Could Shakespeare have envisioned our modern world where the taverns and inns of his time would give way to restaurants, where obsessed chefs would live through and create drama rivaling his greatest tragedies and histories? Were he writing today, might he find inspiration from power-mad culinarians fighting for the right to wear the toque and control the kitchen just as kings and queens fought for crown and country in his day? In Stirring the Plot (or The Tragedy of Chef III), the daily grind of restaurant life takes on an Elizabethan heft as rival factions are in an all-out war attempting to gain control of a once-grand restaurant that is now at death's door. Plotting, counter-plotting and endless backstabbing and mayhem play out in the battlefield of the kitchen and dining room as the dramatis personae sling hash and fling verbal venom at each other in rhyming iambic pentameter amidst flagons of alcohol and more drugs than an apothecary could ever fathom. Great men will fall. Weak men will falter. And one young man will find that he was born to greatness when he is transformed by the love of a woman who has disguised herself as a man to survive the sexist and often dangerous domain of the kitchen. Hundreds of years have passed since the time of Shakespeare, but perhaps he would not be surprised by the tempest of the modern restaurant. His plays continue to teach us that one could blend comedy, tragedy, history, romance and oh so many problems in a stew where art, ego, love, ambition, passion and danger are simmering.
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