The NOLA Project Show Archive


By Gabrielle Reisman
Directed By Ashley Ricord
January-February 2009: Marigny Theatre
January 2010: Muriel's Cabaret Theatre at Le Petit

A.J. Allegra: Robby
Angela Papale: Eden
Claire Gresham: Jeanette
Emilie Whelan: Eden (1/2010)
James Bartelle: Sandwich
James Yeargain: Hendrick
Kristin Witterschein: Jeanette (1/2010)
Richard Alexander Pomes: William

Ashley Butler: Stage Manager
A&P Promotions: Publicity

Taste is a delectable new play from one of New Orleans’ most talented young playwrights, Gabrielle Reisman. Set in the spirited Bywater on the eve of carnival season, Taste tells the story of six young New Orleanians, some locals, some transplants who find themselves preparing for the hallowed ritual that is dinner in the City the Care Forgot. While cooking a meal in a house that may be under construction or may be under demolition (only time and money will really tell), new friendships sizzle, old ones scorch, and dinner is ultimately served.

some personal history…
The element of cooking added this amazing extra dimension to the show. To be able to smell sauteed onions, to see the actors held into the play by having to cook onstage, and to see the audience's joy at having been brought into the dinner was a wonderful experience. –Gabrielle Reisman

We asked Gabriell Reisman to write a play for us. "What should it be about?" she asked. "Food," we told her, knowing that it is a big passion of hers. "And New Orleans," knowing that this is another passion. "Sweet," she said. And she started writing the play that I believe shows us off as an ensemble more than any other we've done so far. Gabby's writing is so crisp and clear and natural, the situations are so quirky, and the tone is so fantastical while being grounded in reality, that I felt every rehearsal was just a fresh new excuse to play. I consistently feel like Gabby's writing shows us the best parts of humanity without being blindly optimistic or foolishly idealistic. She shows us a world where, though there are problems and hardships, these things never eclipse the unending
decency and loving-kindness inherent in the beautiful relationships that are created on stage. She just has such incredible respect for her characters that, as an actor, you cannot help feeling lucky to get the chance to play the role she's written for you. As she began writing she asked me "what kind of part do you want to play?" To which, I quickly responded "A gutterpunk named Sandwich." Without skipping a beat, Gabby wove all of our ridiculous requests into a beautiful and touching comedy about life in a developing New Orleans neighborhood during Mardi Gras season. Also, we got to eat freshly prepared food on stage every night. Which we loved. And we got to feed the audience after each show. Which they loved. Also, I hear some of the actors drank real beer on stage. Which is soooo New Orleans.—James Bartelle

2010 Ambie Award for Best Ensemble
2010 Storer Boone Award for Best Original Play
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