Last weekend I went to this dance performance that could not possibly be more tailor-made for the likes of Foodie McBody. It was a series of dance vignettes, put on by the BreadNButter dance group, in a performance space called the Milk Bar in the old Sunshine Biscuit Factory. I mean, I could not make this stuff UP!! It was put together by Melissa Hudson Bell, the spouse of my awesome solo performance teacher/director W. Kamau Bell.

So, first of all it was in an old biscuit (ie cookie) factory. COME ON. How perfect is that?  It was a little hard to find, being in the abandoned-baked-goods-factory-part of town. Once in the parking lot, you had to go through a maze of hallways and staircases to find the actual performance space. So, just like Hansel and Gretel, there were little tidbits of a trail to show the way.

First, on the stairs, some measuring cups and… a Ritz cracker. Hmmm!


When I arrived, there was a big table set up with brunch goodies. Yum yum! I had brought a basket of blueberry scones warm out of the oven, courtesy of Juniorette, the most awesome baker on our block.

They even had a decorate-your-own-gingerbread-cookie bar. Lucky for me I do not like gingerbread cookies.

After we got settled with our food, the show opened with “The Surrogate,” by Tim Rubel. He danced with a giant banana. It was both hilariously comical, absurd as well as unexpectedly graceful and beautiful.

Next, Mary Armentrout performed a poignant piece accompanied by a box of Ritz crackers, entitled “Empty and Full.” This one was funny/sad and depicted how one can be stuffed full and yet feel empty inside. I think we can all relate to that. Okay, well *I* could relate to it.

James Graham did an amazingly energetic and beautiful ballet called “Kale is Better Than Butter,” featuring a voice-over by Paula Deen (!!) extolling the wonders of butterbutterbutter. He then passed out kale for everyone to chew on.

Next up, Adanna Jones and Crystal Sepulveda did a fantastic dual choreography of a recipe, called “Secret Recipe.” Their limbs became eggbeaters and whisks as they recited the elements of an elaborate baking ritual.

Can you tell? I was totally transfixed and digging every single minute of this!

Hannah Schwadron did a “Hard Hearted Hannukah” which involved a bit of an ode to sweet potatoes. (always appreciated by yours truly) Goofy yet sexy.

Then, some audience participation! Organic qi chef Patrick Bremser, in “Welcome Winter Soup,” brought a table full of curious things out onto the stage. He explained that he was making a winter soup. There was an amazing spread of wondrous ingredients like braised brussels sprouts, walnuts, goat cheese, quinoa, rye bread, collard greens, etc. After explaining the beneficial nature of each element, he invited the audience to come up and make our own soup. He did mention a soup dance, but nobody really danced, we just stood around and slurped happily. It was mighty delicious. I made a note to myself to contact chef Bremser to come and cater my January healthaversary party. (<<< 2 yrs since starting this blog, and starting the path to health!)

The final piece was a tour de force of women – Melissa Hudson Bell, Hannah Schwadron and Melissa Templeton, with Celine Alwyn- performing a complex reflection on “Eggs.” It involved some hilarious chickenspeak as well as “Twelve Ways to Crack an Egg.” Which they did, on their heads, between their knees and elbows, with great vigor. It was gymnastic, athletic, graceful and wild.


This is one of the greatest things about living in the Bay Area – experiencing amazingly unique and wonderful independent theater. I love being part of this community.