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All-star treatment: parents serve up theme meals to cast

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CARTHAGE — Sometimes a well-cooked meal is all it takes to make strangers bond.

“We meet each other and make friends over food. .... This is when the cast and crew become a family,” said Rachel Kepler.

A senior at Carthage Central School, Miss Kepler is the head of technology on the CCS production of “Hello, Dolly!”

Members of the cast and crew came together earlier this week at the high school cafeteria to share a homemade meal of French cuisine.

“During the week of the high school production, the students endure late rehearsals. Sometimes these rehearsals can last until after 9 p.m. To help the flow of things, a group of moms organized what is now ... affectionately named ‘Chefs to the Stars,’” said CCS Fine Arts Booster Club president Chel Shupp.

On Monday through Wednesday, parents brought in a home-cooked meal for the cast and crew. Each day had a different theme relative to the performance.

Monday was French food, Tuesday was American and Wednesday was soup and sandwich.

“For ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ we had a five course meal, ‘Drowsy Chaperone had a wedding cake ... ‘Little Women’ was a Christmas dinner,” Ms. Shupp said. “We’re constantly asking the cast, ‘What’s in the play?’”

According to Elizabeth Gamble, the idea for the “Chef to the Stars” program originated in the spring of 2007 with “Anything Goes.”

“My mother was always involved when my brother and I were in musicals. So, I had a cake made and pizza,” she said. “It evolved into a little party that just kept growing. All from one simple meal.”

This year, the first meal consisted of ratatouille, veggie beefless burgundy, pork cassoulet and, for dessert, cream puffs, eclairs and chocolate mousse.

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