Food Network star’s show suitable for adults

Alton Brown's "Eat Your Science" tour visited DPAC on April 15. / Photo submitted

Reviewed by Chandler Holland
Times-News correspondent

   DURHAM – If there were such a thing as a “Food God,” it would no doubt be well-known food enthusiast Alton Brown, producer and star of “Good Eats” and a number of other culinary shows.
On April 15, the “Alton Brown Live: Eat Your Science” tour (the follow-up to his “Edible Inevitable” tour) hit the stage at DPAC in Durham, with two fun- filled acts gravitating around two different themes; martinis for the first act, and popcorn for the second. Starting with the rock ‘n’ roll song, “Heck Yeah Science!,” Brown issued a number of food related proclamations including chickens must have four thighs and Rats = Bacon, ending world hunger once and for all.
Each act had its own volunteer from the audience. The first one, Alex (age 21), had the honor of playing “Spin the Poison,” creating and eating quite possibly the most disgusting-looking and sounding “everything-martini” snow cone frozen by liquid nitrogen, because no policeman ever stopped someone eating a snow cone.
After a 15-minute intermission, during which several clips from “Good Eats” were played on stage, Brit (husband, father, and TV-guy that gets to push all the buttons) came on stage and helped Brown create a 3-foot model of a popcorn kernel, which Brown then promptly exploded over Brit’s head. The next explosion came from the 15-foot tall “Astro-Pop,” another Brown invention that spewed four bushels of popcorn over Brit, the stage, and the audience, all interwoven with more original music.
The TV showman-style character Alton Brown has created over the years was evident during the show, and though he clearly had a prewritten script, he was still fluid enough to interact with multiple audience members. Brown decided to “Rock the NASA, 1968 look,” with a short-sleeved, white, button-down shirt, skinny tie with a vintage silver tie-bar, and classic black trousers. In contrast, the stage was set with dramatic lighting reminiscent of a modern rock ‘n’ roll concert, including extensive use of a fog machine. A full array of sound effects, including crickets, was drawn upon to accent the nonstop jokes.
Though Brown remains a wonderful showman, with several beloved family-friendly TV shows, his entire performance was strictly geared for adults. Unfortunately, at least half the audience appeared to be 13 and under. This is likely a result of the show’s promotional material that mentioned puppets, songs, dangerous experiments and interactive fun (with no disclaimer other than children under 6 or those that cannot sit still for the two-hour performance, should not attend). There were numerous references that made this show inappropriate for kids 16 and younger, from “Spin the Poison” drinking jokes, to many suggestive innuendoes including body parts and intimate acts.
Overall, it really was a great show, although one would be hard pressed to find any actual science. If you are the right age I would definitely suggest getting tickets for a future tour, but as the old saying goes, let the buyer beware and please remember that kids should stay at home.
For more information about the tour, and about Alton Brown, visit
Chandler Holland is a junior home-schooler and a Teens & 20s writer. She was a lead intern at C’est si Bon! Cooking School, and co-teaches the Kitchen Capers kid’s cooking classes at Alamance Arts.

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