Opening: In “I Love to Eat,”Garry Geiken portrays the legendary James Beard, who was a TV chef starting in 1946, years before Tom Colicchio and Bobby Flay were even born — much less advising their mothers on what makes a good strained applesauce. Playwright James Still imagines a 1984 evening with Beard, in which he reminisces about his long career as a chef and writer. Beard was a wild personality who pioneered American understanding of gourmet cooking. The awards named for him are among the industry’s most prestigious. Still’s “The Velvet Rut” and “Iron Kisses” were produced by Illusion, and his “A Village Fable” had its full-length debut at Children’s Theatre. Michael Robins directs. (Previews 8 p.m. Thu. Opens 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat. $5-$28. Ends May 18. Illusion Theater, 528 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. 612-339-4944 or www.illusiontheater.org.)

Graydon Royce