In the mile-a-minute, can’t-stop-for-a-second world that is Westport today, Play With Your Food stands out.
For nearly 20 years, a lunchtime program — the deliciously named Play With Your Food — has combined a gourmet lunch, professional readings of intriguing plays, and stimulating post-performance discussion.
It’s fun, low-key, under the radar.
But when the season kicks off this year, a very big Broadway name will share the bill.
Stephen Schwartz — the multi-Grammy, Oscar and Tony winning composer (“Wicked,” “Pippin,” “Godspell”) — will entertain at “A Moveable Feast of Theater 2.0.” The benefit supports the not-for-profit Play With Your Food.
In addition to Schwartz’s cabaret performance (for sponsor ticket holders only), 4 one-act plays will take place throughout a private Westport home. There’s also food from AMG Catering, and cocktails from Tito’s Vodka.
Schwartz does not do these things lightly. But he’s a longtime friend of Play With Your Food artistic director Carole Schweid. They met early in their carers, when she appeared in the national tour of “Pippin.”
Later, Schweid realized that Westport-based actress Stacie Lewis — a Play With Your Food fan favorite — had starred as Glinda in the Chicago production of “Wicked.”
Lewis is part of the “Moveable Feast” cast too. She’ll be joined by 9 other Play With Your Food actors, who will perform those comic short plays in “site-specific surroundings” throughout the house.
The full Play With Your Food season opens January 7, and runs through April. Live lunchtime performances are planned for Toquet Hall, Fairfield Theatre Company, the Greenwich Arts Council and Rye Arts Center.
Lunches — catered by local restaurants — are followed by 1-act scripted plays performed by professional actors. Many are recognizable from TV, film or theater. The talkback includes the cast and director — sometimes even the playwright.
It’s a great series. Scoring Stephen Schwartz for the gala fundraiser is just icing on the cake.
(“A Moveable Feast 2.0” is set for Sunday, October 20. The location will be revealed to ticket holders only. The sponsor ticket cabaret with Stephen Schwartz begins at 3 p.m.; the main theater event starts at 4. For tickets and more information, click here or call 203-293-8729.)