Thursday, September 19, 2013

Review of To Master the Art (TimeLine Theatre Company at Broadway Playhouse)

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called To Master the Art. The writers were William Brown and Doug Frew and it was directed by William Brown. It was about Julia Child (Karen Janes Woditsch) becoming a cook and how she was a horrible cook at first but then she became one of the best cooks in the world. She is also learning how to speak French and how to communicate with the French people. She creates great food and makes a great cookbook. It is also about her husband Paul (Craig Spidle) and her friends. This play is really good because all the actors are really amazing and it was really touching and funny as well.

The first scene of the play started out with Julia Child arriving in France. She was trying to speak French, but she wasn't very good because she was speaking in an American accent while speaking French, and I thought that was really funny because she was like "We" instead of "Oui." And when she sat down with the wine, and her husband was testing it in this very French way, she tried to do it in a French way too, but it was her first time ever doing it, so it was like, "Oh! I guess I'm supposed to do this?" She seemed kind of jealous at one point because when they came in a woman, Madame Dorin (Jeannie Affelder) came up to Paul and hugged him. It tells us that he had a lot of friends in France and she would have to get used to him having all these friends. She is among strangers.

There was a Belgian lady whose name was Madame Brassart (Janet Ulrich Brooks) and she was being really mean to Julia Child because she didn't really like her because Julia Child wants to have a cooking class and they want to put her in this beginners' thing but she doesn't want that class. She thinks she is too good for that class because she wants to become a great French chef and the other people just want to learn to cook. I think that character is a good character to have in a play, but I am not sure I'd really like to know her. Avis was played by Janet too and she wanted Julia to be able to have a great cookbook. I thought that she was a great character to have in the show as well and she seemed like somebody I might want to be friends with in real life because she was very helpful to everybody and seemed really optimistic. She was optimistic that other people could get through hard times and get to their goal.

One of my favorite characters was Julia's teacher (Terry Hamilton). His name was Chef Bugnard and he was a really good example for Julia because he teaches her what time artichokes are good and why you shouldn't broil an old partridge. He teaches her to think about how you should have feelings for food even though it has never spoken or said what it wanted. He teaches her not how to speak French language but more what France is really all about, and that is their delicious food and how it is a place where you discover what you really want to do. I thought it was funny how he was always stroking his mustache. Another funny thing that he did was even when he was just saying scrambled eggs, he did it in a very fancy way.

I loved Simca (Jeannie Affelder), Julia's really good friend who decided to start a class for cooking with her. She was the one who asked Julia to help write the cookbook with her. She was one of my favorite characters in the play, probably because she had one of my favorite lines, which was: "I will speak French very fast. It will be fun!" I love cranky French ladies! Nice French ladies are fine too, but I especially like the cranky ones. Julia wants to make the cookbook readable to the Americans and Simca wants it to be more authentic, completely French. They are a very good team, even though they want different things.

Paul would help Julia do anything, and I think if she were with anyone else, she wouldn't have had a good time in Paris. I think that their relationship was really beautiful but also they had some fights. It wasn't like they were always happy with each other, but they always would love each other. I know that they would never ever break up. One of my favorite scenes was when she got angry about how for her test at the cooking school they only asked her to do things that were not hard. She wanted a challenge. So then she makes a bunch of food at home that she had to make a list of the ingredients for the test. She makes "the biggest vat of crème caramel that anyone could ever imagine." And she gets really really angry and she has never been so angry in this entire play. And Paul asks her "Where's all the food?" and she says, "I ate it." I really liked this part; these are two of my favorite lines in the play!

When the government made Jane (Heidi Kettenring) not be able to leave America, it made me really really angry. She used to be a communist but it wasn't like she was the leader of all the communists. She was just a communist. She is not doing anything bad; she is becoming an artist. She was probably a friend that was put in the play because she had the most interesting story. It shows us that the Childs are very tenderhearted. They simply want to defend their friend. It is okay to think that the government is wrong. It wasn't seen as okay in that time, but in this time it is.

People who would like this show are people who like food, France, and fun! People should go see this show because it is funny but also you feel really angry and sad sometimes but also you feel really happy for Julia when good things happen to her. It helps us to remember to never give up. Just because you are really bad at something at first doesn't mean that you can never learn how to do it. She loves doing anything; she is never like, "This is not fun." She is always like, "This is fun!" I really wish there was a sequel because I want to see what it was like when she was filming her cooking show for television. I know it would be funny!

Photos: Giorgio Ventola


Unknown said...

Thank you Ada! With love
Chef Bugnard.

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for your compliments and your insights. Other reviewers could learn a lot from you!
With best regards,
Jeannie (and Simca, Madame Dorin, and Marie)