Oct. 14 2015 03:15 PM

'My Manana Comes' served up at San Diego Rep

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Jorge E. Rodriguez (left) and Edred Utomi in My Manana Comes
Photo by Daren Scott

While the customers at a ritzy Upper East Side restaurant dine on overpriced fare, four busboys living paycheck to paycheck toil with remarkable precision and perseverance behind the scenes. But the teamwork and camaraderie among Peter (Edred Utomi), Whalid (Spencer Smith), Jorge (Jorge E. Rodriguez) and Pepe (Jose Martinez) becomes paranoia, desperation and ultimately worse in Elizabeth Irwin’s penetrating My Manana Comes at the San Diego Repertory Theatre. This one-act play faultlessly directed by Delicia Turner Sonnenberg must be appreciated on two levels: the rigor and meticulousness of the actors playing busboys hard at work, and the personal interactions between them that tell an important story about minimum-wage survival, exploitation of workers and clashing cultures.

Spanish is spoken abundantly during the action (Rodriguez and Martinez portray Mexicans working in the U.S. to better their families’ lives), though the tensions and confidences between the characters should be clear to all. Playwright Irwin has attempted to give each man a backstory, but in a one-act some are more substantial than others. One thing is for certain: Each man has something to cling to and something to lose—a fact no doubt lost on the unseen diners gorging on foie gras.

My Manana Comes runs through Oct. 25 at the San Diego Repertory Theatre, downtown. $39-$47. sdrep.org


Mercedes Ruehl rules on the Old Globe’s Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, portraying Diana Vreeland, the iconic “Empress of Fashion.” The one-woman show Full Gallop, written by Mary Louise Wilson and Mark Hampton, premiered at the Globe 20 years ago and has come full circle. Wilson played the role in ’95. Today it’s Ruehl’s turn, and she’s clearly having a great time channeling a woman who viewed life in rich, vivid color and lived it to the fullest. That said, there’s not much dramatic tension in Full Gallop. Ruehl’s Vreeland drops names, reminisces about society and fashion, and quips up a storm, all while ensconced in a blood-red room furnished with a cozy lounge, rich carpeting, ornate little tables and beaucoup flowers.

Full Gallop doesn’t really gallop anywhere monumental, but Ruehl makes it an enjoyable ride.

Full Gallop runs through Oct. 25 at the Old Globe’s Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre. $29 and up. oldglobe.org


OPENING:

Mary Poppins: The popular musical about a singing, dancing nanny who changes the lives of two children in ‘30s London. Based on the popular Disney movie and presented by J*Company Youth Theatre, it opens Oct. 17 at the David and Dorothea Garfield Theatre in La Jolla.

A Shayna Maidel: A reading of the play by Barbara Lebow about two sisters who are reunited after 16 years. The catch is that one of them has been living comfortably in America and the other has just survived a Nazi concentration camp. Presented by Carlsbad Playreaders, it happens Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the Carlsbad City Library. carlsbadplayreaders.org

Chapatti: The West Coast premiere of the comedy about two Irish animal lovers who cross paths and start to remember the importance of human companionship. Directed by Tony Award-winner Judith Ivey, it opens Oct. 21 at the North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach. northcoastrep.org

NOW PLAYING:

Master Class: Terrance McNally’s acclaimed dramedy about a once-famous opera singer who’s having a hard time adjusting to teaching. Presented by ion Theatre, it runs through Oct. 17 at BLKBOX Theatre in Hillcrest. iontheatre.com

A Night of Dark Intent: A thriller about six women attempting to solve a years-old murder mystery in the very house where the crime was committed. Written by L. Don Swartz, it runs through Oct. 18 at PowPAC in Poway. powpac.org

Master Class: Terrance McNally’s acclaimed dramedy about a once-famous opera singer who’s having a hard time adjusting to teaching. Presented by ion Theatre, it runs through Oct. 17 at BLKBOX Theatre in Hillcrest. iontheatre.com

Cell: A world premiere play about a corrections officer who begins to fraternize with the illegal immigrants she’s supposed to be overseeing. Presented by Mo’olelo Performing Arts Company, it runs through Oct. 18 at the Tenth Avenue Arts Center in the East Village. moolelo.net

The Phantom of the Opera: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical about a masked, disfigured and caped stalker is more lavish than ever thanks to new staging and choreography from Cameron Mackintosh. Presented by Broadway San Diego, it runs through Oct. 18 at the Civic Theatre in the Gaslamp. broadwaysd.com

Thoroughly Modern Millie: A young girl fresh off a Kansas farm taps and flaps her way through ‘20s New York City in this highly popular Broadway musical. It runs through Oct. 18 at the Coronado Playhouse. coronadoplayhouse.com

Healing Wars: A multisensory production that blends dance, spoken word and multimedia in order to explore how soldiers cope with the physical and emotional wounds of war. Presented as the centerpiece production of the upcoming Without Walls Festival, it runs through Oct. 25 at the La Jolla Playhouse. lajollaplayhouse.org

In Your Arms: A world premiere “dance-theatre musical” created by a who’s who of Tony and Pulitzer winning Broadway vets. Directed by Christopher Gattelli, it runs through Oct. 25 at the Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. theoldglobe.org

Full Gallop: Broadway vet Mercedes Ruehl plays a fashion editor scornfully plotting a comeback after being fired from Vogue magazine. It runs through Oct. 25 at the Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. theoldglobe.org

My Mañana Comes: The bond between four busboys at a swanky New York restaurant is tested after a shocking incident. Presented by San Diego Repertory Theatre, it runs through Oct. 25 at the Lyceum Theatre in the Gaslamp. sdrep.org

Orange Julius: The world premiere play from Basil Kreimendahl tells the story of a dying Vietnam vet trying to reconnect with his lesbian daughter. It runs through Oct. 25 at the MOXIE Theatre in the College Area. moxietheatre.com

The Glass Menagerie: Tennessee Williams’ classic play about a Southern family whose lives change forever when a gentleman caller comes to, well, call. It runs through Oct. 31 at the Onstage Playhouse in Chula Vista. onstageplayhouse.info

The Weir: Set in a pub in Ireland, Conor McPherson’s acclaimed play centers on the arrival of a woman to the typically male-heavy bar and the spooky stories the patrons try to tell her. It runs through Nov. 1 at the New Village Arts Theatre in Carlsbad. newvillagearts.org

Hay Fever: Noël Coward’s classic comedy about a retired stage actress, her writer husband, their eccentric children, and a weekend get-together gone awry. Presented by Cygnet Theatre, it runs through Nov. 8 at the Old Town Theatre. cygnettheatre.com

Stage Fright: A film critic is drugged and kidnapped, only to wake up and find the actors he’s disparaged in the past are extracting their revenge. Written by Charles Marowitz, it runs through Nov. 8 at Lamplighter’s Community Theatre in La Mesa. lamplighterslamesa.com

The Vortex: Noël Coward’s scandalous comedy about an aging socialite and her son who are forced to confront some hard truths about themselves when their respective lovers leave them. Presented by Cygnet Theatre, it runs through Nov. 8 at the Old Town Theatre. cygnettheatre.com

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