Last night I went to the Opening Night of I Love to Eat at Portland Center State.
I Love to Eat is based on the life of James Beard (1903 - 1985), a chef who championed American cuisine, spoke to the nature of eating locally and seasonally, and hails from Portland. I didn't know anything about the play I was seeing except that I knew that there would be free food afterwards from local Portland chefs.
The show crams Beard's life into a finite amount of time, moving from the joy of cooking, to the depression of an old gay man who is incredibly lonely, and the quest for fame pretty quickly. It's pretty surreal at points, complete with a talking cow, opera music, and breaking the fourth wall. Some audience members get free sandwiches in the show.
I enjoyed the play, mostly as an introduction to an American figure I had never heard of before and I've thought a lot about Beard's motto, which he repeats a few times through the show: "Time in the kitchen should be fun."