Food For Thought
Based on Cantrelle's novel told through linked short stories, Food for Thought is comprised of the solo pieces Non-Dairy Creamer, Lunch with Roger, and the one-act play Chips and Salsa. It premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (where it was awarded 4 stars from The Scotsman), received rave reviews at the Philadelphia Fringe, and was offered a mainstage production at Here in New York City.
“literate, plangent writing”
The Village Voice
“you'll love these gems from the boulevards of New York”
The List (Scotland)
“brilliant piece of writing…This is remarkably tasty entertainment”
Two women who play WOMAN and Her Inner Voice, aka NARRATOR in Chips and Salsa. Each woman performs a monologue.
Fred: a gay man, serious, fastidious, volunteers for an organization bringing meals to homebound people with AIDS
Scott: Flamboyant gay man, whimsical, loveable
Actor: portrays multiple characters including the “romantic hero”, a physicist.
The play begins with a tragedy and the subsequent pieces are episodes in the woman’s emotional recovery, leading to a triumphant moment of pure joy. (
NON-DAIRY CREAMER: (Performed by the actor playing NARRATOR) A woman and her songwriter boyfriend, Will, move to Nashville at the suggestion of Roy Orbison. When Will is killed in a car accident that the WOMAN survives, her shock and grief send her on a dangerous and self-destructive journey of chance encounters. At the end of the monologue she finally reaches out and asks for help.
LUNCH WITH ROGER: A few years later and the WOMAN is questioning her coping device of having affairs only with married men, feeling that love was only possible with Will, and that by having clear-cut boundaries and limitations, she protects herself from the threat of loss. But this strategy is wearing thin, and during lunch with her boss, a married lothario named Roger, it all becomes overwhelmingly clear.
CHIPS AND SALSA begins in a light-hearted vein as the WOMAN and her two gay best friends (along with the WOMAN’S alter-ego and an actor who plays every other character) gather for a "misery brunch" to celebrate their despair. What follows is a whimsical conversation fueled by many margaritas, until Fred runs out of the restaurant without an explanation. Since he refuses to explain why, his friends decide the only way to cheer him up is by defying gravity and getting him to the "Happiness Planet." Off they go on a trip to the library where they are aided by a handsome theoretical physicist, and the WOMAN experiences an alarming attraction – her first real romantic feelings since the death of Will. Their mission accomplished, Fred finally confesses the reason for his abrupt departure: he had recognized the bartender as the man who had attacked him in a gay-bashing incident. The friends come up with a plan to confront the bartender and through a surprising and exhilarating show of solidarity by the restaurant patrons, a miracle occurs.