Food and some secret sharing; that’s what I expected when I first saw the show “Cuisine and Confessions” when it was was performed at the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, March 25. Instead, I was happily surprised to find out that I was in for an incredible acrobatic masterpiece that invoked nostalgic memories of childhood in the kitchen.
From the very beginning, audience members were captivated by The 7 Fingers, a circus company created in 2002, now made up of as many as 200 artists, administrators and technicians. This particular group performing “Cuisine and Confessions” at Jorgensen, consisted of nine performers, each with their own personal story and extreme acrobatic talents.
The performers showcased their skills by climbing up a pole, jumping and flying through hoops and flipping over tables. Even with a few small mistakes, The 7 Fingers never stopped and constantly kept the show going with good music, comedic relief and an infectious energy that grew with each acrobatic maneuver. The crowd loved every minute of it.
“It was really cool how [The 7 Fingers] were super engaging with the audience and it was really funny,” said sixth-semester mechanical engineering major Luke Maloney.
The show was also quite interactive, involving the audience in several numbers. In fact, Maloney was picked before the show to get on stage himself and help The 7 Fingers cook while they performed. One woman in the audience played along in the show acting as the love interest of one of the performers. I even recognized my genetics professor, Barbara Mellone, on stage as well.
“It was so fun [being on stage], there was so much going on at once,” Maloney said. “They’re all over the place when you’re watching them, but when you’re on stage with them, I couldn’t keep track of what’s going on. They told me to mash these bananas and I was trying to mash the bananas then they said, ‘No, mash them less!’ It was crazy.”
A cool part of the show was the fact that the stories the performers told were actually true events from their lives, dating back to their childhoods in the kitchen with family and friends. Using those experiences from their lives brought a sense of authenticity to the show, and although the childhoods of those in the audience may not compare to the childhoods of the performers, the show also invoked a sense of sympathy through the common denominator of food.
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the performance was that they actually cooked and baked food to be served after the show. The preparation of the meals starts 30 minutes before the show and continues throughout the performance with help from the audience and concludes when the timers, also set by the audience, go off at the very end. Although the portions of food weren’t enough for the whole crowd, the aromas of the pasta dish and the banana bread were spectacular. Unfortunately I couldn’t taste them myself, but the smell was enough for me and was a perfect ending to an excellent show at the Jorgensen.
When asked if he’d recommend the show to somebody else, Maloney said, “Yeah, definitely. The acrobatics were super insane and the other parts of the show were super funny and super fun. And if you get a chance to go up on stage, it’s crazy and it’s awesome.”