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Qaddafi's Cook (FringeNYC)

From 3 critic and 12 member reviews
Members say: Great acting, Original, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Clever

About the show

Part of FringeNYC: Based on true events. A young chef goes from running top after-hours Mexico City nightspots to running for his life from the bloodiest foodie in the world, Libyan Dictator Muammar Qaddafi; a chef’s-eye view of a regime’s methods and madness. More…

Categories: Drama, National. From Bons Tempos. Written by Lance Belville & Carlos Ambrosi. Directed by Lynn Lohr.

Eat like a dictator. Taste the ideas. The show is a unique theatre experience as food helps describe the methods and madness of the brutal Qaddafi dictatorship. The young Mexican chef did the cooking as though his life depended on it, as it did. Along the way, audience members savor dishes Qaddafi loved or rejected. The audience is enmeshed in a sensory experience, literally sensing ideas.

The show was developed in collaboration between veteran playwright, Lance Belville and chef Carlos Ambrosi.


"Sous chef Fredy (Alvaro Flores) adds action and engaging commentary to investigator Paula Madrigal's expressive reading of his boss Sergio's supposed diary of their month-or-so remunerative captivity as Qaddafi's Mexican components of his cooking team...Under Lynn Lohr's masterful direction, Madrigal has the audience on the edge of their seats by the point in the diary when it seems the pair can gracefully exit the country." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"If the purpose of food is a metaphor for Qaddafi’s terror, and its existence is to make that connection more real for those in the audience, then how everyone relates to it on a sensory level should be better executed. Still, 'Qaddafi’s Cook' is beautifully done and a triumph of minimalism and immersive theater. It is equal parts intense, charming, and, like any good meal, satisfying." Full Review

San Diego Free Press

for a previous production "A powerful piece of theatre…An extraordinary play about cooking and politics…Paola Madrigal was specifically chosen for the role because of the Outstanding Actress Award from last year’s SDIFF. Of the same caliber is Alvaro Flores trained in London as an actor and a mime in France–one can tell by the way he moves across the stage. They deliver great performances…Do not miss this fine performance." Full Review

Delightful, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You value your life

Don't see it if You dont appreciate art

Edgy, Original, Ambitious, Great acting, Clever

See it if You like food You are interested in politics You like a story based on a real anecdote Interested in what happen to Qaddafi's chef

Don't see it if You like action You like staging You like a big production Don't like narrative Don't like voice over Don't like to imagine things

Resonant, Quirky, Absorbing

See it if You are interested in Qaddafi, cooking, life of dictators. Shows that give serious subjects comedic overlays​

Don't see it if If you're looking for something happy. If you really need a comfortable, cool theater

Confusing, Disappointing

See it if you don't mind a well-intentioned but poorly executed show where many lines are delivered in a hard-to-follow accent

Don't see it if you do mind a well-intentioned but poorly executed show where many lines are delivered in a hard-to-follow accent

Delightful, Absorbing

See it if genius comic acting, delightful writing, unique, and political

Don't see it if you need a clear, light story


See it if you want to see a good actor - Alvaro Flores- work his heart out to bring energy, character & skill to a role & really engage an audience

Don't see it if you have a short attention span. This could be really absorbing & interesting as a radio play but did not lend itself well to live theatre

Ambitious, Quirky, Thought-provoking, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy a unique take on history

Don't see it if You have a bean allergy

Original, Great acting, Funny, Entertaining, Clever

See it if You like food, politics, danger

Don't see it if You have a fear of dictators

Original, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy good theatre with an original storyline, clever writing and talented actors

Don't see it if You don't want to be entertained, amused or challenged

Intelligent, Original, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Great acting

See it if an original take on a dictator interests you; you appreciate fine performances by promising young actors; intelligent writing appeals to you

Don't see it if you expect something conventional; you're looking for sophisticated sets and props over substance; you expect a large cast of characters

Funny, Original, Clever

See it if You like focused studies of a very small # of characters, small & simple settings where the 4th wall is constantly scratched on.

Don't see it if You don't like watermelon

Tasty, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Edgy, Great acting

See it if you have an interest in historical, topical drama, an interest in food, or both!

Don't see it if You like productions with a lot of production value. If you haven't eaten dinner yet.