The creative minds at Faena Theater, the dramatic cornerstone of the arts-driven Faena Hotel Miami Beach, have reinvented the concept of “dinner theater” with The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover. Produced by hotelier Alan Faena in collaboration with Amanda Ghost and James Orange of Unigram Theatrical, this adaptation of the 1989 film of the same name brings audience members into the action, inviting them to dine at a fictional restaurant as the drama unfolds around them.
You too can dine with The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, with showtimes scheduled for Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 7 p.m. Does it warrant a trip to Miami Beach? We think so, and we’re spotlighting five reasons why.
- The Food: The show takes place inside the make-believe Le Hollandais Restaurant, but the food is very real and absolutely delicious. James Beard Award–winning Miami chef Michelle Bernstein crafted a menu that fuses her South Florida flair with 1980s culinary trends of overindulgence and refined continental fare. A vegan/gluten-free menu is also available.
- The Story: Using director Peter Greenaway’s film as a jumping-off point, The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover starts as an evening of fine dining and unravels into a vicious lovers’ quarrel. It all revolves around the restaurant’s owner, a deplorable hothead named Albert, and his wife, Georgina, who has been cheating with a book-smart pretty boy.
- The Music: The entire evening is underscored by live music. A small ensemble pounds out electrifying renditions of late 1970s and 1980s hits such as “Addicted to Love,” “Hot Stuff,” and “Maniac,” so you’re bound to leave with earworms aplenty. The production also features a new song by ’80s icon Boy George.
- The Acting: Not only are the principal performers quite compelling, but the supporting cast portraying the restaurant staff is truly stellar. They do the heavy lifting as far as improvising with the audience goes, and they also serve up memorable solo performances of songs like Fleetwood Mac’s “Everywhere” and Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now.”
- The Setting: The Faena Theater is next to none. Alan Faena’s dream of European grandeur and Miami sex appeal is opulently apparent across the 3,000-square-foot space, which has been reconfigured into a dimly lit yet visually lush restaurant. The best part is the play occurs all around you, meaning some lucky diners even become part of the cast.