Sometimes, you have to consider the ticket price. Bounty! is the second outing for the crew from Cafe Nordo, who are trying to shove dinner theater out of its mediocre rut (lame whodunits and plates of spaghetti) and into the 21st century. It's a noble endeavor, but it doesn't justify the $89 they're asking at the door.

Their first show, The Modern American Chicken, followed a bird from egg to table. Its most memorable course: soothing poesy about sunshine and chicks, accompanied by a poached egg in a nest of Parmesan cheese with béchamel served in an eggshell. It was visually witty, thematically germane, and tasty—Cafe Nordo at its best. Bounty! never rises to that level.

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This story follows a ship sailing around the Northwest with a jig-dancing, rum-drinking, Jack London–quoting crew who double as waiters, serving seaweed-and-geoduck salad, aquariums full of mussels and squid, and whole salmon with crab legs shoved into their sides to look like some fishy freaks of evolution. They are presented to each table with head and skin attached, which are ceremoniously ripped off before serving—best of all, there's plenty of it. ("When's the last time you had so much salmon you could eat till you're full?" asked our server/sailor.)

But the script is both overcooked and half-baked, a wash of purple prose about the ocean spliced with some feeble side plots involving a castaway (the plucky little Maridee Slater) and a sea widow (Opal Peachey). Their intentions are good and their portions are ample, but the folks at Cafe Nordo haven't yet found a reliable recipe for success. recommended

2021 Social Justice Film Festival: ACTIVATE | REFUGE Online
Screening 50+ films that inspire and demand community action, October 7-17 at