Smoothie bar to host dairy-free Hamilton Fringe show

This article was originally published in CBC Hamilton, Sept. 24, 2012

Promoting healthy eating and the benefits of a raw food diet have always been a priority to Danielle Height, co-owner of Green Smoothie Bar on James Street North.

But she felt that the public needs to be informed and concerned about their health and well-being.

“I think everyone has health problems, but don’t know about it,” said Height. She cites a statistic that says 30 to 50 million Americans suffering from lactose intolerance.

When she saw Dairy-Free Love, a one-woman comedy at the 2012 Hamilton Fringe, she was struck by the idea of hosting public events to promote healthy eating.

Height and co-owner, Joe Accardi, decided to host the show on Thursday, Sept. 27 at the lower level of Green Smoothie Bar. It is part of the franchise’s larger plan to encourage Hamiltonians to live a healthy lifestyle.

“It seems like a natural fit. We have a space, she has a show,” said Height, referring to the decision to collaborate. It will be the first time where Green Smoothie Bar use the space to host community events focused on health and nutrition.

A live performance mixed with a cooking demonstration, Dairy-Free Love debuted in Hamilton at the 2012 Fringe. The play follows hostess, Dawn, as she keeps up with her 1950s housewife appearance and values. Promising to be a sweet treat, Dawn will prepare three dairy and gluten-free desserts live onstage for her cooking show, Dawn’s Delights.

Playwright and actress, Victoria Murdoch, was happy to combine her two interests in the show: her love for performing and cooking food.

“I like to think people don’t feel as if they re ‘missing out’ when they eat my food,” wrote Murdoch in an email. She is no stranger to dairy and gluten-free cooking.

Height and Murdoch talked about food, exchanging ideas and recipes.

“She’s promoting a raw lifestyle. It’s what we believe in,” said Height, describing the partnership between them as a “no-brainer.”

Performing at a business space, instead of a theatre, Dairy-Free Love is going beyond the typical theatre group, branching out to the community and spreading the word about healthy eating.

“Theatre can sometimes have an air of being exclusive, as if it’s a club. I want to open the doors, and let everyone into that ‘club’,” emphasized Murdoch.

Height would agree, “It’s really about informing people.”

Dairy-Free Love goes live on Sept. 27, 8pm at Green Smoothie Bar, 236 James Street North. Tickets are at $10/person sold at the door, cash only. Learn more about the show on its website. Foodies could try out the recipes from the show, available at Murdoch’s recipe blog.