Michael Kunze- interview

What's more intriguing than a show about rapping and pasta? You can't claim that hasn't got you wondering! Michael Kunze's piece is coming to the Edinburgh Fringe, so you can see for yourself what it entails. Blending comedy with music, meet Lil Saffron, the King of the Kitchen, as he seeks culinary greatness.


Keen to know more, I just had to ask Michael a few questions! Read on to discover what he said...

 

How did the concept for the show come about, and what can audiences expect?

Hi, my name is Michael Kunze- I'm here to talk today about my upcoming Edinburgh Fringe show, Lil Saffron: Ragu to Riches. The show is a narrative musical comedy about a rapping pasta chef and his quest to become the greatest chef ever. It's a big, silly, fun show with lots of pasta puns and lots of great rap songs (if I do say so myself). The show came about because I was obsessed with this YouTube series called Pasta Grannies which, I think at its core, is about how food and cooking is an act of love. And so I want to embody that in the story of Lil Saffron. Audiences can expect lots of rap songs, a bit of audience interaction, just a good fun night out- we have a live DJ and all that.




What process led you to bring together rapping, pasta and comedy?

Well, um, I love pasta. And rapping, I do hip hop improv with myself and my writing partner Hugh Edwards, and so we just do a lot of freestyle rapping and that kind of thing. I thought it would be fun to combine the two of them, and comedy is just sort of my bag as that's what I do.


I took a course in how to write a solo show with the great Katie Schutte, and one of our things we did in the first day, we just ran out lists of things we love; two of the things that I love were pasta and rap music. They really jumped out at me. Also, there's this rapper named Action Bronson, who I really like, who used to be a chef and he always raps about food a lot. And I just think that the amount of words to describe food the way we talk about food is really fun and ripe for comedy, so that's that's sort of where the show came from.




Are you able to give us a taste of the show, perhaps a line or two to entice us to watch?


This is where Saffron is describing his enemy, who's a clown named Donald McRonald. "Me and Donny Rons... we went to culinary school together. We were 'TBF'- tastebuds forever- inseparable, like butter and milk and a roux sauce bound together by the flower of our shared dream to feed the world. Then one day, he asked me to chop an onion for him. You see, the whole time I thought he was my sous chef, but he thought I was his sous chef. Yeah, it's like the classic comedy gags,

Who's on First, only this wasn't absolutely hilarious.


How are you feeling about this being your solo debut show?


Well, I am very, very excited. I will say with a caveat: there is a DJ/hype man who does quite a bit of work on the show, so 'solo' I will say. The show has been a labour of love. I'm just excited to show myself in Edinburgh alongside so many other amazing things.


Where do you hope to take the production next?


I'm from America originally, California, and a dream of mine is to take the show back there to San Francisco and perform it there just once or twice, because I have so many friends who are over there who are seeing me post about pasta and rap shows, and they're like, 'What is this crazy thing you're doing? We want to see it!'. So I'd love to be able to show it to them, and my mom as well.


And lastly, what’s your favourite pasta dish?


That's like asking me to choose who's my favourite child! There's so many good ones. Some top ones... I love just a simple tomato pasta with basil which is really good, or just a nice marinara carbonara is dope. Not classic Italian pasta, but mac and cheese is really a solid one and pepe is a good one; a nice like mushroom and asparagus creamy Alfredo is delicious too. I have not met a type of pasta that I don't like, I'll leave it that way.


 

Huge thanks to Michael for his contributions to this- I can't wait to hear what audiences make of your show! Best of luck for the run.


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