Irene and Peter are feeling a bit hangry. (That's hungry and angry at the same time, for those who aren't up on current slang.) And who can blame the pair who just want to celebrate their special anniversary with a nice meal out?
That's the premise in Wendy MacLeod's new comedy, "Slow Food," in its world premiere at Merrimack Repertory Theatre in Lowell, Jan. 9-Feb. 3.
There's no escaping the world's worst waiter. In this case, it's the highly neurotic Stephen, whose absurd service wreaks havoc on the couple's anniversary celebration. He has them examining everything from their menu choices to their future together.
"This play is very much about middle age and trying to figure out how to be lovers again after being parents for so long," said MacLeod, who will be in Lowell for the opening.
The play, she notes, "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."
MRT Artistic Director Sean Daniels directs, and the cast features Brian Beacock as Stephen, Dania Michelle Griffith as Irene, and Joel Van Liew as Peter.
The show is recommended for ages 16 and up, and runs 90 minutes with no intermission.
Call 978-654-4678 or visit www.mrt.org for tickets and information on special performance nights and deals, including educator and military discount day Jan. 19; ladies night, Jan. 24; and ask-the-artist, post-show discussions, Jan. 17 and 24.
Nancye Tuttle's email address is email@example.com.
On the marquee
A FAVORITE CLASSIC: Littleton High School thespians bring the beloved classic "Anne of Green Gables" to life this weekend. Performances are Thursday-Saturday, Jan. 10-12, at 7 p.m., with a matinee Saturday, Jan. 12, at 1 p.m. Based on the stories by L. M. Montgomery, adapted for the stage by Sylvia Ashby and directed by Shawn Cannon, the show follows the orphan Anne as she is adopted by a sister and brother to work on their Prince Edward Island farm. They had hoped for a boy, but instead the redheaded Anne arrives and changes their lives forever. She gets into one scrape after another in this often funny, sometimes sad and always memorable play. Tickets are $12 at www.mktix.com or at the door.
NEW DRAMA: The New Repertory Theatre in Watertown presents new works during the winter months. "Heartland," by Gabriel Jason Dean and directed by Bridget Kathleen O'Leary, runs Jan. 12-Feb. 9. The play is a "timely and poignant examination of America's complicity in the creation of the Taliban," says O'Leary. "It is a hard look at the consequences of America's actions while at the same time humanizing the people who felt their contributions had value and helped keep us safe when there was much uncertainty." Tickets $19-$42 at 617-923-8487 or www.newrep.org.
SUBMISSIONS NEEDED: Cannon Theatre in Littleton is seeking submissions for its 2019 10-Minute Play Festival. The deadline is March 1, and entries must be sent in PDF format to firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.thecannontheatre.com.
GOLDEN TICKET: Noah Weisberg stars as Willie Wonka in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" through Jan. 20 at Boston Opera House. The end date was incorrectly reported in last week's edition of Curtain Call. Visit www.BroadwayInBoston.com for ticket info.