An empty Plate in the Cafe du Grand Boeuf
By Michael Hollinger
At the world’s greatest restaurant, the Café du Grand Boeuf in Paris, no menu is necessary. Why? “Because we have everything,” says Claude, the headwaiter. Open for only one patron, owner and American millionaire Victor, the staff is always ready to prepare the most sumptuous of meals. On a hot July night in 1961, Victor arrives from Madrid disheveled and depressed with one simple wish: to die of starvation. The devoted staff, who depend on Victor’s patronage for their livelihood, desperately try all means to change his mind. When all else fails, Victor is convinced to have his favorite dishes prepared, but the food is to be kept in the kitchen and only empty platters served. Comedy ensues throughout the delectable seven course meal as a feast of words and declarations fill the restaurant.
"A menu filled with food for thought as well as laughter." - Curtain Up NY
"This cafe could run for ever." - Variety
" A humorous dish of witty wordplay." - Philadelphia Evening Bulletin
"If you enjoy discussing food, imagining food or devouring food, Riverside Theatre’s newest production on the Waxlax Stage might be a foodie’s paradise." READ MORE AT TCPALM.COM
"The talented cast taps into the spirit of silent-film greats Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, who understood that humor works best when it is underscored by the vulnerability of the human condition." READ REVIEW AT TCPALM.COM
*Members of the Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States
Daniel Burns* (Antoine)
Daniel originated the role of Nicholas Hodges in the World Premiere of Conviction at Bay Street Theatre and the Rubicon Theatre Company. Other theatre credits include: Song from the Sea at Syracuse Stage, The Unexpected Guest at Cortland Repertory Theatre, Twelfth Night at Shakespeare's Globe in London and Shipwrecked! at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Daniel has voiced numerous audiobooks and national radio spots and his solo show, KIM won Best Premiere at this year’s United Solo Festival. A founding member of Diverging Elements Theatre Company, Daniel also holds a BFA in Acting from Syracuse University. Proud member of AEA. For T+Z. www.DanielBurns.net.
Brian Myers Cooper* (Claude)
Brian created Sonnet Play, a one-man play told entirely with Shakespeare’s sonnets, which he developed with Bedlam Theatre Company's MadLAB! residency, and performed in NYC and San Francisco. Follow his journey through all 154 of Shakespeare's sonnets at TheSonnetJourney.brianmyerscooper.com. Stage highlights: Miss Saigon (2nd Nat’l.); Galileo (Moisés Kaufman, dir.); James Baldwin's Blues for Mr. Charlie (Parnel); End of the World Party (original Off-Broadway cast); I Love You, You’re Perfect... (x3); Billy Roche’s The Cavalcaders (American premiere, Florida Stage). Proud Equity member and trustee of the Equity-League Pension & Health Funds. Find dozens of his recipes at MyTinyKitchen.us.
Maria Couch* (Mimi)
Maria is delighted to return to Riverside where she has been seen in The Full Monty (Vicki) and I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. Some NYC: On the Levee (LCT 3), Lord Tom (The York), Unlock’d , Iron Curtain (Prospect Theater Company) and The Cottage (Queens Theatre in the Park). Other favorite credits include: They’re Playing Our Song (Sonia) at Stages St. Louis, Singin’ in the Rain (Lina Lamont) at Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, Les Misérables (Fantine) at Arkansas Rep., and Illyria (Olivia) at The Shakespeare Theatre of NJ. Upcoming: Multiple Family Dwelling at NJ Rep. Love and thanks to Allen and Wojcik/Seay Casting.
Katherine Puma* (Miss Berger)
Katherine is delighted to return to Riverside after first appearing as Ruth in Blithe Spirit on the Stark Stage. Other credits include - US National tour, Off-Broadway and NYC: Taming of the Shrew; Othello; Pudd’nhead Wilson; The Three Musketeers (The Acting Company); Candide, Arturo Ui (CSC). Hamlet, Richard III. Regional: Anna Christie (ELTC); Children (Stamford Theatre Works); As You Like It; Tartuffe (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival); Dancing at Lughnasa (Hilton Head Playhouse); The Odd Couple (Carousel Dinner Theatre). Int’l: Burn This (Tokyo International Players, Japan). US TV: “Law & Order: SVU,” “Criminal Intent”, & “Trial by Jury;” “30Rock” and “Nurse Jackie.” Katherine is also a teaching artist and photographer.
Andrew Sellon* (Gaston)
Andrew is delighted to be making his first appearance at Riverside Theatre. Southern Florida credits include: Maltz Jupiter Theatre: Charlie in The Foreigner (Carbonell Nomination, Best Actor) and Clown in The 39 Steps; Asolo Rep: Vanya in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Jim Casy in The Grapes of Wrath, and Canon O’Byrne in Philadelphia, Here I Come! Last year, he originated the role of Eric Finch in the Cheers Live on Stage! national tour. Other favorite NY/regional roles: the Fool in King Lear, Vladimir in Waiting for Godot, all 35 roles in I Am My Own Wife, and Nicola Tesla in The Dangers of Electric Lighting. Film/TV includes: Begin Again, The Smurfs, Mamarosh; The Blacklist, Mysteries of Laura, Divorce, The Good Fight, and Emily2410. Andrew also tours with his original solo play, Through the Looking-Glass Darkly, about Lewis Carroll and Alice. MFA (Acting): UNC-Chapel Hill; BA cum laude (English): Harvard. For my husband Tim and our extended family. www.andrewsellon.com
Jim VanValen* (Victor)
Jim is pleased to be returning to Riverside Theatre stage after Underneath The Lintel in the 2015. Previously, he appeared in the Riverside productions of Sylvia, Rounding Third, She Loves Me, and Three Viewings. A member of Actors' Equity Association, Jim spent three years as a resident actor with the Barter Theatre and has performed throughout the country in such regional theatres as The Bread Loaf Acting Ensemble, The Fulton Opera House, Iowa's Riverside Theatre, Florida Rep, Iowa Summer Rep, The Old Creamery Theatre, The Riverside Shakespeare Festival in the Park, The Connecticut Theatre Festival, and North Carolina's Temple Theatre. He holds an MFA in Acting from the University of Iowa and an MA in Theatre Arts from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. -- For Brenda and Maysie.
Director / Scenic Designer: Allen D. Cornell
Costume Designer: Anna Hillbery
Lighting Designer: Richard Crowell
Sound Designer: Andrew Stroud
Stage Manager: Kyle Atkins