A Taste of the American Dream: “My Mañana Comes”
Article by Sherehe Hollins
The San Diego REP celebrated its 290th production with, “My Mañana Comes” by Elizabeth Irwin, a play that shared the complexities, trials, and challenges of four busboys in a bustling New York City restaurant. The play told the stories of two undocumented immigrants, and two American citizens, grappling with the harsh realities that often come along with striving for the American Dream.
The hopes and aspirations of Peter, Jorge, Whalid and Pepe were told with wit, humor and charm, as each character sought to make a way for themselves in an industry characterized by menial jobs, mistreatment and minimum wage. Their stories, as told by playwright Elizabeth Irwin, came to life on stage through a joyful and sorrowful recount of voices oftentimes overlooked by those who occupy the front-of-house.
The play was set in the back-of-house of a fine dining restaurant, allowing audiences to take an intimate glimpse inside the lives of four struggling yet determined men. The constant song and dance of folding linens, slicing lemons, and scrubbing dishes, while running plates like clockwork, revealed the laborious work that happens in restaurants across cities. The characters in “My Mañana Comes” represented the countless hardworking hands whose labor serves a nation.
The thoughtful and provocative play, directed by Delicia Turner Sonnenberg, was the second production for the San Diego REP’s 40th season. The play supported the REP’s desire to “give a forum for the many voices of (the San Diego) region”, by showcasing a play created by a Latina playwright, produced by an African American woman and starring one African American and three Latino actors.
“My Mañana Comes” creatively crafted a story that explored issues of cultural invisibility, immigration, and economic inequity. The play revealed how these interwoven complex issues threatened to divide a brotherhood of men whose commonalities were far greater than the differences that divided them. The show closes tonight but for those who were able to see it, it’s message will reverberate for a much longer. For more information about the San Diego REPertory Theatre’s 40th season visit: www.sdrep.org