Get Thee to the Kitchen!
Ithaca has its own little Off Broadway theatre, the intimate space at the Kitchen Theatre, now in its 22nd season. The quality matches anything, anywhere: one certainly imagines they are in the theater district of New York when sitting in the ‘Kitchen.’
The newest piece on stage is lighter than the typical Kitchen fare and worth an evening of your time for some fun and humor on a bleak winter’s night. Artistic Director Rachel Lampert is known for her autobiographical pieces and here is one that anyone over the age of 30 will fall completely into resonance with. Its major theme revolves around an upcoming 50th high school reunion and the indecision and angst attached to that, yet the play also reaches into that uncomfortable space where we must confront the last “act’ of our life and figure out what that means.
In order to do that, of course, we must first review the first two chapters and therein lays the content of Count Me In. Rachel’s professional life was fully realized in the dance world even before she moved onto theater. While reflecting about high school, Rachel embarks on an annual reconnection with two persons integral to the “second act” of her life – dance company members with whom she shared countless hours of rehearsal, performance, travel, hotel rooms, dialogue tragedy and, of course, personal intrigue. And an interesting interaction with a dead colleague provides an edge of the seat moment when we get to those questions answered from beyond – well, sort of, anyway.
The play has it all – dance, ghosts, humor, music, and nostalgia – and even features at least two cast members who are the real thing – playing themselves! Get ready for a break from the heavy and profound and delve into those ideas instead from a lighthearted, enjoyable perspective – that’s entertainment!
As usual, playwright Rachel Lampert delivers. Kudos to all involved in this production, especially direction by Emily Jackson and the choreography of Tucker Davis: Scenic and lighting design, Tyler M. Perry; Costumes, Hunter Kaczorowski; Sound design, Lesley Lisa Greene; Technical Direction, Brendan Komala; Stage Manager, Jennifer Schilansky. The cast includes Tucker Davis, Lydia Gaston, Rachel Lampert, Keith Pillow, Avery Sobczak, and David Squires.
If you are in town this winter, try to make it to the theater. Count Me In by Rachel Lampert, runs through February 1. The Kitchen Theater experience is one of Ithaca’s crowning jewels –affordable, cutting edge Theater that rivals anything seen in the large cities. We like it this way. Run, don’t walk, to the Kitchen!
The Kitchen is located at 417 W. Martin Luther King, Jr. Street in Ithaca
(607) 273-4497 or www.kitchentheatre.org.