Culinary News from The Culinary Institute of America

From the CIA—Actress Sutton Foster Headlines New Half Moon Theatre Season

Media Contact:

Diane Jackson Schnoor

Hyde Park, NY – Half Moon Theatre (HMT), the Hudson Valley’s professional regional theatre, is thrilled to announce its continued partnership with The Culinary Institute of America, which includes a full season of inventive theatrical and culinary programming from September 2015 through May 2016. This partnership offers patrons a unique immersive experience, combining world-class cuisine with Broadway-caliber performances, all in one spectacular venue—The Culinary Institute of America.

Half Moon Theatre’s Gala Benefit

HMT will kick off its second season at the CIA with its annual Gala Benefit featuring Broadway veteran, two-time Tony Award-winning actress, and Younger star Sutton Foster on September 26, 2015. Ms. Foster is an actor, singer, and dancer who has performed in 11 Broadway shows including The Drowsy Chaperone, Little Women, Young Frankenstein, Shrek The Musical, and her Tony Award-winning performances in Anything Goes and Thoroughly Modern Millie. She is currently starring in TV Land’s new hit series Younger, which is written and directed by Darren Star (Sex and the City). It’s about a 40-year-old mother masquerading as a single 28-year-old in order to land an entry-level job.

As a solo artist, Sutton has performed all over the world with her musical director Michael Rafter. She has graced the stages of Carnegie Hall, Feinstein’s, Lincoln Center, Joe’s Pub and many others. The New York Times raves about her solo show, “The radiance of Julia Roberts and the zany spunk of Holly Golightly—that only begins to describe the seductive charms of Sutton Foster.”

Gala sponsors will enjoy a pre-show cocktail party with sumptuous hors d’oeuvre prepared by the world-class chefs from the CIA—followed by a performance by the Half Moon Theatre Company and headliner Sutton Foster. The evening concludes with a delicious dessert reception at 9 p.m., where sponsors will have the unique opportunity to meet Ms. Foster and have her sign CDs and other merchandise. (Sponsorships begin at $600 with proceeds funding HMT’s season, educational and community outreach programs, and scholarships for HMT School of the Arts).

Sponsorship opportunities are available. 

Half Moon Theatre is also offering a decadent pre-performance sampling of the CIA’s favorite canapés and entrées for a limited number of patrons at Ristorante Caterina de’ Medici ($200 pp). Individual tickets for the performance only are available for $40–$75.

Tickets for the Gala Benefit: An Evening with Sutton Foster are on sale now. To purchase tickets, please call 1-800-838-3006 or visit

Half Moon Theatre’s 2015–16 Season

Half Moon Theatre’s season has a variety of dynamic and diverse offerings. Patrons can choose from I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti—a one-woman tour-de-force where the actress cooks a three-course meal onstage; Patrick Barlow’s modern and heartwarming adaption of A Christmas Carol; and the side-splitting comedy, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.

Half Moon and the CIA will also partner to offer original programming that combines the creative of the gastronomic and theatrical arts. It includes a cabaret series called Downstairs at the Marriott and a new twist on HMT’s annual Ten Minute Play Festival—where patrons will sample an array of delectable dishes—featured in each of the ten minute plays—after the production!

“In choosing our second season at the CIA, we wanted to offer fun, exciting, and creative ways for our patrons to experience the best of professional theatre with culinary excellence in this unique setting,” explained HMT Managing Director Kristy Grimes. “We believe there truly is something for everyone in our 2015–2106 season, and hope that visitors and Hudson Valley residents will enjoy this one-of-a-kind culinary and cultural destination.”

“We are also pleased to announce that HMT will be offering a subscription package for our 2015–16 season for the first time,” Grimes continued. “Patrons will have the opportunity to sample each of the CIA’s award-winning restaurants—the American Bounty Restaurant, The Bocuse Restaurant, and Ristorante Caterina de’ Medici—prior to seeing each of our main stage productions.” Subscriptions for all three dinners and shows will be available for $275–$295 now through September 7. Dinners are inclusive of tax & service charges. Subscribers will have priority access to restaurant reservations and enjoy premier theatre seating.

“Our partnership with the Half Moon Theatre has created great new events at the CIA,” said Dr. Tim Ryan, president of The Culinary Institute of America. “Together we offer unique attractions that invite both our local community and visitors to come to the CIA for fabulous food and entertainment—and that offer our students great theatre on campus.”

