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Dinner Theater: A Play Skewering Foodies Comes to Downtown L.A.

(Photo courtesy of "Fishing")
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By Jamie Wetherbe

A comedy that skewers foodies -- not food -- will make its L.A. debut at the Archway Theatre next Thursday, August 23rd for a four-week run.

“Fishing,” by Los Angeles playwright and food writer David Duman pokes fun at the industry's blurred lines between food and sex, work and relationships though its main characters -- a caustic chef and his apathetic manager who are attempting to keep a trendy new restaurant afloat.

"It's a satire about how food can replace romance in relationships, especially in foodie culture," says Duman.

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Duman knows a thing or two about the industry he's serving on stage: A self-avowed food lover, he worked as a waiter at the upscale Sea Salt Restaurant in Berkeley and is a regular food and wine contributor to the Satellite Show pop culture blog and the Huffington Post.

"Kitchens are such exciting and hilarious worlds. The play makes fun of the idiosyncrasies of folks who obsess over organic cuisine and specific farms," says Duman, adding that he followed the sustainable food trend from the Bay area to its Los Angeles incarnation.

"Fishing" premiered in San Francisco in 2010, and Duman was eying the Archway, which sits near Arts District mainstays like Church & State and Wurstkuche for the Los Angeles run. "There are a dozen restaurants within six blocks of the theater," says Duman. "It was the perfect spot."

Directed by David Marmor, the play features Clayton Farris, Liz Heathcoat, Christopher W. Jones, Chase McKenna, Peter James Smith and Shani Tennyson.

Duman’s playwriting credits include "Five Short Episodes in the Life of Sacagawea" at the San Francisco Theatre Festival and "Lobsters in a Pot," which won the Audience Choice award at the 826 Valencia 10-Minute Play Festival at Amnesia in San Francisco.

Aug. 23-Sept. 22. Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m. $20. 213-237-9933. Visit their site for further details and ticketing information.