Food, Love and Life Comes Back to Albuquerque in Third Annual QSolo Festival

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Santa Fe's most prolific actress, Debrianna Mansini brings her culinary one woman adventure to Aux Dog Theatre's QSolo Festival in January, in her stunning one woman show, The Meatball Chronicles.

"I don’t know how Ms. Mansini does it. She brings us on a culinary journey that is funny, touching, wrenching and somehow delicious throughout.” Bob Tzudiker, writer (Newsies, Tarzan)

There is plenty of food, love and life to look forward to in Albuquerque this January when The Meatball Chronicles comes to the third annual QSOLO Festival at Aux Dog Theatre. Mansini opens the event and this time, she is working with the hip, fine dining of Elaine's. As the show tours, Mansini is pairing it with a chef in each city, who is preparing a specialty inspired by the piece.

“You’re dealt a hand of cards when you’re born and it’s your job to figure out how to use them,” says Debrianna Mansini, the acclaimed Santa Fe actress. “I wanted the show to be about how I decided to play my hand. I play it with food and theater. It’s who I am and what I do."

"The conceit of the show is my recipe for a meatball, with each ingredient bringing forth a story, and it all comes together in the end, just like a meatball does." The Meatball Chronicles follows Mansini through a culinary journey of her childhood, her relationships with men, and in particular, her complicated relationship with her mother. As she moves masterfully through each Italian recipe, the stories associated with the ingredients reveal the complex ways that families cope, laugh, grieve, and show their love through food. Under the guidance and direction of Global Story Coach Tanya Taylor Rubinstein, followed by successful readings in Santa Fe and the Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez, Alaska, the show had its first run in Santa Fe in May 2016, and then in Albuquerque at The Cell. "It was very successful and was so well received—beyond my wildest dreams. It is amazing how many people have deep associations to food and family."

Having video allows people to engage in their own olfactory recollections.” Video? Yes, there is a strong video component to the show. Artist David Forlano, husband to Mansini, created the video as a companion. The couple has worked together in that capacity on previous projects. A very successful artist in his own right, Forlano says, “The role of the video component is to help poke memory and nostalgia for the audience. We worked closely together to craft the multi-media components and it was a thrill to see her seamlessly weave the visuals and sounds into her performance. She brings her audience squarely into the center of her story.”

Despite Mansini’s success as an actress, appearing off-Broadway in New York City, in many films such as “Crazy Heart” and TV shows like “Better Call Saul,” doing her own solo show is a big step. “Doing a solo show is a different experience because it really is me,” she says. “I’m stepping out into my own as an artist."

Mansini has a national tour developing and is proud to start it off in January at Aux Dog Theatre. She will be performing it from coast to coast with the end goal being a cookbook featuring each chef and her own family recipes. So far, Mansini has worked with Chef Martin Rios at restaurant Martin for her Santa Fe debut and with Chef Ryan Numair at MAS Tapas Y Vino and the Hotel Andaluz last summer for her first ABQ run.

The show opens at Aux Dog Theater January 13th and 14th at 8 pm and a matinee performance on the 15th at 2pm. The theater is located at 3011-3015 Monte Vista Blvd in Nob Hill, Albuquerque,NM Call 505.254.7716 for tickets to the show. The specialty created by Elaine's is in development now so look for that announcement in the near future!

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Debrianna Mansini

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