The Kitchen Plays – Review by Luke Dodge
Three individual plays connect purely by location: a family’s kitchen. Cast members read kitchen stories submitted by the audience from the prior show during the transitions between each play, making each show a unique experience.
A folding table and chairs, plus a small bar with a few stools, serve as props for all three stories. The stage is rearranged for each new kitchen in a new, but familiar fashion. This did not bother this reviewer, since it’s the people in a story which matter most of all.
As for the show performed on 7/24, in the first play, “Flight Pattern,” Joy (Shelley Wyche) is having a small (well, maybe not so small) existential crisis after her daughter moves away to college. Her husband Bob (Peter Leondedis) seeks to reassure her she’s not alone in her feelings. You can feel the weight of the relationship and really believe these two have been partners for life. There’s just the right amount of humor and the story ends with a big smile.
“Something Old, Something New” features a Jewish family struggling to both create and maintain family traditions. When Miriam (Kelly Main) suggests to her mother Janie (Meghamm Deveroux) that they change the family recipe, the two generations go head-to-head. Janie’s father Zayde (Larry Goodman) intervenes with important life lessons, giving the girls a new perspective on how the traditions were created in the first place. The distinct and unique personalities between the three characters balanced out in a delectable give-and-take and the whole kerfuffle ends in a heartening reconciliation.
Martha (Margaret Shelby) finds her daughter Dulcie (Daijah Porchia) roaming the house far too late the night before her wedding in the final play “37 Kisses.” Not a stranger to cold feet, Dulcie reveals the relationship origin, as sweet as the chocolate props, with her late husband, resulting in a collective “awww” from the audience. There may have been tears shed.
Each of these plays is delightfully heartwarming with relationships which feels real and natural. The humor is well metered and perfectly timed. You even receive a recipe at the end! A shorter show than most, but better to exercise restraint than attempt to add fluff for time. Every scene matters and demands you to care for the characters.