How’s he do it? For 11 months of the year, celebrity baker Buddy Valastro is busy filming not one, but three different television shows — including the TLC mega-hit Cake Boss. As if that wasn’t enough, he’s also added a traveling theater show to his repertoire, visiting nearly 40 United States cities.
The Cake Boss hits Houston on Friday night for show at Jones Hall as his frenzied run continues. Valastro took time out from his baking duties one morning to speak with CultureMap about the tour and how he’s officially “living the dream.”
“Seriously . . . I always wanted a TV show about the bakery,” Valastro says. “This is a family business and, let me tell you, there’s a lot of great material going on all the time.”
“It’ll definitely make you smile, maybe even cry — it depends," Valastro says.
“Almost out of the blue, TLC approached me one day,” he recalls. “I rushed them a quick home video I’d made and, luckily, they loved it.”
Set in Hoboken, N.J., Cake Boss premiered in the spring of 2009 and has enjoyed four popular seasons. Valastro and family will begin taping the fifth season this January. While the Cake Boss was relatively tight-lipped about the upcoming shows, he did reveal that he and his wife would be renewing their vows on a Bahamas cruise.
The live tour started after Valastro was asked to give a motivational speech at a local New Jersey culinary college.
“The school wanted me to do something onstage," he says, "so I came up with a fun and entertaining show that eventually premiered at the Count Basie Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey.
“I was so nervous at first, but the show’s a well-oiled machine at this point. I love to play off the crowd — it keeps each show fresh and a little different from the next. It helps me stay in touch with our fans.”
“I really want to people to be dancing in the aisles, to have a great time. I like to randomly pick people out of the audience and have them go head to head against each other in a cupcake competition. It’s funny to call kids up onstage too.”
My own mother, who caught Valastro’s show earlier this month in Pennsylvania, noted that the baker was comically brutal to the adults — and incredibly kind to the kids.
“I want to theater show to give a positive message, something that makes people want to follow their dreams," Valastro says. "It’s a great night, really. You can bring your entire family, even your mother-in-law.
“It’ll definitely make you smile, maybe even cry — it depends." Valastro laughs.
“You’ll have fun, guaranteed.”
Buddy Valastro appears at Jones Hall Friday night at 7:30. Ticket are available online and at the theater box office.