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The Last Temptation of Paula Deen

comedy · fell swoop playwrights · Ages 13+ · world premiere · United States

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MICHELE WELLS certified reviewer June 07, 2014
This cutting, satirical, and oftentimes hilarious show depicts an internal look at Paula Deen's rise and fall as a chef celebre whose stated desire is to "feed the world," but whose true motives might be slightly less altruistic. The clever script burrows into Deen's inner thoughts, revealing her fear, loneliness, and the lack of fulfillment that drove her to success, and showcases the disturbing effect when an enterprise so steeped in the Southern Traditions that rely on a dark period in our history finds success. Ultimately, is Deen a metaphor for something that we all should confront: an inherent prejudice we might not even realize is there? The show features outstanding performances by Edward Alvarado, Korama Danquah, Tiffanee Hal... full review
JAMES ROBINSON certified reviewer June 07, 2014
This show features some very strong performances (wish there had been a program so I knew who was who) and though you feel like a pinball bouncing off all the assorted surfaces of this show, it leaves you with, I think, a chance to chew on the very conflicted & complicated layers of emotions about Race in America. What I found rewarding was the range of roles, reactions and perspectives from the African American characters. Lots to think about. The preview I saw was a little scattered, but I'm sure the show will all pull together as the Fringe runs on. (That's why their are called Previews) You should add this show to your list!... full review
JAEGER CHRISTIAN certified reviewer June 08, 2014
tagged as: butter
Definitely would recommend it. Funny and charming. Great performances by the whole cast.... full review
JERRY BALDONADO certified reviewer June 09, 2014
I saw the show on the first preview and absolutely LOVED IT!!! The cast was Devilishly great! The show was wonderfully funny and touching. It's a hot yummy fried great time! You'll laugh, cry, then laugh again. Can't wait to see it again! Congrats to the cast and team! ... full review
HENRY LIDE certified reviewer June 09, 2014
by turns hilarious, poignant, provocative, fanciful, and even (pardon the expression) informative - TLTOPD touches all these bases, and more - razor-sharp direction of a tightly-knit ensemble in service of a script from an apparently equally tightly-knit collection of writers makes irrelevant the constrictions of the performance space and almost total lack of production values - another outstanding effort from Fell Swoop -... full review
CARLY D. WECKSTEIN certified reviewer June 25, 2014
tagged as: celebrity · racism · butter · current · provocative · Food · sandwich
An interesting show that made me laugh and made me think - always a great combination. Sasha Harris was absolutely fabulous as a hilarious, larger-than-life, and yet fully sincerely vulnerable Paula Deen. Edward Alvarado, Korama Danquah, Tiffanee Hall, Tamika Katon-Donegal, and Wayne Scott play every other character in this story - an amazingly strong ensemble, who leaped from character to character,with beautiful commitment and momentum. (I do wish I had known which actor played which parts - there were no specific credits on the playbill or the website.) Fantastic performances all around! The play dealt intelligently with provocative themes through sharp, funny dialogue. The structure of the play didn't quite work for me. I'd love ... full review
DAVID NETT certified reviewer June 13, 2014
Saw Paula Deen opening night and enjoyed it tremendously. This satire is defined by two elements, IMO: 1) The multi-playwright writing process from which this was created results a sort of barely-controlled chaos onstage. Sometimes it works - the performers are game and all-in, and there are lot of layers from which great pleasure can be derived - it's often simultaneously funny and borderline tragic. Sometimes, though, it doesn't work - it was difficult to locate and lock on the POV and central theme, and the chorus's role in Paula's journey was very fuzzy. All this is balanced, however, by: 2) Sasha Harris as Paula Deen. Whenever the play starts to come apart a little, pulled apart by its seemingly uncontrollable entropy, Sasha's got... full review
AMY GOTTLIEB certified reviewer June 15, 2014
I learned a lot of things about Our Lady of Southern Cooking when I saw this show. Using Paula Dean as the subject of this play brought forth some very interesting reflections on problems in our society including race, class, dysfunctional families, sexuality, and unhealthy food, all delivered on a platter of over the top farcical, zany, and frenetic antics. The writing and acting is strong, I just wish there was more variety in the delivery. The characters mug their way through outrageous scenes and everything is very BIG and LOUD. Like one long Saturday Night Live skit, the goings-on are all very chaotic, and comical, with little time for anyone to catch his breath. To its credit, the play is highly entertaining, and the commentary is ce... full review
LYNN SINGER certified reviewer June 23, 2014
Paula Deen (aka Sasha Harris) was extraordinary. She was the glue of the show and mesmerized me. What a fabulous actress. The supporting cast was excellent and the entire play was filled with humor, angst, current thoughts about the state of the world and just plain, delicious like Paula's food! Thank you for an excellent Sunday afternoon.... full review
AKELLO STONE certified reviewer July 17, 2014
tagged as: Paul Deen
I was utterly entertained and pleasantly surprised by this production. It was witty. It was smart. It was funny. The pace kept things moving and I swear there was never a dull moment. This production is far greater than the mere critical analysis of Paula Deen, but represents a deeper look at how Southern culture can still remain a contradiction to the country's delusion of "post-racial America." Now that articles are talking about processed food being the obesity culprit and NOT butter, Paula Deen will still have a place, at least, in the kitchen. This production made me think and that is what I ultimately go to the theatre to do - and be entertaine... full review
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