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Theatre Review Print

Manbites Dog Theater: Cornucopia of Me Is a Feast for Triangle Audiences

March 16, 2007 - Durham, NC:

Cornucopia of Me, a one-woman show whimsically written and magnificently mimed by Katja Hill to her own tart voiceover commentary and music expertly sampled by sound designer Adam Sampieri, is a veritable feast of fun for Triangle audiences. Last Friday at 10 p.m., the inaugural production of the Manbites Dog Theater Late Night brought another side of the critically acclaimed Triangle actress, director and, now, playwright Katja Hill to the attention of local theatergoers. Word of mouth about these warm, witty, and altogether wonderful reminiscences about Hill’s eventful Life in the Theater will surely make this Friday’s late-night performance one of the toughest tickets in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel hill area.

Starting in her childhood, when the Theater Bug first bit her, Cornucopia of Me chronicles the merry misadventures of the one-time Western North Carolina resident and North Carolina School of the Arts graduate as she supported herself with a series of mind-numbing menial jobs — toiling in tacky uniforms for a Christmas-themed amusement park, Hardee’s, McDonald’s, and Wendy’s and working as a temp at the University of North Carolina and Duke University — while she honed her craft, fought her weight problem, finally journeyed to the to audition for a shot at Broadway — or even Off-Off-Off Broadway — stardom, fought her weight problem, and, ultimately returned to the Triangle a sadder but wiser woman.

Katja Hill has the soul of a poet, and she has an absolutely uncanny knack for identifying just the right details for dramatizing her ordeal of toiling in obscurity during workdays, so she can twinkle in Triangle theatrical productions at night. The Big Apple’s loss is very much the Triangle’s gain.

Sound designer Adam Sampieri brilliantly punctuates Katja Hill’s expressive voiceover with chosen snippets of songs. Hill and Sampieri have unfailingly found just the right lyric to complement each confession and make Cornucopia of Me a truly unforgettable evening. To say much more about this one-of-a-kind production would risk spoiling the fun. Run — do not walk — to your computer and order your tickets online today.

Manbites Dog Theater Late Night presents Cornucopia of Me Friday, March 23, at 10 p.m. at 703 Foster St., Durham North Carolina. $10 for online reservations or $5 for late-night rush at the door. 919/682-3343 or http://www.tix.com/Schedule.asp?OrganizationNumber=150. Manbites Dog Theater: http://www.manbitesdogtheater.org/. This Show: http://www.manbitesdogtheater.org/186/. Adam Sampieri: http://www.adamsampieri.com/ [inactive 12/07] and http://www.myspace.com/sampieri/ [inactive 3/07].