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Two homeless beggars meet on the streets of New York in the winter of 1870. One is a handicapped Irish Civil War veteran with a low self-esteem trying to find something in life to hang on to; the other a confident, well-educated former slave trying to make the most of his considerable potential as an accomplished chef. An exploration of the two men's lives is augmented by images brought to life through the magic of the ex-slave's cooking. During the course of this exploration, and subsequent events, it becomes apparent that the veteran has emerged from the war half slave and the slave only half free. Rather than a historic drama, the play comments on the present (often in humorous or absurd tones) through parallels between the 1870s and current issues: homelessness, growing extremes of wealth and poverty, corporate greed, a recent controversial war, and racial/ethnic prejudices.