no time wasted here

Chefs love to speculate about their death row meals. Like the NPR show Desert Island Discs the exercise focuses on some essentials- what couldn’t you live without if you had a choice? Or, what one meal would you choose if it were the last one you’d enjoy (although- how can you enjoy it knowing what’s on the other side of the door?) Anthony Bourdain talks about his last best meal all the time- the other day, on an episode of No Reservations, he was gushing about marrow bones. I’ve got mine- a revolving file of gravlaks, Norwegian rye, capers, cruelly iced vodka, or warm scones with crystallized ginger and clotted cream and a pot of Keemun tea, or pot roast, pickled red cabbage and egg noodles, or a massive platter of broccoli di rape, toasted garlic, olive oil, penne and shaved pecorino and a bottle of Brunello. I figure- delay the hangman, the pardon’s coming. But can’t I also choose my dinner companion? Assuming I’m not the mother of two teenage boys who should have figured out how to spring me,  I choose Fiona Shaw.  Last week at the Berlind Theater in Princeton, NJ she gave a “talk-back.” Was it just that? It was a two hour walk with humour, brains and heart through theater and literary history- at least from Shakespeare to Ibsen. Some of it was a reprise of an early conversation she had with Charlie Rose. Even so- animated, hysterically witty, generous and brilliant- she seduced us all. I crave being under the spell of Fiona whether she’s Medea, Winnie, Celia, Elektra, Richard II, and even Aunt Petunia. I think I’ll cook the pasta.


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