Written by Wendy MacLeod. Directed by Jeff Seymour
Who hasn’t had their very own, very unusual restaurant experience?
Especially on vacation, miles from home, when you are at the mercy of neighborhood dives and early closing. “Slow Food” centers around a long-married couple on a much needed romantic break who wander into a local Palm Springs Greek restaurant, hungry and unable to find any decent alternative so late. They become unwitting victims of the slowest waiter in history, who proceeds to insert himself into their lives in uncomfortable and irritating ways….all in the most deliciously funny and brilliant performance.
It’s all in the writing…and in the utterly sublime performances of course. “Slow Food” is funny and touching and excruciatingly real. The long-married husband and wife are perfect for each other and also almost on the edge of disaster…what marriage isn’t? Their kids are have left for college and beyond and they have only each other to pass the time with. There is deep love between them, but also resentment and jealousy and hurt. The waiter, with his narcism, self-obsession and hilariously apocalyptic lack of propriety manages somehow, entirely by accident, to give them a common cause, a reason for self reflection and reconnection.
It’s blindingly clever. We are at once as annoyed as they are and as entranced. The adorable and hopelessly annoying waiter becomes an angel of joy in this disaster of a dinner. He dips in and out of depression and euphoria as he scolds and manipulates, all the while completely unaware of his effect on them. They resist parenting him but ultimately the trauma of the entire experience glues them all together with stolen bread baskets and beer and the utter heaven of the eventual lamb special.
It’s a masterpiece in the nothing really happens school of comedy. The painful familiarity, the beautifully flawed characters and the heart-rending performances give us precious insight into the simplest of human circumstance. “Slow Food” delivers sweet succulent satisfaction for those of us with an appetite for excellence. Go see this play!!!
Starring Michael Dempsey, Stephanie Michels, Butch Klein
Running September 27 through November 2nd, Friday & Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 7 pm
The Lankershim Arts Center, 5108 Lankershim Boulevard, North Hollywood, CA 91506