Maybe you've been courted, fell in love, got engaged and are married, or maybe you're single. Whatever your situation, you've probably been involved in a relationship at some point in your life and have both reveled and suffered through the experience. This month, put yourself at ease and participate in the story that unfolds in Fourplay, a dinner/theatre experience put on by In The House and hosted by Salt Tasting Room.
The premise of the story is simple. A couple meets and goes through the awkward, yet wonderful stages of a relationship. Through a series of four consecutive Monday evenings, we see how love evolves for Heather and Sean, the cast of the two-man show. Unlike other plays, the characters act out the play amidst the audience. In the second episode, titled "Magic", the couple dined at a long table with those attending the show, just as they did in the first. The "magic" was in the engagement of the couple, the "golden apple of so many relationships."
To complement the theme, magician Travis Bernhardt acted as a special guest. To me, it was Travis that made the evening. His comedic approach and roll-with-the-punches attitude fit perfectly with the impromptu and interactive concept of Fourplay. He entertained the audience throughout the evening and without a doubt stole the show. At one point, he had the audience with arms twisted trying to replicate his action of "untying" his knotted arms.
Although frustrated and complexed everyone attempted to figure it out.
"I haven't drank much, and I'm a smart person but I just don't get it," exclaimed Carly, a woman who's seen Travis before and is a big fan. He eventually stopped the crowd with a smile on his face and a simple sentence that pretty much summed it up. "The difference between being a magician and being an a**hole is small. Magic is a promise with false premises."
At one point in the evening when he tried to encourage more audience reaction to his magic in the form of "Ooohs" and "Ahhhs", someone yelled "That's creepy!" referring to the fact that he could take his shoe off and have it in his hand without anyone noticing at all. He coined this the laughter of the magician, which he referred to throughout the night and was a crowd-pleaser.
Even as all the magic was happening, I noticed that Sean and Heather still sat at the table gazing in to each other's eyes, hands clasped on the table. They didn't break focus even with the distraction of Travis and the audience throwing sass at him, which he threw right back. When the focus did bounce back to Sean and Heather the story began to piece itself back together. Conversation was scattered but stimulating, with focus on "sexting" and online dating profiles. Then there was a phone call from the cooler and a collaborative attempt to understand Sean's gift of a Hawthorne branch. The audience scrambled for their smart phones as they googled different explanations for the gift. Some mentioned were its power to ward off evil, or its symbolism for a family tree or also (my favorite), its use as an aphrodisiac with its odor that of an aroused woman. "Let me smell it," one man said, "I'll let you know." That's one way to get the audience involved.
The consensus of the Hawthorne branch's meaning was that it was an Ancient marriage proposal. And thus the story developed further.
During the play we were served 4 courses. The appetizer was a thoughtful sentiment ordered by Sean for Heather. "Since we're both nerds and foodies, I want to show you my love for you through food," Sean said sweetly. Luckily for him, this warranted a kiss. Since she's the apple of his eye the first course was an apple, walnut and celery salad that was crisp, savory and smooth and a nice start to the evening.
The second course was bangers and mash, a seemingly sexual dish but representative of her being his "peach" as there were peach pieces atop the meat. The dish was a wonderful medley of flavors and the kale was not only a nice visual touch but also enhanced it through texture, taste and nutrition. I wish it was twice the size though as I was pretty hungry at this point and it felt the size of a child's meal.
Next was a great mix of both hard and soft cheeses accompanied with grapes. Salt Tasting Room is known for their tasting plates so I wasn't surprised that at least one course would be cheese based, and I'm glad it was.
Finally it was time for dessert, which was a blueberry pastry. This sweet treat had a nice doughy texture in the middle which was balanced out by a crispy edge. A bit of both in a bite and you got the best of both worlds. Yum.
The evening as a whole was wonderful and a nice break from the regular nights out at the theatre. Even if you've missed Episode 1 and 2 of Fourplay it's easy to pick up where things left off so don't be discouraged from checking out the 3rd and 4th. Once fully emerged in the play it will begin to make sense quickly. In addition you can follow Heather on twitter @hthr4ptharmony or search #Fourplay to get snippits of information from the series so far. Through twitter you can also interact with Heather and even offer suggestions on marriage if you feel so inclined.
Episode 3 is titled "Spice" to resemble the result of the stag party and the wedding shower being booked at the same restaurant at the same time. Although no magician will be at this play, there will be an equally entertaining burlesque troupe.
Come for a dinner, a play and a show Monday at 7:30PM. Tickets can be bought in advance or at the door, but they're selling fast, so act quick.
For more photos from the event view my gallery on Flikr.