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MRT Presents a Cure for the Winter Blues with the World Premiere Comedy Slow Food


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Merrimack Repertory Theatre presents a cure for the winter blues with the laugh-out-loud, world premiere comedy Slow Food by Wendy MacLeod, writer of the acclaimed play Women in Jeopardy and the TV cult sensation “Popular,” from Jan. 9 to Feb. 3 at the Nancy L. Donahue Theatre at Liberty Hall, according to Artistic Director Sean Daniels and Executive Director Bonnie J. Butkas.

 A new comedy for anyone who’s ever been “hangry,” Slow Food is directed by Artistic Director Sean Daniels (The Lion, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, Women in Jeopardy! at MRT). In reviewing Daniels’ production of Women in Jeopardy at Cape May, the Boston Globe said, “The laughs in Wendy MacLeod’s play came fast and furious . . . modern, lively, and loads of fun.”

In Slow Food, a couple of empty nesters just want to have a nice meal out on their big anniversary in Palm Springs, but their highly neurotic waiter will have them examining everything from their menu choices to their very future together. In this scenario, there’s no escaping the world’s worst waiter.

 “This play is very much about middle-age . . . trying to figure out how to be lovers again after being parents for so long,” said MacLeod. “The play was inspired by a family trip to Palm Springs, where we found ourselves waiting endlessly for dinner late at night in a Greek restaurant. Our waiter was maddening, and yet his need to be king of this very small kingdom was fascinating. I was reminded of how we become our best selves once we’ve been fed.”

 In addition to Women in Jeopardy! and “Popular,” MacLeod has earned awards nationwide for Schoolgirl Figure, The House of Yes, The Water Children, and Juvenilia. The film version of The House of Yes, starring Parker Posey, won the Sundance Award and international acclaim. A professor at both Kenyon College and Northwestern University, MacLeod regularly writes for The New York Times, Salon, McSweeney’s, The Washington Post, and “All Things Considered.”

The cast includes Brian Beacock, an internationally acclaimed voice actor in the world of anime and video games (Zatch Bell, Digimon Tamers, Bleach, Battle B-Daman, and Dangaronpa). His credits also include national tours of Les Misérables and the Los Angeles productions of Fully Committed and Howard Crabtree’s When Pigs Fly.  He will play the waiter. The wife will be played by Daina Michelle Griffith, whose many films include The Dark Knight Rises. Other credits Circle Mirror Transformation and James Joyce’s The Dead, both at Pittsburgh Public Theatre. In the role of the husband will be Joel Van Liew, best known to MRT audiences for Home of the Brave. Other credits include the TV shows “Blue Bloods” and “Boardwalk Empire.”

In addition to Daniels, the creative team includes Apollo Mark Weaver, Scenic Designer (The Villain’s Supper Club and The Making of a Great Moment at MRT); Deborah Newhall, Costume Designer (Women in Jeopardy! and Year Zero At MRT); Brian J. Lilienthal, Lighting Designer (Silent Sky and Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley at MRT); and David Remedios, Sound Designer (Murder for Two and KNYUM at MRT).Becca Freifeld serves as Production Stage Manager.

For tickets to Slow Food by Wendy MacLeod, Jan. 9 to Feb. 3 or subscriptions, visit mrt.org or contact the MRT Box Office at 978-654-4678. Tickets start at $24 for all performances. Subscriptions for any three shows start at only $73 (Previews, Zone C seating)

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