Chef's Theater, Mixing Concert, Cuisine and Cooking School, Opens April 14 in Theatre District

News   Chef's Theater, Mixing Concert, Cuisine and Cooking School, Opens April 14 in Theatre District Chef's Theater: A Musical Feast, a unique live experience that is part cooking show, part tasting event and part legit cabaret, opens April 14 at the Supper Club in Broadway's theatre district.
Shannon Lewis in a scene from Chef's Theater
Shannon Lewis in a scene from Chef's Theater Photo by Carol Rosegg

Producers West Egg Entertainment, Marty Bell, Greg Smith and Stephen Fass and executive producer Joe Allegro serve up the show, which brings famous-in-the food-world chefs to prepare a meal (with commentary), after which the audience eats, drinks and listens to songs sung by a special guest star from the New York stage.

A continuing regular cast of show folk also gets into the cooking act by assisting chefs and performing throughout the show. New songs are part of the experience, including the opening number, "A Meal to Remember," by Ragtime Tony Award winners Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty.

The expectation is one evening chef per week, Tuesday- Sunday, with a separate chef — David Rosengarten — for noon Saturday and 1 PM Sunday brunches. The first week of previews, March 30-April 4, featured Todd English of Olives. For the opening week, Tyler Florence of Food Network's "Food 911," is the featured chef, creating pan-seared tuna with avocado and soy-lime vinaigrette, crisp roast poussin with garden puree and lemon olive oil, with basil panna cotta with passionfruit, honey and sesame oil.

The Supper Club, on West 47th Street, was once the Edison Theatre.

"It's like a fusion dish," director Stafford Arima told Playbill On-Line. "You know when you go to a restaurant and you have a chicken dish with a strawberry-ginger coulis, and you wonder how this could all go together? You get remnants of each flavor, but it comes together. We're like that: Chef's Theater is a fusion of all these ingredients from diverse sources — theatre, cabaret, cooking. It touches all of your senses: your eyes, your ears, your nose, your tastebuds..." Interspersed throughout the experience are performances by Shannon Lewis (Fosse, Contact), Paige Price (Saturday Night Fever) and Jim Walton (Merrily We Roll Along), plus a special guest after the intermission, at dessert time. Kate Shindle (Cabaret) was the featured dessert performer in the first week of the run, followed by Kelli O'Hara. Opening week's featured singer is Michele Pawk, through April 18.

Young theatre performers such as Michael Cavanaugh (Movin' Out) have committed to singing during special dessert-buffet shows (11 PM Fridays and Saturdays starting April 16).

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Director Arima was the Olivier Award-nominated director of a revisionist London staging of Ragtime, and is staging Guys and Dolls for Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey this spring.

Choreography is by Casey Nicholaw (Radio City Music Hall's Sinatra), with set design by Beowulf Borrit (The Last 5 Years, Class Mothers of '68) and lighting design by Ben Stanton (Play Yourself at New York Theatre Workshop, Adam Rapp's Stone Cold Dead Serious). Sound design is by Peter Hylenski.

The meal prepared onstage will be duplicated backstage by the hundreds by a staff in the Supper Club's kitchen (the restaurant portion of the event is Restaurant Associates, the respected foodservice company. Vino and dessert are all part of the experience. As on cable's Food Network, an overhead view of the chef's work will be projected on a large TV screen for the crowd.

Marty Bell of West Egg Entertainment was one of the producers of Sweet Smell of Success, The Last 5 Years, A Class Act and is working on the musical, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. He told Playbill On-Line he and his producers hope Chef's Theater will pop up around the country.

The performance and three-course meal are presented Tuesday through Sunday, with doors opening at 6:30 PM and the show beginning at 7:30 PM. Family brunch with chef David Rosengarten will be served Saturdays at noon and Sundays at 1 PM. Dessert Show performances with musical guests will take place 11 PM Fridays and Saturdays PM beginning April 16.

Tickets for Chef's Theater dinner performances are $115-$125.  Brunch performances are $65. Special "Chef's Table" seating is available.

All tickets can be purchased through Telecharge.com or by calling (212) 239-6200 or by visiting the Supper Club box office at 240 W. 47th Street.

Ticket price includes a complete dinner or brunch, performance, and complementing featured beverage. Alcoholic beverages can be purchased from the bar in the Supper Club.

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Scheduled chefs and featured performers include:

  • Food Network's Tyler Florence (Food 911, Tyler's Ultimate Fantasy), with Michele Pawk, April 13-18
  • Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger - Too Hot Tamales (Border Grill), with Mylinda Hull, April 20 25
  • Michael Lomonaco (Windows on the World, Noche), with Janine LaManna, April 27-May 2
  • Michael Romano (Union Square Café), with Andrew Lippa, May 4-9
  • Rick Moonen (rm), with Alice Ripley, May 11-16
  • David Burke (davidburke and donatella), with Adam Pascal, May 18 23
  • David Rosengarten (The Rosengarten Report), with Mylinda Hull, May 25-30
  • Marcus Samuelsson (Aquavit, Riingo), with Julia Murney, June 1 - 6
  • Legendary French Chef Week, June 8-13, with singer Billy Porter
  • Ed Brown (Sea Grill), with Lauren Kennedy, June 15 20
  • Douglas Rodriguez (OLA NY and Miami), with Lauren Kennedy, June 22 27 Sommeliers including Joshua Wesson, Michael Green, Steve Olson and Andrea Immer will present a wine-tasting with wines selected to best complement the meal.

    As they leave the Supper Club, each member of the audience will be given a gift bag filled with recipes and other culinary items.

  • David Rosengarten prepares a meal with help from Paige Price in <i>Chef's Theater</i>
    David Rosengarten prepares a meal with help from Paige Price in Chef's Theater Photo by Carol Rosegg
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