by Edward Precht. @pertoltprecht.
NEW YORK, NY - Would you like some Trigorin with that shake? Times Square’s Stardust Diner, most famous for their bubbly wait staff that sings to you while you eat, has announced today that their employees will instead start performing full monologues from the works of dead Russian playwright Anton Chekhov.
“People were getting tired of the whole ‘song-and-dance’ schtick,” said Alex Stundt, new owner of the diner and recent graduate of Juilliard. “As I learned at Juilliard, where I went to school, musical theatre is the way of the past. The best way to bring Stardust Diner into the 21st Century is by performing dusty works from the 19th Century.”
Behind him, a waitress playing Madame Ranyevskaya tearfully bemoans the loss of her beloved cherry orchard brought on by the emancipation of the serfs while also jotting down her table’s order of disco fries and blueberry pancakes.
“It’s not just the main ones,” adds Stundt. “We’re doing deep cuts. If you don’t fucking think we’ve got stuff from Tatiana Repina or On the Harmful Effects of Tobacco, well then there’s the goddamn door.”
On one side of the restaurant, a customer is being chased by a pistol-wielding Sonya Serebryakova, while on the other, butler Firs resigns himself to die upon a plate Cha-Cha Nachos. The staff reaction as been mixed.
“I used to love signing songs from Urinetown to my tables,” notes waiter Brandon Hum, whose been working at the Stardust since 2015. “It was tough having to learn a full, 8-minute monologue from The Seagull and it really adds a lot of time to my shift. I also don’t get nearly as many tips, but hey, art is pain and pain is art and we are working at a fun diner,” he added before pouring himself a shot of vodka to get back into character.
Overall, customer response has been less-than-friendly.
“Whatever happened to the good old days of almost getting hit in the face by a shoe as seven actors danced across your table singing La Vie Boheme, all while you’re trying to enjoy an overpriced burger?” asked Mary Neuston, 43. “The old Stardust was fun. This feels cold and dark, and like I’m watching a senior acting showcase at Juilliard or something,” she added before settling in to the second act of the night’s specials.
This announcement coincides with the release of Stardust’s long-awaited new menu item: Gun, which, once brought out, must be used before the end of the meal.