The “I Love To Eat” production at Invisible Theatre opens Tuesday.

The play, directed by Susan Claassen, depicts the life of late television chef James Beard, who was known as the Dean of American Cookery.

David Alexander Johnston plays Beard in this one-man show and says performing in a venue like Invisible Theatre is his favorite because it’s a more intimate experience.

The attachment to the audience is closer. It’s right there, the back row is not very far back,” Johnston said in an interview with KGUN 9. “I feel like everyone is really immersed in it. That’s what I enjoy.

To prepare for the role, Johnston took a culinary knife skills class. He added that people will have an opportunity to understand the famous chef in a way unlike any before.

Youll learn a lot about James Beard himself and people he knew, and the way he lived his life. And there are nuances to him that we dont know about from all the history books,” Johnston said. “Its an evening of good fun, good food and good gossip.

On select nights, audience members can participate in an aftershow talk-back with local chefs, some of whom are James Beard Award winners.

It’s all to celebrate Tucson as a City of Gastronomy.

Featured chef nights:

Wednesday, Sept. 6 – Devon Sanner, Zio Peppe Thursday, Sept. 7 – Don Guerra, Barrio Bread Friday, Sept. 8 – Kathy Iannacone, Private Chef Sunday, Sept. 10 – Jacki Kuder and Richard De La Cruz, Kingfisher Wednesday, Sept. 13 – Gary Hickey, Si Charro! Concepts Thursday, Sept.14 and Sunday, Sept. 17 – Janos Wilder, Studio Janos

“I Love To Eat” wraps up on Sept. 17. Tickets are scarce for matinee shows, but are available for evening times.