Guild prepares childhood favorites for performers

Published 12:33 pm Saturday, October 12, 2019

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


A.J. Croce performed a special night of music, Croce Plays Croce, featuring a complete set of classics by his late father, American folk & rock singer-songwriter Jim Croce, some of his own tunes and songs that influenced both him and his father. This nostalgic show featured such timeless songs as “Operator,” “You Don’t Mess Around with Jim,” “Time in a Bottle,” (a song written for A.J.), “Rapid Roy (The Stock Car Boy), and “Lovers Cross,” to name a few. 

But before the show, was another special event just for the performers.

Lutcher Theater Service Guild Hospitality Committee members Sherrill Porterfield help from Dianne Thomas prepared a meal of A.J. Croce’s childhood favorites.

The band was treated to a menu based on recipes in Ingrid Croce’s Recipes from ‘Thyme in a Bottle’.

“I was a flight attendant for 30 years,” Porterfield said. “When I heard Croce was booked, I requested to do the food. I knew his favorite foods because the book noted which were AJ’s favorite as a child.”

Porterfield happened across the book about 10 years ago while in San Diego and stopped at the Ingrid Croce’s restaurant.

“It was more than a cookbook,” Porterfield said. “It was also a tremendous story of how she lost her husband when he was killed in an airplane wreck and she raised this little boy as a single mother. This little boy who had an incredible music talent.”

Jim Croce died in a tragic plane crash in Natchitoches, Louisiana on September 20, 1973, at the age of 30.

To ensure each member could enjoy the meal, the ladies converted a couple of recipes for a vegan sound staffer.

“I parodies of the song lyrics based on the recipes,” Porterfield said. “They were then turned into placemats.”

Porterfield added they all had a great time.

“We laughed joked and had a great time,” Porterfield said. “It is all worth it when you hear cast members from different shows return and tell us they could not wait to come back to Orange. We want them to know it matters to us and for them to feel welcomed.”

Gary Mallaber, a drummer, told Porterfield that for a minute, he forgot he was on the road.