Regional Reviews: Seattle
My Mañana Comes
The four-person kitchen staff of a pricy Manhattan eatery are a funny and passionate lot in this character driven piece. But Whalid, Jorge, Pepe, and Peter are essentially going nowhere fast, despite their tall hopes and big dreams. Irwin's script is headed in all the right directions, but at this point still felt like what might have been "a very special episode" of a TV dramedy called "Behind the Grill." It needs to be fleshed out more and, though it now clocks in at a tidy and intermission-less 90 minutes, might benefit from being longer, if that results in richer details about the lives of these working poor stiffs.
Standing out in the cast is Tyler Trerise in the central role of Peter, intense and intensely relatable and as a four year vet of the place, clearly ready to move on. Peter being an African American, whereas the three others are Mexican-American, creates a dynamic among the characters that Trerise plays out handsomely. This is not to say the other three actors do not contribute a lot; and they all are essential to the production rising above the play. As Pepe, Chris Rodriguez is humorous and beguiling as the recent Juarez immigrant with high hopes and unfettered optimism. Whalid is portrayed by Joshua Chessin-Yuden with a well realized air of Brooklyn-born brashness, and Santino Garcia as Jorge is subtly compelling as the newest worker, but hoping his EMT studies payoff in a better life. Director Mathew Wright knits the quartet together quite cohesively as the tensions rise with managerial machinations and pay cuts causing discontent.
Beyond Yuen's set being the most stunning and accomplished realistic set and an all-time high for ArtsWest Playhouse, it is also the best set of 2015 on a Seattle stage, period, and is complemented well by Ryan Dunn's adroit lighting design, and Kelsey Roger's spot-on costume designs.
My Mañana Comes is getting multiple productions nationwide, and this Seattle staging clearly shows both its appeal and shortcomings. But with the production itself being so accomplished I must reward their effort with my GTG (Good Thing Going) 3 stars rating.
My Mañana Comes plays at ArtsWest Theatre (4711 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116) through November 22, 2015. Wednesdays - Saturdays at 7:30pm, Sundays at 3pm from October 29 - November 22. Tickets are $30 - 37.50 standard, $30 - $33 seniors (65+), and $17 students, and may be purchased over the phone (206-938-0339), at www.artswest.org, or at the box office.- David Edward Hughes