A portrait of one of the greatest American food writers of the 20th century, Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher, whose writing transcended recipes and reviews to probe our deep-seated relationship to our appetites. Assembled from diaries, journalism, and short stories, Kelly Nespor's play creates a vivid tableau of the life of this preeminent and influential gourmet.
An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast production featuring Anne Archer, Kurt Ehrmann, Jennifer Friedmann, Lily Shaw, and David Tierney. Directed by Paul Frellick and recorded before a live audience.
©1997 M. F. K. Fisher (P)1997 L.A. Theatre Works
"Anne Archer heads the cast of this recorded performance featuring excerpts from food writer M.F.K. Fisher's works. Archer illuminates both the sensuousness and the humor of Fisher's observations on food and people, while the supporting cast provides balance and contrast. Because this is a stage production, listeners can expect to hear sound effects and the audience's laughter, both of which add to the theater ambiance." (AudioFile)
Bohemian Bon Vivant
Because I've read many of M.F.K. Fisher's books over the years, I was able to understand what was going on int his piece and where the various events fit into the story of her life.
If M.F.K. Fisher were writing today when we have a sea of food writers, I doubt she'd be much of a blip on anyone's radar. Because she was one of the first and few, we follow her.
The thing about reading (or here, hearing) Fisher is that she's terribly frustrating as she seems to hint around the facts and events of her life and never want to commit to revealing them. Because of this stories lead up to endings we expect to have meaning or significance, but don't.
When I was young I was captivated by her simple, Bohemian life in France, but over the years as I read more and more, I realized she wants to talk and ramble, but never wants to even spell out events, let alone their impact.
I don't think she was a woman who was very happy with people, and she seems more comfortable in her mind. SHE knows the twists and turns of her life, but she isn't going to reveal them, just hint at them and things that happened then back away, leaving one less than satisfied.
She may have satisfied her hungers, but she creates hungers in the reader she never fulfills.
Beyond that, this isn't even particularly entertaining. Events from her writing are strung together, but never in a way that they seem to impact on one another or build to tell a story.
The narration is excellent. This, however, is lacking and unsatisfying in every way, and completely forgettable when all is said and done.
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