Pressure cooker dramedy takes a peek behind a Wall Street kitchen.
How to Use a Knife is the first play by Will Snider. The night I saw the play, Snider was in the audience. It is refreshing to see an off-broadway show while it is up and coming. To date it has only been in a handful of cities but it has seen much success. Here’s a little about what inspired Snider to write the play.
I started off for a year and half as a runner and a bus boy, and was fascinated by the fact that this restaurant kitchen was one of the few places in my life in New York where there was real cross demographic interaction – Will Snider, playwright
Being both a food lover and a fan of theatre, I was thrilled to be seeing How to Use a Knife. The entire play takes place in a New York City restaurant kitchen. It centers around a talented chef who’s hit rock bottom and is looking for a fresh start. Two Guatemalan prep cooks and an African dishwasher also have interesting backstories, we learn as the play progresses.
How to Use a Knife is definitely more dark and full of spicy language than I was expecting. So, don’t walk into the show expecting a comedy about mishaps in the kitchen that restaurant guests never see. It is more about the close relationships that happen and gives a peak into how demanding a restaurant kitchen can be.
While I liked the show overall, I wish there’d been more of a scenery change. The previous play, Nobody Loves You, had several scenery changes, that kept it interesting. Also, I thought the show went overboard on the Rwandan genocide issue and veered too far off from the focus – life in a New York restaurant kitchen.