A Pesto Play by Dallas Roberts

He's crafted a delicious dramedy.
He’s crafted a delicious dramedy. Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Grub Street caught up with Dallas Roberts over at the opening night of Relatively Speaking, where Roberts was daydreaming about his own one-act play: an homage to pesto. Naturally, Roberts would play the lead, with Bobby Cannavale as “the cop,” and “you’d need a movie star to be the girl, so … Elaine Stritch.” It would go something like this …

All right. It’s two people, it’s a couple, and they want to go get pesto; they’re going to make dinner, and they need pesto, but they’re in Brooklyn. So they’re going for pesto — they’ve got everything else, you know, the pasta — and so they’re walking for the pesto, but it’s hard to find pesto necessarily, so they go into the Met Foods and there’s no pesto, and then they go to the other place and there’s no pesto. But every time they ask, “Do you have pesto?” They go, “What’s pesto?” And they go, “It’s pine nuts and olive oil and basil,” and no one has it. No one has it. Finally, they walk into this just bodega, just a proper shit bodega, but nothing’s on the shelves, there’s, like, a can of Dinty Moore, and that’s it. And they say, “Do you have pesto?” and the guy’s, like, “What’s pesto?” And he goes, “You know, it’s olive oil, basil and pine nuts.” And then — [makes siren sound, motions flashing lights with hands] — cops roll up, because this place is not a bodega, it sells drugs, which is why there’s nothing on the shelves, and they think this is what’s going on. So they put them up against the wall, he and his girlfriend, throw them up against the wall, and they say, “What’s going on?” And he goes, “You’ve got the wrong guy, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah. We were just here buying pesto.” You know New York cops, they were like, “You were trying to buy pesto in a bodega? Impossible.” So, as it ends, they release them from the security, and they’re allowed to go, and as they’re walking away, the cop goes, “No, no, everything’s cool, they just wanted to buy pesto.” And over the air you hear the other cop go, “What’s pesto?” And he goes, “You know, basil, pine nuts, olive oil.


A Pesto Play by Dallas Roberts