A sung recipe for Meyer lemon tarts is just one of the hoped-for hits in the new culinary musical, Fanny at Chez Panisse, based on chef Alice Waters' best-selling book. Taking its world premiere bow Sept. 13-Oct. 29 at Berkeley's Julia Morgan Theatre, Fanny is helmed by much-decorated former American Conservatory Theatre director and actress, Joy Carlin.
In Fanny, a young girl learns to deal with life outside of her mother's famous restaurant, where she has spent most of her days. With the help of the eatery's staff, led by the temperamental, artistic head chef and the worldly maitre d', Fanny comes to understand her place in the world. Along the way, she also finds a cause of her own to rival her mother's own crusades for organic cooking and a Presidential vegetable patch. The musical first workshopped at Z Space in Jan. 1999 and was then the centerpiece for a fundraiser for the Chez Panisse Foundation, with celebrity guest stars Jill Eikenberry and Tom Hulce.
Adaptor and composer Joe Landon brings Fanny to the stage. His past works include Blessing, produced at Manhattan Theatre Club with F. Murray Abraham, Stamps and the musical Play Play. In TV and film, he scripted "The Comeback Kid" with John Ritter and wrote for "The Paper Chase."
Cecilia Foecke stars as Fanny with Maurren McVerry as Alice. Also in the cast are Robert Sinclair, Craig Jessup and Kate Gremillion.
For reservations, call (888) FANNY06. The Julia Morgan Theatre is located at 2640 College Avenue. -- By Christine Ehren