NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A popular Brooklyn restaurant with a brilliant yet volatile chef who sometimes has trouble simmering down: That’s the setting for a sizzling-hot, off-broadway play called “Seared,” written by critically-acclaimed playwright Theresa Rebeck.

Chef Harry is portrayed by four-time Tony nominee Raul Esparza.

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The chef believes his definition of perfection on the menu, and on the balance sheet, is the only one that counts, despite his business partner who is frantically fearful that the chef’s eccentricities are going to close the place.

He’s a character never at a loss for words, and every one of them counts.

(credit: Evan Zimmerman-Murphymade)

Rebeck joined CBSN New York’s Dana Tyler to talk about her creation.

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Though full of fun and humor, the intense play also shows the characters driven to their emotional extremes.

“I’m more interested in how comedy and tragedy, how comedy and drama line up right next to each other,” said Rebeck.

Off-stage, Rebeck’s TV projects include the shows “Smash” and “NYPD Blue,” and in 2021 her screenplay for the spy film “355” will tap actors Jessica Chastain, Penelope Cruz and Lupita Nyongo.

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The play “Seared” is at the MCC Theater at 511 West 52nd Street, through Dec. 22.