I have a day job that allows me to see tons of awesome Broadway and off-Broadway shows. I feel pretty spoiled, truth be told. This past weekend, Dan and I saw a matinee performance of Dead Accounts with Katie Holmes and Tony Award winner Norbert Leo Butz. Holmes and Butz play a Midwestern brother and sister who eat a ton of food on stage.
OK, OK. There's way more to it than that. They're dealing with divorce, their father's illness, and the embezzlement of $27 million. But I promise you: even if Butz gives a performance that makes you think "so that's why he won a Tony," your most significant takeaway from this show will be lots and lots of cravings. Throughout the show, they're eating, eating eating and talking about Cincinnati's culinary delicacies. I wouldn't be surprised if they've each gained like at least five pounds from this gig.
The lights go up, and they're digging into pints upon pints of Graeter's ice cream. Have you heard of Graeter's? I hadn't, but Jack (Butz), who spent the past few years working in finance in Manhattan, sits there with his sister cursing NYC's fancy gelato shops and stuffing his face with the most sublime-sounding scoops of chunky ice cream. It's native to Cincinnati, we learn, and incomparable to anything you've ever tasted before. The pints return throughout the show, a tease.
Then the dialogue slips in "did you know they ship this stuff?" YES. I may not have to go to Ohio after all!
And then they start eating cheese coneys. WHAT?! I actually had to Google this at intermission. From the rear orchestra, it looked hot dog-shaped, but I couldn't be sure. What, exactly, made it "cheesy," I wondered. I needed to know more.
It's a hot dog. In a steamed bun. With raw onions, chili and tons of cheese on top. Basically, all of the ingredients that my dreams are made of. Something made this cheese coney sound like more than just a chili cheese dog; the kind of thing you can't really replicate outside of the motherland. Dan and I went straight to the grocery store and bought hot dogs for dinner. The craving was that intense.
So it looks like Cincinatti might be our next road trip. Was this play produced by their tourism board or something?