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'Pig: A Restaurant' Humorously Skewers Foodie Culture

Lauren Conlin Adams plays several characters in 'Pig: A Restaurant,' including this crazed chef. (Photo: Sara Gainer)
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Writer Leila Cohan-Miccio, a former Grub Street Boston editor, mixes up comedy and the restaurant biz in her latest one-act play, Pig: A Restaurant. The show, which skewers foodie culture and its eclectic cast of characters, made its hilarious LA debut on Thursday night at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.

Lauren Conlin Adams stars in the one-woman show, playing several characters involved in the opening of a new Brooklyn hotspot, a pork-themed restaurant. The show opens with a big-screen projection of the website for Pig: A Restaurant. We hear an unseen web surfer get frustrated because of the site’s flash-based opening; the pages taking too long to load; and the complexity of trying to find a damn dinner menu on the site. The only thing missing from the opening was a downloadable PDF of a menu. (We love those, don’t you?)

We first see Adams on stage taking on the persona of Top Chef semifinalist Annie, giving the restaurant’s team a pep talk before the opening night party. With inspiration like “None of you staff assholes are going to f*ck that up for me,” what could possibly go wrong? She quizzes them on drinks, too. What’s the Brooklyn? When no one responds, she impatiently answers, “A Brooklyn is a Manhattan you drink in Brooklyn.” We loved that line, and there were plenty more jokes peppered throughout the short monologues.

Obviously, Annie is a Top Bitch, too, and she rules with an iron fist in the restaurant. When it comes to the menu, it’s her way or the highway, so food offerings are all about the pork, bacon, pork belly and things rendered in schmaltz.

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Other characters include the owner who is embroiled in constant conflict with her head chef about the pork-items-only menu (especially since her in-laws keep kosher); a ditzy model/actress/hostess who can’t find the name “Thomas Keller” on the guest list; ; the bossy PR rep (shocker!) who tries to direct the press and the people Tweeting in the crowd. “Feel free to re-tweet without comment,” she says. Or check out “Pig: A Tumblr” for Pig: A Restaurant.”

We also get to spend time with a sellout bad-boy chef who now shills Diet Cherry Dr Pepper; a food critic in a conspicuously big hat, whose libido matches her food appetite; and a Brooklyn rooftop “farmer” who uses manure of questionable origin.

In the span of about 30 minutes, Pig: A Restaurant slices and dices through the pretentiousness of the food scene. And while we didn’t get all of the New York-centric nuances (maybe an LA version is in order?), the humor does translate well on the left coast. We guess it’s because a-holes are a-holes everywhere. And everyone loves bacon.

Pig: A Restaurant
plays once more at UCB on Thursday (Feb. 2) at 7 pm. Tickets: $5, and also includes the show Mike Still: Dictator for Life.