It was cool and misty this past Saturday evening as my wife and I shuffled in behind the other guests within the lobby of the well kept and intimate Rubicon Theater in Ventura, CA. We had been invited by our friends at FOOD Share of Ventura County to attend the official opening night of Food Confessions written by Nancy Nufer. Neither of us are typically avid stage presentation type people, but we like to be exposed to new and cultural experiences. Plus, the food theme of a live stage comedy peaked the The Hungry Man curiosity in me. Jumping straight to the endorsement without any frilly garnish, we were happy to have been in those seats and left the theater hungry for more laughs.
Shifting to the performance, director Jenny Sullivan takes Nancy’s rolling boil of occasionally intertwined monologues of the five actors and serves up an incredibly funny and relatable experience. (Are we done with the puns yet, or should we have another helping?)
From trips down memory lane about childhood meals and shared moments with mom in the kitchen to modern day hang ups about how food can influence our everyday lives and relationships, the comedic relief doesn’t shy away from more serious topics such as personal communication, health, mortality commitment and love. It’s a well-balanced diet of hilarity, nostalgia, innuendo, conflict, redemption and flavor.
The connection to the characters and their perspectives on food and life is so palpable that audience members can be caught “um-hmmm”ing, nodding their heads and even yelling out the affirmative “YES!” as if they were being asked directly to confirm whether or not they personally agreed with the actors observations. I can vouch for audibly rooting for the triumph of bacon during one segment of the play.
The dollop of whipped cream on top of this live performance treat (I couldn’t help but use one more) is the partnership with FOOD Share of Ventura County, an organization dear to our hearts. Celebrating the play’s direct connection to food and acknowledging the issue of hunger in Ventura County, attendees are encouraged to drop of 5+ cans to the Rubicon box office in exchange for a $5 rebate.
The culinary comedy runs through Feb. 24 at the Rubicon Theatre Company located at 1006 E. Main St. in Ventura. Regular shows are at 2 and 7 p.m. Wednesdays, 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays. Regular tickets are $35-$49. Call 667-2900 or visit the Rubicon’s direct site for more information.