‘Kitchen Plays’ tells stories of family with heartfelt memories


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“The Kitchen Plays” brings three different short plays to Fringe audiences and three different scenarios that center on the kitchen where most important daily decisions happen.

In the first piece, a husband and wife look at the effects of a child growing up and what they will find as the child continues to grow and leave the nest. The mother has a firm connection to the daughter and the father just knows that children must grow up, leave home, begin their own lives. The play shows the different attitudes and feelings of parents. The show is simple and makes the audience think of their experiences. Shelley Wyche and Peter Leondedis work beautifully together.

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The second piece deals with family traditions. Meghann Devereaux, Kelly Main, and Larry Goodman star in a family story where traditions continue after the death of the matriarch and his is their first dinner since then. The mother wants to include her new boyfriend in the family tradition, but does not want her daughter to include her current boyfriend. Grandpa tries to settle the score of tradition and divulges that he also has some carefully hidden secrets. Now, with grandma deceased he can finally divulge that he wants some new items and change to family dinner recipes.

Part three involves a mother and daughter on the night prior to the daughter’s backyard wedding. The mother has a story to tell about Hershey kisses and the daughter has a secret from the audience. The show stars Daijah Porcee and Margaret Shelby.

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Some memorable moments happen in the kitchen, and between plays, moments from previous audiences were shared with the current audience. As the show opens, the audience is asked to write their favorite recipe or story on a note card that is provided. On exit, a recipe and Hershey’s kiss it handed to patrons and current cards with new recipes and stories are collected.

The idea of collecting favorite memories and recipes is charming and sets the audience’s mind about things that happened in their family kitchen. How fun.

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“The kitchen is the center of the home. It’s the heart and hearth, where recipes and people come together, and where families gather to remember who they were and figure out who they are. The Kitchen Plays are a window into the big things that happen over small moments in the kitchen. Directed by Lindsay Adams. Starring Meghann Devereaux, Larry Goodman, Peter Leondedis, Kelly Main, Daijah Porcee, Margaret Shelby, and Shelley Wyche.” KC Fringe

In the spirit of the show, I will share one of my favorite (and super easy recipes)
Home made Butterscotch (tastes a lot like Werthers)

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1 cup sugar
1 cup white corn syrup
1 ½ teaspoon vinegar (prefer cider vinegar with the mother)
1 stick butter (not margarine)

Butter (or butter spray) 8-9″ round pan (Or butter sheets of aluminum foil)

Put sugar and syrup in a 2-3 quart aluminum or stainless steel pan and cook over medium to high heat to boil and until sugar dissolves. You only need to stir to combine sugar and syrup Add vinegar. Continue cooking without stirring until 260 (hard ball stage). Add butter (softened works best) and continue cooking to soft crack stage (270).

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For chewy butterscotch remove and drop QUICKLY at hard ball stage by teaspoonfuls onto buttered surface.

For hard butterscotch cook to hard crack stage and pour into a buttered pan to cool. Then break into pieces when fully cool. (This is easiest and really fastest.)

Also in the spirit of the show, I will share a kitchen near disaster:
For my 8th birthday, my mother invited her brother, his wife, and my three cousins to dinner. Mom was a good cook but really did not like to cook. But for my birthday decided to fix slaw (in the days you had to shred the cabbage) and cook the dressing), au gratin potatoes, and, of course, cake (from a real bakery

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in KCK). My aunt, uncle and cousins were here, table set, steaks in broiler, and all going well. Then, an explosion–the au gratin potatoes. Mom had put them in a nice Pyrex oven-safe bowl with a lid. While baking the Velveeta, cream cheese, butter, and milk had melted and sealed the lid to the dish. It created an oven bomb. And when the heat could no longer escape, BOOM! The dish exploded. My mom and aunt shifted focus to get the potato and cheese mess before it could burn onto the oven walls. We had steak, salad, and cake that day, but no au gratin potatoes.

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Tags: “Kitchen Plays” review, Kansas City Fringe Festival, Kansas City Theatre, Kansas City Performing Arts, Kansas City Arts & Entertainment, Just Off Broadway Theatre


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