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Sinner's dinner

Posted by Devra First  December 10, 2009 01:59 PM

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Perhaps you've heard of O.N.C.E., randomly scheduled One Night Culinary Events (a.k.a. dinner parties) hosted by locavore cooking brigade Cuisine En Locale. They can take place anywhere, with any theme. (A recent Halloween dinner, "O.N.C.E. Upon a Midnight Dreary," featured bugs, among other possibly squeam-inducing ingredients. It should be noted that this is a departure from usual menus.)

The next O.N.C.E. takes place at Oberon, the American Repertory Theatre's club/theater in Harvard Square. "O.N.C.E. in Hell: Dante's Inferno in Ten Courses" is a culinary and theatrical interpretation of Dante Alighieri's "Divine Comedy."
 once.jpgWhat exactly does this mean? It is dinner theater, more literally than usual: a show and a meal that intertwine, the script and menu written in tandem. Ten courses of locally sourced food (think oysters, pork ribs, lobster, and root vegetables) will take you through Purgatory to the stars. There will be actors. There will be waiters. There will be tango dancers, a sitar player, and an aerialist. There will be dishes that interpret lust, gluttony, wrath, avarice, and other sinful stuff. And after all that there will be a dance party. It's like "Sleep No More," but with food.

Sounds awfully intriguing, no? Dante's text is a rich one to explore, and I'm extremely curious to see how this plays out on the table. Detail are above: $80, 6 p.m., Dec. 15-17. If you go, let us know what you think.
About Dishing

What's cooking in the world of food.


Sheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.

Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.

Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.

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