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Inside Look: “Dinner with Friends” with Director Vincent M. Lancisi

Inside Look: “Dinner with Friends” with Director Vincent M. Lancisi

Hello my name is Vincent Lancisi. I’m
the artistic director here at Everyman Theatre and the Director of our current
play Donald Margulies’s “Dinner with Friends.” And we’re sitting here on the
set of Gabe and Karen, two food writers who’ve just come back from a trip to
Italy where they’re doing an exposé on this woman who’s been a chef for 75 years. Karen: “She had this lovely sunny little pantry.. Gabe: “Filled with jars and jars…” Karen: “Jars and jars of her own plump tomatoes picked from her own garden that were the most incredible, succulent…” Gabe: “You wouldn’t believe how red these tomatoes were. And sweet! Karen: “They were so soft, Beth.” Gabe: “Buttery almost.” Karen: “They were, and she just crushed them with her bare hands!” Gabe: “Pulverized them!” Karen: “You should’ve seen it.” In a way food sort of knits the narrative all the way through it because food is love. Food is family. So the moment when Beth breaks down and tells Karen and Gabe… Beth: “Tom’s leaving me.” Karen: “What?!” Karen sort of hugs her with great
compassion and she says… Karen” “Why don’t we have dessert?” As if to say food is how we nurture it’s how we’re there for
each other and I was attracted to that kind of nurturing. Beth: “It’s delicious.” When I was a small child my Nonna, my Italian grandmother, who was about four foot four…both ways…she loved life and she loved to eat and she showed her love for me through
her cooking and through her food. Gabe: “Here, make a dressing.”
Beth: “How do you want me to do that?” Gabe: “Mince a shallot.” Beth: “What’s a shallot?” This is our fourth Donald
Margulies because his writing is so dead on. It won the Pulitzer Prize for a
reason. It is a brilliantly crafted story. Gabe: “We were supposed to get old and fat together, the four of us, and watch our kids grow up and cry with each other at their weddings. Tom: “Hey, it’s not like I’m dead, ya know?” Gabe: ” I guess. I mean I just thought we were in this together. Ya know? For life.” Everybody is one of the four
characters in this play and you can tell by what jokes they laugh at, what
situations they find funny or tragic just who they relate to, who’s their…who’s in their corner. It’s fun. you

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