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Dinner with a healthy helping of comedy and a side order of mystery

February 12, 2010

Published by Metro

> ‘Hell of a Kitchen’ is one heck of a good time > Not only makes fun of TV chefs, but lets the audience in on the act too

In “Hell of a Kitchen,” three TV chef personalities — Robby Filet, Merrill La Gasseous and Marta Stewing — compete for ultimate superiority.

Challenge host Rae-Rae Ray introduces the contestants: Filet, “the most iron of iron chefs,” Merrill — BAM! — a New Bedford native, and Stewing “a woman, who has made every single woman in American say to themselves “yes, I could do that – if I didn’t have a husband, a job, three kids, two dogs…’”

What begins as a competition between famous chef counterparts turns into a murder mystery after one contestant is brutally murdered mid-challenge. Spectators not only watch the drama unfold, but also take part in questioning the suspects.

Though audience members deem the dinner theater’s banquet-style food unremarkable, comically enthusiastic actors keep the show running.

“It’s interactive, people get to play with the actors,” says Frank Hauser, writer and stage manager of the Mystery Café company production.

Hauser’s script leaves room for improvisation — while an energetic crowd demands it.
“People yell stuff out,” says Hauser. “You can’t help but react.”

Photo by Kevin Sheehan
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