It's a pretty universal experience to work with a huge asshole who is unfortunately great at their job; Seared captures this experience perfectly.
Harry, played by Raúl Esparza is the nightmare chef who creates magical dishes, and then refuses to cook them again when they receive a good review. He seeks out only the finest ingredients and constantly claims the ones he's given are subpar.
His business partner Mike, played by David Mason, is at his wits end. The restaurant is on shaky financial ground and is likely to close if they don't generate more revenue.
Rodney, played by W. Tré Davis, is their innocent waiter. He's just trying to get by in this restaurant, and is constantly taking notes from both Harry and Mike about how to run it.
This is all shaken up when Emily, played by Krysta Rodriguez, meets with Mike to help fix the restaurant.
The plot here is pretty straightforward, theres a massive fight involving Harry and the restaurant is saved. The thing that makes this play so interesting is the constant tension you feel on stage.
All of the characters move at a mile a minute and this rapid pace makes it hard to predict what's going to happen next, because you're just trying to keep up. The kitchen choreography here is next level. There are entire scenes where Harry is just cooking in silence and the entire audience is mesmerized like they're watching a dance number in a musical.
Even better, they are actually cooking food on stage and you can smell it from the audience. This makes this show incredibly immersive.
I walked out of this show with such a strong visceral reaction towards Harry. There's a scene where he's asked to make a new recipe they can serve regularly and he includes wild salmon in the list of ingredients. This is a nightmare to procure and he knows it.
I hated this man, because I've met him. Especially in tech, you see a lot of "brilliant assholes" who are very good at writing code, but terrible to work with. Harry is the archetype of this.
I loved Emily as the disruption to the status quo. She knows how a restaurant should be run and takes none of Harry's shit. Even better, she knows how to deal with someone like him. One of my favorite lines in the show comes from her, doesn't the fact that he think he's so special, make him less special?
Mike seems consistently on the right side of the argument. He's constantly bullied by Harry and tip toes around him. I empathize with him because situations like this are so hard to navigate in real life.
And poor Rodney. This kid is just trying to work his day-job and he's stuck dealing with all the drama. He's the innocent one and just wants to learn. In the final scene when Harry storms out, we're not surprised that Rodney is able to cover for him.
Definitely check out this play while it's running at MCC. You'll see bits of your own life on stage.