When Lisa Adams grew up in Joplin, she was that stage girl who does it all.
In her own words, she’d be in a production at Joplin’s Little Theater while simultaneously rehearsing for a show at the Carthage Music and Theater Club, now the Stone Throwing Diner Theatre, even as she starred in a musical at McAuley Catholic High School where she went to school.
Adams dreamed of playing on the big stage in New York City, and she almost achieved it. It was headed to Broadway, but it didn’t turn out the way I expected.
After more than 20 years as a personal chef for celebrities and people just looking for help living busy lives in the Big Apple, Adams got the chance of a lifetime earlier this year when she was interviewed to be a food consultant and caterer on the new Broadway theater that opened in November (November) as “Clyde”.
The play is by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Lynn Notting, and features a cast of characters recently released from prison who get jobs at the only place that will hire new convicts.
“It’s this truck stopping dinner while they’re making sandwiches,” Adams said. “And one of the gentlemen who works there is really proud of what he does and is a really great cook. He’s kind of such a sandwich guru, and he’s passing on his wisdom to other ex-incarcerated people and just giving them hope, talking about what we’re doing is important on every level, that what you’re doing is contributing to the community and you Get a second chance.”
The cast includes five characters, but Adams is not one of them. Adams is the sixth character in this play – sandwiches.
“We want the sandwiches to be like a fifth character or a sixth character,” Adams said. “We want them to be really important because the actors interact with them. We want them to be inspired, we want them to get a taste of it and be able to know that a professional has prepared it, and we want them to read from the audience that they are very, very special. “
New York life
Adams keeps an Instagram feed filled with stunning photos of some of her food creations, including the five sandwiches she’s made hundreds of times for “Clyde.” The play opened at the Helen Hayes Theater in New York City on November 23 and ends on January 16.
On November 2, Adams posted on Instagram a photo of the first sandwich to appear in “Clyde” and talked about the complications of creating it.
“I’m still working on the perfect combination of visually stunning + strong enough to stand up all night in a props fridge + delicious enough to eat on stage to inspire actors’ reactions + big enough to be read as ‘special’ from the balcony + small enough to be handled with him/bite/chew/swallow before the following lines are mentioned + everything on a budget = Broadway. Be. The post told her.
Adams said she has worked with the director and writer to develop the sandwiches, and that she delivers them to the door of the Broadway theater every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday to accommodate the eight productions a week.
She said, “I hand the sandwiches to the props team, they pack them up, put the props on and the show goes off. You can go to my Instagram and see a lot of sandwich content that I’ve posted and you can see more about the show.”
In addition to making sandwiches regularly, Adams also works full time as a personal chef for regular people as well as celebrities such as Steve Martin and Gloria Steinem. She’s also a social media influencer, has an active blog, and has launched a Food Network beta program.
“I realized that who I was as an actress and who I was as a chef was creating space for new dreams,” she said.
Adams was born and raised in Joplin and went to school in the Catholic system. Her father is Sam Adams, a former professional soccer player and longtime soccer coach in the Joplin area. Her mother, Rita Adams, taught at St Mary’s School in Joplin for 35 years before retiring.
After graduating from McCauley Catholic High School, Adams earned her bachelor’s degree at Webster Institute for the Performing Arts before moving to New York City.
“I come from really great parents, and they instilled in me that you can do whatever you want,” Adams said. “I’ve never been from a small town at all. …and I think part of the reason I’m such a successful chef in New York City, and cook for my clients, is that I have those Midwest vibes. My feet are on the ground and I have my head worked and level, and I feel like I I owe it to my town. They kept my head on my shoulder, and I wasn’t too old to be too old.”