It isn’t often that people enjoy going to see a play that they just recently saw, but judging from the opening night audience at The Broadway Playhouse, for their second helping of “To Master The Art” written by William Brown and Doug Frew, they were ready for “seconds” ( as was I). This is the production that TimeLine Theatre World Premiered back in 2010. Moving this sterling production with 6 of the original 10 cast members back to reprise their roles to rave reviews and I can’t imagine that what others will say about this production that could be any different. It is as solid as it was before in a little larger venue ( although still easy to see and hear) and once again Karen Janes Woditsch is a delight as she becomes Julia Childs for this dynamite story telling experience. TimeLine is known as the company that presents stories that are inspired by history- and they do a marvelous job. Moving the production to the larger theater is a great way to allow more people, including tourists , an opportunity to see one of Chicago’s finest theaters at work!
The play tells the story of Ms Childs and her husband ( once again portrayed by the always reliable Craig Spidle) as they journey to Paris during the 1950’s. He is there to educate the people and julia, who is unemployed finds that Pars and its love of food awakens in her something that she was unaware even existed. What we get to experience is what it may have been for an American couple living abroad. This is a stromg cast on a wonderful set(Keith Pitts) that allows us to move from Bistro, to cooking school to julia’s kitchen with great ease and the lighting (Charles Cooper) and sound/original music(Andrew Hansen) truly add to the telling of this love story- not just the love between this couple, but that of their friends and of course, food ( in particular for Julia).
Other returning cast members:Jeannie Affelder, Ian Paul Custer, Terry Hamilton ( who brings two dynamic characters to the story and does a wonderful scene in the love that makes scrambling an egg orgasmic), and Juliet Hart. The additions to the cast are Sam Asdown, Janet Ulrich Brooks,Brian Plocharcyck and Heidi Kettenring ( who shows she can do more than musicals). The production is directed by William Brown and is just as strong as it was in our first vieling at TimeLine over on Wellington- this venue sparkles, seats a great deal more people and is easy to get to from all areas of the city and suburbs, so thanks to The Chicago Commercial Collective for bringing this production back to the people of Chicago along with Broadway in Chicago- I am hopeful that mor eof the smaller companies will see their fine works brought to a larger audience just as this one is.
“To Master The Art” will continue at The Broadway Playhouse, located at 175 E.Chestnut ( Water Tower Place) through October 20th with performances as follows:
Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m.
Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m.
additional matinees at 2 p.m. from 9/25-10/16
Fridays at 7:30 p.m.
Saturdays at 2 and 8 p.m.
Sundays at 2 p.m.
Tickets range from $25-$75 and are available at any of the Broadway In Chicago box offices, by calling the Broadway In Chicago Ticketline at 800-775-2000, at all Ticketmaster outlets and online at www.BroadwayInChicago.com
To see what others are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-Up and click at “To Master The Art”
There are some special events- pre and post show involving some wonderful chefs and food
learn more at the above website