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On stage: An evening with Anthony Bourdain

Has anyone attended his stage show and can say that it's a must see?

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  1. I haven't, but as a big fan of his shows and books, I'd LOVE to see him live. Do you have a link to upcoming shows? I looked around after I saw your post, but nothing has jumped out at me (yet).

    2 Replies
    1. re: kattyeyes

      Check with ticketmaster's website. I haven't seen it advertised locally (Knoxville TN) but just saw a smallish ad about it in the free, alternative weekly paper. The venue here will be the downtown restored movie theater that seats several thousand and ticket-wise there's a pricey option to meet AB and have heavy hors derves (however that's spelled) and to stand on stage with him after the thing.

      1. re: shallots

        Thanks--I just looked. The only locations listed are in CA and OR, but TN wasn't listed, either (go figure!), so I will keep checking and hoping. I have to think if you're a fan (and I am), that's a fun night out!

    2. I know this is heresy here and on other boards, but doesn't anyone else think that the AB act is getting a little old?

      1 Reply
      1. re: trouttr

        actually yes. as i've watched the last few NR episodes i thought it looked really forced. it was great though in the beginning. now it's as if he's becoming a caricature of himself. and that's sad. because the info is still cool. and i do still enjoy it - just not was much as before.

      2. Hi,

        I saw him in Montreal, about two years ago - but my response needs to be taken into consideration with this caveat. To me, he is the Beatles, the God, the King. He can do now wrong in my eyes. He was funny, witty, very down to earth, very honest and just soooo charming.

        If you are a fan, it is a must see.

        1 Reply
        1. re: maisonbistro

          I attended the show in Santa Barbara on the 27th of Feb...I was a little worried it may be , as said above- "forced"- glad to repeort Tony was a hoot! Full of laughs, took alot of questions from the audience, and kept the show going on his road. Worth the $33.00.

        2. I saw him here in Seattle about a year ago, and as a pretty big fan of his (though recently, I think his changing priorities have affected the quality of NR), I found it entertaining. I went in assuming the worst--I've read all his books and seen all his shows, what was he going to say that was new? But in fact was well entertained and he was truly in his element when taking audience questions.

          I would not say that it is a must see, I will say that it will make for an enjoyable evening out and that I liked it well enough to have bought a ticket for his next live show here, with Mario Batali.

          1. I've seen him along with Ferran Adria. I probably should preface this with I like Bourdain and think he's hysterical, but hasn't really reached the "can do no wrong" status for me. I thought it was OK -- not really a must-see IMHO. I didn't really hear too much of Bourdain as Adria is quite the talker. At least the tickets weren't too expensive at $35 a pop.

            1. I recently saw him at the Durham (NC) center for performing arts, Feb 19?. We splurged on the VIP $100 ea seats which allowed you to attend a backstage book signing. I was a bit disappointed in the show, mostly because WITH prewritten audience questions it was barely an hour long. The pre question monologue was a rehash of things seen or read before - Food Network bashing, Rachel Ray bashing, etc. A bit of NR tales, mostly the anus meal.
              Luckily, we were some of the first to wait in line for the signing, and while he wasn't conversing with anyone or seeming to be too glad to be there, he would inscribe the book with whatever you had written down on a card beforehand. After 100 or so people, I can see that getting pretty old.
              Being in the food biz, I appreciate his sense of humor, because I think he does tell it like it is. All in all, I am glad I went. I think his NR and Cook's Tour shows capture his personality very well.

              1 Reply
              1. re: winedine


                all i really wanted to state was i wish AB would leave RR alone

              2. What really could compel him to do such a tour? I can see giving up your private life to get to travel anywhere in the world and get paid $$$ to do so (NR), but a tour where you are the comedian-cook for an hour and then mindlessly sign books for people who iconize you?

                3 Replies
                1. re: fame da lupo

                  While I appreciate Mr. Bourdain's literary talents to a modest extent -- he's a glorified fry cook after all, not Samuel Clemens -- he "jumped the shark" for me on the NR episode where he shamelessly sucked-up to the man he formerly slammed in the most public of manners: the mighty Emeril.

                  That was a low point (talk about eating anus) and I lost all respect I formerly had for the hypocrite.

                  I can't even watch NR anymore; the guy's proven himself to be an utter fake. Bourdain made such a big deal about how "punk rock" and "edgy" he was, only to prove himself a liar.

                  Too bad, I actually liked the show; how come they never seem to repeat the Vancouver episode?


                  1. re: CucumberBoy

                    So what if he made up w/ Emeril? Turns out Emeril was a good guy, AB's harsh criticisms were unfounded, and he retracted them in the new edition of Kitchen Confidential.

                    1. re: fame da lupo

                      AB didn't "make up" with Emeril -- "making up" implies two people resolving a mutually unpleasant scenario; to my knowledge, Emeril's never said a bad word about AB, at least in public (unlike AB, who gleefully trashed Emeril repeatedly in a variety of media outlets spanning a decade or more).

                      Emeril showed class and maturity by accepting AB's apology and letting bygones be bygones. Emeril surely took AB's slams as nothing more than a chest-pounding attention-getting device.

                      AB's prior slamming of Emeril seems to have stemmed from professional envy, nothing more; when it suited AB's needs (ie. the Travel Channel wanting Emeril on NR) he retracted his prior statements and sucked-up to the man he formerly -- and unfairly -- maligned.

                      If that's not hypocrisy, I don't know what is.

                      So what's next for AB, will he "retract" his all-too-frequent (and frequently unfounded) criticisms of Rachael Ray so that Travel Channel can feature her on NR to boost the sagging ratings?

                      If you're comfortable with AB's blatant hypocrisy, fine; I, however, am not. The dude lost me. End of story.


                2. Saw the Bourdain event that was just at UCLA. He's entertaining and took a lot of questions from the audience. It's a lot of oratory and not for folks who aren't already Bourdain fans. But he played to a nearly-packed theater and it was quite an engaging evening.

                  A couple of my favorite parts were his explaining what it's like to have slammed the Food Network for so long, only to have its parent company Scripps buy the Travel Channel that Bourdain's show is on.

                  The other part I loved was when he talked about a variety of nefarious ways to make small children fear junk food burger joints. He can be kind of devious.

                  1. i did a few years ago i n montreal. lots of schtick, the same old stories. it's cool seeing him in person , not essential - it depends how big of a fan you are. he's entertaining though.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: celfie

                      He's plugging his book now so you can see a "lite" version for free in various cities. He's at the main library building in Chicago next week.