Zuppa Theatre Co. combines the surprising ideas of a 2400-year-old drinking party with the sensory creations of a homegrown Michelin-starred chef in their new production, Pop-Up Love Party, March 19-29, 2015 at Halifax’s Lion & Bright Café Wine Bar.
Pop-Up Love Party reimagines Plato’s Symposium in its quest to define love with all its plagues and pleasures by employing aerobics, holding a kangaroo court, exposing audience passion, and pumping out an infectious pop ballad that will mend broken hearts around the world.
“We asked ourselves: what is joy? We thought of those times when you go on a date, or out with a friend, and you have some drinks, some snacks, and a stimulating conversation that carries till the sun comes up,” says Alex McLean, a Zuppa Co-Artistic Director. “We thought about how all the elements — the other people in the room, the atmosphere, the tastes, the ideas, the exhilaration of the moment — blend together into one big bundle of awesome. So we set out to make a show that does that.”
Enriching this roller coaster ride through the depths of desire is a 7-course snack menu created by Dartmouth-born, New York-famed, Michelin-starred chef, Daniel Burns. Chef Burns co-owns Luksus, which was recently named one of New York’s best new restaurants and one of America’s 50 best new restaurants by Bon Appétit. Burns created the menu specifically for Pop-Up Love Party with flavours and textures to heighten moments of the production.
Says Chef Daniel Burns, “Being able to contribute to creative pursuits outside of the constraints of a normal restaurant environment is really exciting for me. Working with Zuppa Theatre Co. is a great opportunity to explore the themes within the play, to focus on local ingredients that help further convey the message of the Pop-Up Love Party, and to introduce people to some interesting and exciting techniques that are both tasty and playful at the same time.”
Pop-Up Love Party stars Zuppa’s Ben Stone, Susan Leblanc, and Stewart Legere, and is directed by Alex McLean. Locally-loved and accomplished Chef Dennis Johnston, of former FID restaurant fame, will act as head chef for the production, overseeing the preparation of Daniels Burns’ menu at Lion & Bright. Pop-Up Love Party was developed in part through The Collaborations at Canada’s National Arts Centre.
To be certain, this ain’t no dinner theatre. It’s a philosophical feast, a sensory slip n’ slide, and a theatrical experience so unique it could only come from deep in the pulsing Zuppa heart.