(MIDDLETOWN, NJ) -- The Middletown Arts Center, in collaboration with the Dunbar Repertory Company, celebrates Black History Month with the World Premiere production of The Chef. Written by Larry Americ Allen and directed by Darrell Lawrence Willis, Sr., the spirited, romantic novel play will run over two weekends, February 17–19 and February 24–26. A special Meet the Playwright and a “Talk Back” Q&A session will take place directly after the Sunday, February 19th, 4:00pm performance.
The Chef of “Romagical Relealism” delves into the premise of “inner and outer” beauty through shy and introverted Halo, a man so unappealing to the eye that the world rejects him. However, he has a magical gift for baking and cooking where his food is so profound that it has the power to heal people and so delicious that people levitate and have sensual experiences while consuming his food. The Chef’s cast includes Arthur Gregory Pugh (Edmund), Craig Coleman, Sr. (Halo), Damien Berger (Gabriel), Larry Calhoun (Morris), Lauren Christy (Symphonie), Jole Antoinette (Dorissa) and Kristina McKinney (Rebecca).
Performances take place Friday, February 17 at 8:00pm; Saturday, February 18 at 3:00pm & 8:00pm; Sunday, February 19 at 4:00pm; Friday, February 24 at 8:00pm; Saturday, February 25 at 3:00pm & 8:00pm; Sunday, February 26 at 4pm.
Ticket prices are $20 and are general admission. Purchase tickets online at middletownarts.org or call the MAC Box Office at 732.706.4110. The Middletown Arts Center is located at 36 Church Street in Middletown, NJ (next to the Middletown train station). Free parking is available onsite with additional free parking available in station metered lot weekday evenings after 6:00pm and weekends.
Larry Americ Allen, author of more than 40 plays, is known for writing thought-provoking and controversial dramas. Center Players produced his explosive, Shakespeare’s Lost Masterpiece, which won the Perry Award for Best Original Drama. Colors of Vision Entertainment produced his controversial drama, The Expulsion of Malcolm X which won the Ebony Passages Award for Best Drama. The Recovery Theatre mounted his intense psychological drama, Paradise Revisited/Gravity Is My Fate, which became their longest-running play. The Lorraine Hansberry Theatre staged his provocative play, Checkmate. The National Black Theatre Festival has selected several of his plays for its prestigious play-reading series. The Long Beach Playhouse Festival of New Works selected his play, Hitler in New York, as One of the Best New Plays of 2010. The Actors’ Theatre of Santa Cruz selected his play The Obama Effect as a 2010 Festival Finalist. His plays have been performed at the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, the Buriel Clay Theatre, Laney College, the New Zephyr Theatre, the San Francisco Recovery Theatre and the Promenade Playhouse in Santa Monica. Americ Mr. Allen has a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. He is a native San Franciscan and has lived all his life in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Known to residents of Central New Jersey as “Monmouth County’s African American Theater Company”, Dunbar Repertory Company is committed to its mission of perpetuating an appreciation of cultural diversity and celebrating African American culture through LIVE literary readings, main stage theatrical productions, education programs and services.
The Middletown Arts Center (MAC) is an award-winning, state-of-the-art facility in Middletown, New Jersey that offers performances, exhibits, classes, demonstrations and camps centering on the arts. Its convenient location across from the Middletown train station on Church Street enables easy access and its expanded MAC Annex is minutes away at the Middletown Reformed Church’s Education Building. The MAC is operated by a non-profit 501c3, the Middletown Township Cultural and Arts Council which is dedicated to bringing quality arts programming and events to Middletown and surrounding communities.