I was assisting two friends of mine in hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for about thirty people here in Chicago when I was introduced to David. By the time I was introduced, he already knew that I was a Julia Child cook and blogger, so he asked if I'd been to "the Julia Child play."
"The what?" I queried.
The play about Julia Child. "I think it's called 'Mastering the Art' or something like that". He said it was a play about Julia Child and her husband when they lived in postwar France and her discovery of cooking. "But it's been sold out for a long time," he said.
However, the theatre might be adding a couple of performances and that I should call the Timeline Theatre the very next day. Maybe I could get a ticket. . . . By that time, I was really excited. . .
I called the theatre the next day, the very minute the box office opened. All performances were sold out, alas. . .But! . . .They had added one more performance on December 15th and had only two tickets left. . . "Did I want them?"
"Yes . . . two tickets . . . I WANTED them."
Implicitly. . . .
My bestie foodie friend, Liane, accompanied me on a blisteringly cold night to a performance of "To Master the Art". Within the first thirty seconds of this performance, I had tears streaming down my face. The performance was that stunning. Liane was, hopefully, not embarrassed by my reaction; I doubt that she was surprised by it. (After all, that's why I brought my bestie foodie friend to accompany me to the world premier of this performance.)
Needless to say, the performance was brilliant. Whenever there was a scene in a restaurant, a kitchen, or the Cordon Bleu, the audience was permeated with exquisite different aromas: roasted chicken in tarragon, and, (I swear) the smell of beurre blanc blasted the audience.
Please know that "To Master the Art" the stage performance was written BEFORE the movie "Julia and Julia" - - that abominable, trite thing.
I'm truly sad that I saw the last performance of "To Master the Art." During the next two-and-a-half hours of the performance, I laughed, was surprised, cried some more and continued to be overwhelmed - - - at how much joy can be obtained from food. . . . Such joy from food!
But, you know, . . . . the same thing happens whenever I prepare any one of Julia's recipes from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Whenever I follow Julia's precise instructions, pure unalloyed joy -- and some euphoria - - are always the results. How many endeavors such as that can one claim?
"To Master the Art" conveyed precisely what I've felt about Julia's work all along. That's why I wept within the first thirty seconds.
"To Master the Art" will be a huge hit, mark my words.
My only frustration was this - -
- - that everyone I truly love didn't get to see it with me.
Labels: Channeling Julia Child, Chicago, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Paul Child, Timeline Theater, To Master the Art