I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti, based on Giulia Melucci’s best-selling memoir and adapted by Jacques Lamarre will run from October 9–25, 2015.The New York Times called it, “A delightful comic evening...” This mouth-watering comedy celebrates Italian home cooking as an expression of love and a source of comfort when the romance goes cold. Giulia recounts stories about her madcap adventures as a single New Yorker looking for love as she cooks a three-course dinner live on stage before our eyes (including home-made pasta!). A limited number of onstage seats are available, where patrons get to enjoy Giulia’s three-course meal during the show!

A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens and adapted by Patrick Barlow will run from December 3–19, 2015. Brighten your holiday season with this magical, humorous, and highly theatrical version of the classic holiday tale. By the creator of the Tony-award winning hit, The 39 Steps, five actors bring Dickens’ characters to life in this streamlined retelling of Scrooge’s redemption from miserly curmudgeon to a generous and kind member of society. Family members from eight to 88 will come together to laugh and shed a tear, and revel in the joy of the season. Create a lasting holiday memory by dining at one of the CIA’s award-winning restaurants before the show!

Cabaret at the CIA will run from January 15-16, 2016 and February 12-13, 2016. Join HMT for an unforgettable nightlife experience—combining performances by Broadway’s best performers with world-class dining in a sophisticated setting. The lower level of the Marriott Pavilion is transformed into a candlelit cabaret and elegant hotspot. Relax while enjoying canapés and cocktails perfectly prepared by the world-renowned chefs of the CIA, as the Half Moon Theatre entertainers enchant you with songs of love and longing. A perfect way to warm up the winter!

Sixth Annual Ten Minute PlayFestival will run from March 11–13, 2016. Join Half Moon Theatre’s nationally recognized playwrights as they riff on this year’s theme: “The Tasting Menu.” Each playwright is assigned a mouthwatering dish to feature in his or her play. After the show is over, the audience has a chance to sample each of these delectable dishes downstairs in the Marriott Pavilion Conference Center. It’s the ultimate in dinner theatre!

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang will run from April 21–May 8, 2016. In this 2013 Tony Award-winner for Best Play, Vanya and his stepsister Sonia have been living small, quiet lives at their family’s rural lake house. But when their self-absorbed movie star sister Masha arrives with her 20-something boy toy Spike, the stage is set for a weekend of hilarity and hi-jinx. This raucous comedy blends Chekhov’s classic themes of loss and longing with supremely impressive abs, Disney’s Snow White, and a psychic housekeeper. Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is a delightfully off-kilter romp that critics have hailed as a “sublime state of hilarity” and a “zany joy.”

Tickets to the Annual Gala and single tickets to Half Moon Theatre productions are available by calling 1-800-838-3006. To reserve the joint HMT/CIA subscription package, please call 845-235-9885 or e-mail

Pre-theatre dining reservations at each of the CIA’s remarkable restaurants will be available two months prior to each production by calling 845-905-4533 or e-mailing

Now entering its ninth season, Half Moon Theatre is a Hudson Valley-based company of local actors, directors, playwrights, designers, and producers, who have also worked extensively in New York, Los Angeles, and at regional theaters around the country. HMT has produced world premieres of plays, recent Broadway hits, an original children’s opera, and an annual Ten Minute Play Festival.

For additional quotes, please contact:

Stephan Hengst
Director—Communications, CIA

Kristy Grimes
Managing Director, HMT

Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image:

Two-time Tony Award-winning actress and Younger star Sutton Foster headlines Half Moon Theatre's Gala. (Photo credit: Courtesy Half Moon Theatre)
View hi-res image >

Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is the world’s premier culinary college. Dedicated to driving leadership development for the foodservice and hospitality industry, the independent, not-for-profit CIA offers associate degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts; bachelor’s degree majors in management, culinary science, and applied food studies; and executive education through its Food Business School. Its conferences and consulting services have made the CIA the think tank of the food industry in the areas of health & wellness, sustainability, world cuisines & cultures, and professional excellence & innovation. The college also offers certificate programs and courses for professionals and enthusiasts. Its worldwide network of 48,000 alumni includes leaders in every area of foodservice and hospitality. The CIA has campuses in New York, California, Texas, and Singapore.

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