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Let’s Cook: Colorful costumes and Fruit Pizza pizzazz

What less charm the Magic City would have without Minot State University Summer Theatre. It would be like a candelabra without candles, a clock with hands, a fork without a knife, a teapot without a cup, salt without pepper, and a wardrobe without its drawers.

Lucky for us, all of these combinations were recently paired on the stage of Minot State Summer Theatre as whimsical characters in the production of Beauty and the Beast. For those of us who made this stunning show a 10-day sellout, we were also treated to a whimsical attractive feather duster, macaroons with meringue as soft and blue as clouds, and dancing dinner napkins that added a kicked-up fold to the production with an energetic ring. All of this artistry was under the direction of Minot native, Brett Olson.

What a joy to listen to Belle singing her many beautiful songs including Home, and Mrs. Potts, the lovely delft teapot with touches of gold, who throughout the production was boiling over with advice of kindness and wisdom. She also steeped us deep in song while singing – especially when she performed Beauty and the Beast. Her sweet sidekick “chipped” into the scenes as her matching teacup. Seemingly plucked from the grandest brocaded dining table, was Lumiere, the nimble, shining candelabra. His costume was the color of canyon walls in the setting sun with threads of gold, copper and red dancing in stylish patterns. He was often paired with Cogsworth, the talking clock, whose costume was simply timeless and featured the tones of paprika and sun-ripened pears.

This production had so many beautiful indulgences, but first and foremost were the creative costumes. Dancing large silverware with attractive stripes beneath, napkins with lacey folds, feathers and colorful hosiery. A dinner party is not complete without attractive china and the swirls and patterns of these plates will long be remembered. Their regal red-orange spun skirts trimmed with gold had us all in the dining room front and center. Not to be missed were the salt and pepper shakers deep in a shadowy spun of wood smoke tones of charcoal peppered with a dash of color here and there! A walking pink wardrobe lovelier by far than a closet and composed glittering pink lace and much bling and she sings! Oh my! And of course, the magical orchestra (the shade tree musicians) provided the undertones of beautiful melodies.

We had a personal connection to this production because our daughter, Lydia, was one of the napkins. Daily we could hear her singing throughout our home the many numbers. Her feet moving to the choreographed dance steps across our living room floor; Jan and I trying not to notice, but simply smiling knowing when you put your heart and soul into a role, it’s yours.

This was Season 54 and the main building has been in use since the 1970s. The time has come for a graceful exit of the current backdrop and the entrance of revitalization of Summer Theatre. A 1.3 million campaign begins this summer. The incredible project with much needed updates includes addition of many bathrooms (this statement has received applause every single night when mentioned!), ticket office, dressing rooms, office space and premium seating. Plus, a stunning new plaza with will allow you more room to show off your summer fashions! Now be still my heart because there will be a drive-through, no more backing down the hill. Other joys will be increased physical accessibility and concessions relocated to the lower level. We all know the hazards that rain can bring to the stage increasing injury to dancers and damage to the set; the stage canopy will be appreciated. This will be a premier amphitheater! Lucky! Remember we will all get the best results by supporting this revitalization and by attending a rich summer tradition in the Minot area. A closing shout-out to the many, many volunteers who time and time again give of their time and talents abundantly. You rock!

A dessert that is as rich in color as those wonderful costumes is Fruit Pizza. My wife has made this recipe for a number of years. It originally came from Ardell Daniel, also of Ray. It has the delicateness of a “mixed” crust rather than the dense premade cookie dough. What a great treat to indulge in this dessert while you ponder what productions will be a part of Minot State Summer Theatre Season 55.

Fruit Pizza

Crust: 2 cups Bisquick

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup margarine or butter

1 egg

Mix together and pat in a 14-inch pizza pan which has been greased and floured. Bake until lightly browned – 350 degrees for approximately 15 minutes. Spread the following over the baked crust:

1 8 oz. package of softened cream cheese

1/3 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup cream (whipped)

Arrange any mixture of fruits: grapes, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, peaches, pears, bananas, kiwi, etc. Stir 1/3 cup orange marmalade mixed with 2-3 tablespoons of water. Spoon over the fruit for a thin glaze.

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