City of Sparks’ Last Friday Hosts “Julia Child” for a Performance in July

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Image: Sparks Museum & Cultural Center

Last Friday campaign is a monthly event with free activities for families

As part of the monthly Last Friday Series with the Sparks Museum and Cultural Center, the City of Sparks is presenting the Art of Food, featuring “Julia Child.”  Storyteller, actress, and writer Karen Vuranch weaves together stories about the famous chef AS the famous chef. Join us for this free performance at 6 p.m. Friday, July 27 in the Victorian Square Amphitheatre. Also included in the evening: free tours in the museum, train, school house, plus art booths and a free movie at dusk.

Ms. Vuranch is known for her traditional storytelling, plays based on oral history, and living history presentations of famous American women. She brings history to life through her unique performance style, which combines storytelling and drama to create an engaging presentation. She will be making Beef Bourgeoise.

Participants can visit downtown Victorian Square and experience the amenities like the Sparks Heritage Museum and gallery, train display, and Glendale Schoolhouse for free with docents available for tours. Local and regional art will be on display in the in the Cultural Center and outside on the sidewalks.

The evening is capped with a free movie in the amphitheater at dusk, between 8:15 and 8:30 p.m.  The evening’s movie is “Fried Green Tomatoes.”

Friday, July 27, 2018 Part of Artown
4 to 7 p.m.     Museum, Train and School open for free tours
4 to 7 p.m.     Art Booths featuring local artists: Painters Nick Noyes and Monise McCabe, Mosiac Artist Katie Packham
6 to 7 p.m.     Special Performance of the Karen Vuranch as Julia Child: A Chautauqua Performance in Victorian Square Amphitheater (see Full Bio below.)
Dusk               Free Showing of “Fried Green Tomatoes”

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For more information about the City of Sparks events please visit cityofsparks.us or 775-353-7856.

Karen Vuranch as Julia Child

Karen Vuranch as Julia Child
Karen Vuranch as Julia Child

In recent years, the Food Network has captured the imagination of Americans, and the art and love of cooking has transcended from “women’s work” to a hobby and passion for both men and women throughout the country. But, before there was Rachael, Emeril or Paula, a tall, gangly woman with a preposterous voice and joy of life revolutionized the art of cooking for Americans.  In the 1960’s, it was Julia Child who brought her love of French cooking to the American public. She became an icon of gourmet cooking and, using her remarkable energy and humor, changed the way American thought about eating and food, convincing a nation that anyone could create gourmet meals. Julia Child was truly an innovative person as she shared own enthusiasm for food and, in turn, created a national obsession with cooking.  The First Lady of Food, as she has been called by the Food Network, charmed the American public and the world with her joy of life and her passion for good food.

Her cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which she co-authored with two French women, has become a classic and her acclaimed series The French Chef began a TV career that spanned three decades and earned her the Peabody Award in 1965 and an Emmy in 1966.  Throughout her life, she supported new efforts in the culinary world, such as the first academic program in the culinary arts at Boston University and encouraged new talent on the food scene, particularly women.  She left an indelible mark on both the culinary world and the entertainment industry. When she died two days before her 92nd birthday in 2004, the world mourned for this joyful and ebullient woman, who wished us from the kitchen counter of her television show, “Bon Appétit!”

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Karen Vuranch brings the indomitable Julia Child to life in this one-woman performance.  In addition to the performance of Julia Child, Vuranch is well-known for other portrayals of women in history. She also presents Pearl Buck, Clara Barton, Mother Jones, Mary Draper Ingles, Irish pirate Grace O’Malley and Wild West outlaw Belle Starr. Vuranch has written two plays about women in history, Coal Camp Memories about life in the West Virginia coalfields and Homefront about women in World War II. She is also an acclaimed storyteller and performs over 200 colleges, libraries, schools and conferences each year.

In addition to the performance of Julia Child, Karen presents a workshop on the history of food in America.  The History of Food in America: From Feasting and Fasting, from Frozen to Fabulous is a power point presentation that explores how American eating habits have changed drastically throughout the years. In the early 20th century, food was considered a science. The post World War II years brought time-saving frozen food and TV dinners. Diet fads continue to pique the interest of our nation.  Most recently, the Food Network has turned food into entertainment. This workshop will explore the food trends in America and take a look at what interests a nation consumed with what they consume.

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