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‘Kitchen Witches’ cooks up laughter in Blowing Rock

By Frank Ruggiero (

Article Published: Jul. 2 | Modified: Jul. 14
‘Kitchen Witches’ cooks up laughter in Blowing Rock

A cable-access cooking show, prima donna chefs and on-stage food fights?

Sounds like a recipe for disaster.

In fact, it’s a recipe for laughter, prepared and served by Blowing Rock’s Ensemble Stage.

“If ‘The Martha Stewart Show’ and ‘The Jerry Springer Show’ had a baby, it would be ‘The Kitchen Witches,’” Ensemble Stage artistic director Gary Smith said.

The show, which runs July 5 to 13, stars Burlene Franklin and Josephine Hall as two competing cooking show hosts, whose rivalry comes to a ridiculous — and messy — head, when station executives force them to work as a duo.

“One of them has had this cooking show for a long time, and they’re cancelling her show, so this is her last show, and it’s being broadcast live with her studio audience,” Smith explained. “An old rival of hers — her nemesis, basically — comes in to gloat … and a food fight ensues. But the audience loves it, so the station decides this is going to be a good show if they put these two women together as co-hosts.”

Needless to say, they’re not happy, and the feud reaches a point where the hosts agree to a competition.

“They’ll actually pull somebody out of the audience in the theater and have them come up on stage to be the judge, while they make the food there on stage,” Smith said. “I won’t go any further, other than to say the person brought up on stage will be wearing a smock over (their clothes) — and I’ll leave it at that.”

The show also features actors Luke White and Daniel Armbrust.

“The Kitchen Witches” runs July 5 through 13, with show times at 7:30 p.m. July 5, 7, 8, 11 and 12 and 2 p.m. July 6 and 13. All performances take place at the Blowing Rock School Auditorium, located on Sunset Drive in downtown Blowing Rock. To purchase tickets, visit

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