STORY WRITTEN BY TARA LYNN JOHNSON
For Digital First Media
Bucks County Playhouse (BCP) thinks it has a great recipe for musical theater fun. Their first show of the year is “A Taste of Things to Come,” running through Feb. 21.
BCP Artistic Associate Lorin Latarro, who’s also the choreographer for Sarah Bareilles’ upcoming Broadway musical “Waitress,” will direct and choreograph “Taste,” a “saucy new musical” with book, music and lyrics by Debra Barsha and Hollye Levin. The cast features actors who’ve appeared on Broadway and one from the Netflix show “Orange Is the New Black” (Gina Naomi Baez).
“A Taste of Things to Come” is set in 1950s Winnetka, Illinois, where four women meet every Wednesday to share recipes and secrets. They enter the Betty Crocker cooking contest hoping the cash prize will change their lives. Then they reunite 10 years later in the 1960s and see how their lives have changed.
Lotarro said it’s a fun and funny musical that at its heart is about friendship
“It’s four women in the kitchen in the 50s and 60s and looks at how friendship wanes and waxes,” she said in a recent telephone interview. “The show’s also about how women in the kitchen talked about things before they were allowed to in mixed company.”
Lotarro is directing and choreographing “Taste”, which is challenging. Usually, those roles are taken on by two separate people who bounce ideas off each other. She’s enjoying the challenge, though, and is happy about the team surrounding her – the people she can bounce ideas around with.
She has a lot of experience choreographing, including works on Broadway. She also has performed in Broadway musicals and has toured internationally with Twyla Tharp and Martha Graham dance companies, among others.
This first directing experience is “a journey of discover for me and it’s really exciting,” she said.
Being able to have that first directing experience at BCP means a lot to her.
“I love it there,” she said. “As an artist, it’s been the place where I grew up in the last five years. I’ve done many shows there and it’s an artistic incubator for me, and a real gift. I love the community, the producers, the whole place. I hope it will always be a place I can call home.”
Having worked at BCP in the past, she knows “Taste” will work.
“The audience, both men and women, will love it,” she said, “and women will reminisce about things that happened in their lifetimes.”
“Taste” (as well as “Waitress”) revolve around food. So does Lotarro do a lot of cooking?
“Ironically, I don’t cook,” she said. “But I understand the dynamic of these friendships.”
She thinks the idea of women’s friendships revolving around food is universal – female friends use cooking as an excuse to interact. And though she doesn’t cook, she enjoys eating and spending time with her female friends.
“I have mine – with wine, some bread and cheese, and dessert,” she said. “It’s very important.”
She hopes that people will enjoy the camaraderie, the fun, and the “Taste” BCP is offering up, too. “It’s a really great show,” she said.