Asheville audiences haven’t seen The Magnetic Theatre in action since March, when they presented their final show at their inaugural brick and mortar venue in the River Arts District. That doesn’t mean that the exciting company–Asheville’s only professional theatre dedicated to original works–hasn’t been busy. They’ve been looking at potential sites for their next home, as well as plotting and planning various shows and artistic ventures–the next of which will be the world premiere of Jim Julien’s The Caro Savanti Experience, at the Bebe Theatre in July.
The Caro Savanti Experience, which began as a raucous late-night piece at Magnetic Midnight (the company’s open stage late-night performance outlet), stars Darren Marshall in the titular role as a mercurial and brilliant modern chef whose last restaurant closed under disastrous circumstances. Throw in two meathead investors trying to keep him under control, his voluptuous assistant trying to keep the investors at bay, his creepy sous chef who no one is quite sure about, unsuspecting diners who have no idea what they are in for, a smarmy reality TV producer who is filming a pilot of the whole shebang, saute and mix–and you have one fascinating show about the troubled genius of modern cuisine: Caro Savanti!
With Asheville gaining more and more recognition as a culinary destination and foodie haven, this show (which is in fact set in Asheville) perfectly satirizes that culture and scene in a way that will appeal not just to theatregoers but to any gourmand who enjoys a laugh as well.
Directed by Katie Anne Towner, who audiences will remember as the director of the Magnetic Theatre’s giant hit, The 30th Annual Bernstein Family Christmas Spectacular, and also starring some of Asheville’s most exciting theatre talent, including Laura Tratnik, Art Moore, and Ryan Madden, among others, the show is sure to serve up some of the funniest and most palatable theatre of the summer.
“Jim Julien is known for being a little out there,” Towner recently said, “as co-director of the Asheville Fringe Festival and a puppeteer and actor. What is great about this script–his first full-length play–is the amusing and often silly way he’s woven his trademark bizarre style into a parody of mainstream media and foodie culture.”
With a limited engagement of only two weeks, instead of the four to six week runs Magnetic audiences are accustomed to, patrons are advised to purchase tickets early while they are still available. As any judicious theatregoer will be able to tell from the description alone, this is not an occasion where you want to risk being late to the buffet.
The Caro Savanti Experience will be performed at the Bebe Theatre (20 Commerce St. in downtown Asheville) July 11-13 and 18-20. Low-Priced Preview performance ($8) on Thursday July 11; opening night Friday, July 12; performances July 13 and 18-20 at 7:30 p.m., with late shows on July 19 and 20 at 9:30 p.m. Tickets $15, $12 for students and seniors with valid ID. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.themagnetictheatre.org.