Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Art vs. Nature: Round Five by Brendan Kiley - Seattle Theater - The Stranger, Seattle's Only Newspaper:

The day's most exclusive performance was a three-course dinner for 20—ties required and provided—in a large tree house, prepared by the people of Cafe Nordo. Prospective diners had to search the farm for a mysterious and stern maĆ®tre d' who took $20 "bribes" in exchange for reservations. "There will be beef and there will be heights," he pronounced. He also admonished diners to wear rugged shoes and remain sober until the dinner seating.

After arriving at the designated meeting place, the lucky 20 were blindfolded, bundled into cars, and driven to an undisclosed location, where they were greeted by a "wild man" (who ducked in and out of the forest in a loincloth with a machete) and loud barks and howls from dogs somewhere off in the woods. After a champagne toast and a steep walk up and down the wooded hills, they ascended some stairs to a large platform in the trees, which had been built by Seattle schoolchildren as part of the farm's Fortnight Summer Camp.

There was beef and heights as promised, as well as a frozen granita "salad," zucchini and garlic soup, homemade ricotta with local berries and honey from the farm's beehives, and ghostly serenades from musicians hidden in the forest below. After descending, the diners rejoined the rest of the attendees dancing around a bonfire to a marching band and stumbling around in the dark, looking for light installations.