“I challenge anyone’s heart not to be warmed” by Pop-Up Love Party, says Bocado Blog

Bocado Blog’s self-processed “food-and-drink-lovers” Kim Humes and Toni Abdo review the world premiere of Pop-Up Love Party. Read “Love Fest at Lion & Bright” below, or at bocadoblog.tumblr.com.

Last night at Lion & Bright, we attended the premiere of Zuppa Theatre’s Pop Up Love Party – a unique and up-close culinary slash theatre experience. I always find Zuppa shows to be very engaging and soul-touching, but adding an innovative tailored menu to the mix made it that much more enjoyable.

The show – a re-imagining of Plato’s Symposium – was split into 7 parts; each a monologue about love from a particular point of view (the treatises from The Lawyer and The Poet particularly stuck with me). Each part was matched with a snack with flavours and textures meant to heighten the “theme” of the scene.

Each bite was certainly on a high-level of texture and flavour – the combination, not to mention the presentation and composition of each bite was completely fascinating. Take the first bite – “caramelized onion chip, burnt hay” does not exactly sound appetizing, nor did it look like it would be tasty (dried, dead leaves, anyone?) but the taste? Exactly like an onion potato chip! I could have eaten an entire bag! The 5th snack (“braised cabbage, cauliflower, fried oyster”) was also a favourite – sort of like a mini fried oyster taco on a thin, shiny “tortilla”. Some bites were not to my taste, honestly (the ginger flavour was so extreme in the “ginger sorbet, lemon” that it left my mouth burning!) but I can’t deny the creativity and thoughtfulness behind each one. I am in awe of someone who can take everyday food and turn it into something completely new and unconventional. Dartmouth should be proud to be the hometown of Daniel Burns (#darkside4life)!

The theatre was equally as riveting. I loved how the actors moved around in the space and amongst the audience as they performed, and how they incorporated their own personal stories into their monologues. All of this really made us feel connected to them and like a part of the show. I challenge anyone’s heart to not be warmed by a full restaurant repeatedly yelling “cheers to love” at once, clinking glasses and exchanging smiles with their neighbour! We laughed A LOT but also came close to crying over the raw yet relatable truths the actors espoused about love, in all its forms. As Ben said at one point, “we’re all longing for something” – ain’t that the truth?

All in all, this was an incredibly fun and moving event. If you haven’t been to a Zuppa show or to eat/drink at Lion & Bright, I strongly advise you to remedy that as soon as possible!