(Alexis Soloski’s article appeared in The New York Times, 9/4/14.)
In the back of a ritzy Upper East Side restaurant, busboys in black jackets fill breadbaskets, garnish plates, roll napkins and silverware into tidy cylinders. Their gestures are precise, their actions rote. It’s a slog. It’s a dance. It’s a living.
Elizabeth Irwin’s involving, thoughtful “My Mañana Comes,” directed by Chay Yew and produced by the Playwrights Realm, follows four runners during a summer’s brunches and dinners. The assured Peter (Jason Bowen) is Harlem bred; the brash Whalid (Brian Quijada) is Brooklyn born; while the focused Jorge (José Joaquín Pérez) and the flummoxed Pepe (Reza Salazar) are unauthorized workers.
At first the play seems mere anthropology, detailing the morals and mores at the bottom of the food service industry. Having worked together for months and years, these men have formed an edgy camaraderie, ribbing and riding one another, but also covering for each other when court dates and family responsibilities intervene. They’ve even adopted similar slang.