studied attempt to widen the family audience appeal. .
Cookin' is at its best during the unplotted, crazy dancing, beat-banging numbers. It's even cooler when real food is usedr!
As for the story, don't get your hopes up too high. These "chefs" only faux complete the wedding meal; in fact, they cook very little though they sure do have a blast with kitchen utensils. Judging from the audience response, the fun is infectious.
A couple warnings: If you or anyone in your family have very strong and particular food allergies, or are sensitive to the effects of an onion (my eyes tear up terribly), do not sit in the front part of the orchestra. Likewise, if you have a stage or sweat phobia, steer clear of seats on the aisles -- I was one of a big audience handful pulled onto stage, and there was much visible sweating on the part of the performers.
Mendes at the Donmar
At This Theater
Leonard Maltin's 2003 Movie and Video Guide
Ridiculous!The Theatrical Life & Times of Charles Ludlam
Somewhere For Me, a Biography of Richard Rodgers
The New York Times Book of Broadway: On the Aisle for the Unforgettable Plays of the Last Century
6, 500 Comparative Phrases including 800 Shakespearean Metaphors by CurtainUp's editor.
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