Monday, March 29, 2010

Edible Flowers at The Skylight

Every so often, a script comes along in which the characters are chowing down on some non-edible item. Flowers are actually a fairly commonly eaten prop, believe it or not. I base this highly scientific conclusion on the fact that I've only been doing props for a few years, and this is not the first time this has come up. Now, in the case of flowers, there are a few options. The performer can fake the action, the performer can eat a real edible flower, or the props dept. can provide something edible that looks like the proper flower. Once, for an evening of opera scenes, the shop I was working in made a large Datura flower out of Fosshape, and substituted a piece of flour tortilla for one of the petals. When it was time for the performer to eat the deadly flower, she simply took a bite of the tortilla petal.

In The Skylight's current production of "A Day in Hollywood, A Night in the Ukraine" Harpo Marx (Ray Jivoff) eats a carnation. You know, like you do. The very talented ladies of The Skylight's prop shop offered Ray several options for his edible flower. Here is what Lisa Schlenker, Properties Manager, said about it:

" (The) performer preferred sugar to real carnations. This particular guy is rather infamous for his sheet cake addiction, so we were not surprised. (We used) vanilla fondant. Very user friendly. It has a modeling consistency sort of like warm fresh Apoxie Putty.The gum paste ended up being stickier and a pain to work with, and not as easy for the performer to bite and chew when it hardened, so we went with 100% fondant for all the flower parts. For the green petioles at the base of the flower, we just used food grade paste food coloring and mixed it into the white fondant."

Chase Stoeger, a performer in the production, made a short video about the flowers, which he has posted on YouTube. It is a fun little look at Ray sampling the edible carnations, and you get a peek into The Skylight's prop shop.
You can see the video here.

If you like what you see, please check out "A Day in Hollywood, A Night in the Ukraine" which is running at The Skylight for the rest of the week.

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