Folks heading to the Playhouse for the final show of the 2011 summer season are in for a delightfully, ‘delicious’ evening out as the Playhouse dishes up, The Kitchen Witches by Caroline Smith which opened Thursday night, September 8 and runs through October 2.
The Kitchen Witches places the audience at a live television ‘cooking’ show and drags everyone kicking and laughing, mostly laughing, into the venue.
Directed by Canadian theatre veteran, Walter Learning, it’s fun, it’s relaxing, it’s funny and it’s a wonderful play to end this year’s summer season.
As was expected the very talented Linda Goranson and Jocelyn Zucco deliver. They are backed by a solid performance from Parris Greaves who plays Dolly’s son Stephen.
Goranson gives us Dolly Biddle, a character you like immediately. She’s short, a bit frumpy, the ‘vonderful, vonderful’, lovable grandmotherly type but with a fake Ukranian accent.
On the other hand, you don’t immediately take to Isobel, “Izzy” Lomax played by Zucco. In fact, she is quite un-likeable when she first hits the stage. She’s loud, professional to the point of being cold, and not about to let anyone forget that ‘I am Cordon Bleu’ trained.
She became a bit more endearing, however when she ended up as Mammy to Dolly’s Scarlett O’Hara in the deep south cooking segment of The Kitchen Witches show and by the end of the night we had actually come to like her.
The play is about Dolly and Isobel, who grew up in the same town, loved the same man and both ended up with television cooking shows, ‘Baking with Babcha’ and ‘Busy with Izzy’ both of which have coincidentally been cancelled. “It’s last show and Bobcha wants to go out with a bang,” says Dolly as she prepares her Ukranian Bosch.
When Izzy shows up on the Babcha set, old ‘personal’ problems bubble up. “Dolly Biddle you have publicly insulted me for the last time,” yells Izzy. The grease sizzles and the cooking show producers love all the digs and pokes as the two old friends air old grievances, live, on stage. As a result, a new show, The Kitchen Witches is born and becomes an immediate hit.
When Izzy reveals the family’s ‘secret’ recipe at the end of the first act, the stage is set for some real fun…and an eventual happy ending.
Adding to the play’s charm is the localization and the interaction with the audience. The Kitchen Witches show is sponsored by Morrisburg and area businesses and the two cooking divas receive fan mail from such far-away places as Chesterville and Ingleside. A Playhouse audience member is even called to centre stage.
Also called to the stage for this one is Upper Canada Playhouse’s Production Assistant, Stéphanie Souillé, who plays the camera person who captures all of the great cooking show moments.
The two cooks do offer some cooking advice and enter into a well-timed two minute cooking challenge. Dolly prepares “melt in your mouth bourbon balls” and Izzie makes a “stand em up Izzie Banana Parfait”. Keep an eye on the stand-up banana
The Kitchen Witches is a fun show, with an outstanding cast and an excellent ending for another successful season at the Playhouse.
If you don’t have your tickets yet call the Playhouse at 613-543-3713 or book online at uppercanadaplayhouse.com. This is one ‘yummy’ serving you don’t want to miss.