Saturday, July 21, 2012

Review: Burnt at the Steak (Winnipeg Fringe)

by Nanette Soucy

Carolann Valentino, Italian Rose of Texas, can handle anything. Sizzling from the word go, Burnt at the Steak flies us from the lone star state, on the premonitions of Carolann’s psychic mother, to her challenging day job in Manhattan’s highest grossing steakhouse where this motivated restaurant manager introduces us to her co-workers, her clients and her audience-recruited trainees, with ease and zeal.

Burnt at the Steak’s bare basic set, a table, some chairs, releases Valentino to use her greatest asset, her voice, with which a simple vocal shift and a change in the tilt of her engaging smile brings us a full cast of characters whose distinctiveness are clear even as they switch back and forth from line to line within the same song. As competent at nailing an audition and serving a performance piping hot as she is at putting out kitchen fires, this performer’s chops are juicy, and rare. No steak sauce required.


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