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Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

a Comedy
CATEGORY :
by Luis Alfaro

COMPANY : Synchronicity Performance Group [WEBSITE]
VENUE : 7 Stages [WEBSITE]
ID# 1625

SHOWING : May 05, 2006 - June 03, 2006

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

Minerva likes food, her sister Alice likes men. What happens to self-image when appetites are left free to fly? This surreal and poetic comedy will leave you smiling as you wonder why it makes you feel the way it does ...


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REVIEWS

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Recipe for Mixed Messages
by Dedalus
Thursday, May 25, 2006
3.0
I liked Synchronicity’s Production of Luis Alfaro’s “Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.” This is not to say I agreed with all the messages (and there were several) on display. I liked it insofar as it showed us likeable characters saying amusing things being well-played by competent actors. The problem for me was that some of the messages were contradictory, some of the flavors clashed, and it left me hungry for more.

Here is the recipe for my reaction:

(1) Take one compelling concept – the correlation between self-image and appetite satisfaction. If indulging in our appetites leads to lowering self-esteem, what does that say about our concept of self-image? What does that say about how we really feel about our appetites? Do we ever take the consequences of our appetites into consideration before we indulge them? Should we?

(2) Flavor with the hallucinatory nature of many modern “Latin” writers (Marquez, Arenas, et al). Disregard any reasonableness in the selection of the hallucinatory imagery – it’s meant to have an emotional impact, dammit, not an intellectual one. Ignore the fact that a negative intellectual reaction can severely impede any emotional reaction. Also ignore the final implication that the last ambiguous moments of the play imply that a full acceptance of oneself leads to (1) death, or (2) abandoning one who has accepted you all along.

(3) Half-bake a few original staging ideas – represent Minerva’s growing girth with hoop-skirt frames of increasing size, for example – an idea better in concept than execution.

(4) Confine the “Appetite” depictions to food and sex.

(5) Ignore all implications that contradict your theme – Minerva’s husband’s full acceptance and love for her, despite her waning self-image, for example. Also, doesn’t having an attractive and slim actress play Minerva rather than a “full-figured” actress perpetuate the societal standard of “thin=beautiful”? Doesn’t it justify Minerva’s waning self-image? For that matter, doesn’t the hoop-skirt frame concept tell us that Minerva's’self-image is essentially correct? Wouldn’t having an actress NOT “grow” but merely imagine she grows have more of an impact? Of course, now that I think about it, that may be just the point.

(6) Ignore point 5 above.

(7) Serve with a huge dollop of skill, energy, humor, and sex. And, just to soften the effect, sprinkle with some male-bashing stereotypes and some mood-smashing pretension.

I am all for surrealism on stage, and I like having my preconceptions challenged and my mood teased. In this case, however, the taste lingered a little too long in my mind. When the post-show emotional high seems to fall apart with admittedly biased post-show retrospection, there are possibly some ingredients that don’t belong.

You know how sometimes a dream that makes no sense in retrospect can be remembered and cherished for the good feelings it gave you? This is more like a recollection of strained connections and unseen biases that ruined all the good parts.

Still, I can’t NOT recommend it, as it has a lot to savor.

-- Brad Rudy (BKRudy@aol.com
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