From left, Caleb Cabrera, Eric Avilés, Carlos Jose Gonzalez Morales and Shaun Patrick Tubbs appear in Marin Theatre Company’s Bay Area premiere of “My Mañana Comes.” (Courtesy Kevin Berne)

From left, Caleb Cabrera, Eric Avilés, Carlos Jose Gonzalez Morales and Shaun Patrick Tubbs appear in Marin Theatre Company’s Bay Area premiere of “My Mañana Comes.” (Courtesy Kevin Berne)

Busboys’ work-a-day world comes to light in ‘My Mañana Comes’

Elizabeth Irwin’s “My Mañana Comes” brings to light what goes on behind the scenes at a high-class Manhattan eatery. And it ends with a big, effective jolt that clearly illustrates the playwright’s points about injustices facing minority workers who earn pitifully substandard wages.

Yet the journey along the way in Marin Theatre Company’s local premiere of the 90-minute dramedy, which takes place on various days over a week in the work routine of four low-paid busboys, sometimes feels forced.

These guys — two are undocumented Mexicans, one is a Latino American who jokes that he didn’t realize he is Mexican, and one is black — are perhaps a little too showy and a little too articulate. Irwin’s intermittently sociological dialogue supplies more exposition than action, and, particularly for the first portion of the show, Kirsten Brandt’s direction has the worker looking more like they’re lecturing, or performing onstage, than hustling in a hot kitchen. (The realistic set design is by Sean Fanning.)

Granted, some of the scenes have the characters at the end of a shift, or between shifts, providing them the opportunity to jaw about their lives. (Still, it seems as through they’re putting on and taking off their uniforms more than actually working.)

Peter, the experienced ringleader, is proud to be a busboy, of knowing the right way to do things and showing his fellow workers. With a sometimes difficult girlfriend, and young daughter to care for, he complains when can’t maximize his earnings because he’s not scheduled for the busiest shifts. And when he tells his coworkers about the $100 ticket he got for jumping a fare gate to catch his train, we really feel his pain. Shaun Patrick Tubbs is animated and righteous in the show’s best-written role.

Jorge (Eric Aviles) is the quiet, steady, mature fellow who shows up for work, does his job and saves his money for the day he can return to Mexico. The fast-talking, less dedicated Whalid (Caleb Cabrera) even needles him for staying at the job for four years, and banking $30,000. Whalid, whose longer term plans don’t include kitchen work, is in pursuit of a salaried gig as an EMT; he even brings his textbook to the pantry and practices on his colleagues.

Pepe (Carlos Jose Gonzalez Morales), on the other hand, has no plans beyond enjoying a beer or two, and saving just enough money to bring his brother from Mexico to the U.S.

In the end, the contrasting plights of all four come to the fore, quite dramatically, as they face the reality of wage cuts. When real life at last kicks in, “My Mañana Comes” packs a punch.

REVIEW
My Mañana Comes
Where: Marin Theatre Company, 397 Miller Ave., Mill Valley
When: Tuesdays through Sundays; closes Nov. 22
Tickets: $10 to $58
Contact: (415) 388-5208, www.marinheatre.org

Caleb CabreraCarlos Jose Gonzalez MoralesElizabeth IrwinEric AvilésKirsten BrandtMarin Theatre CompanyMy Mañana ComesShaun Patrick Tubbs

Just Posted

A collaborative workspace for a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) in Coordinape is pictured at a recent blockchain meet up at Atlas Cafe. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Business without bosses: San Francisco innovators battle bureaucracy with blockchain

‘The next generation will work for three DAOs at the same time’

Plan Bay Area 2050 is an expansive plan guiding the region’s growth and development over the next three decades. The regional plan addresses progressive policy priorities like a universal basic income and a region-wide rent cap, alongside massive new spending on affordable housing and transportation infrastructure. (Shutterstock)
Plan Bay Area 2050: Analyzing an extensive regional plan that covers the next 30 years

Here are the big ticket proposals in the $1.4 trillion proposal

Pregnant women are in the high-risk category currently prioritized for booster shots in San Francisco. (Unai Huizi/Shutterstock)
What pregnant women need to know about COVID and booster shots

Inoculations for immunosuppressed individuals are recommended in the second trimester

Examiner reporter Ben Schneider drives an Arcimoto Fun Utility Vehicle along Beach Street in Fisherman’s Wharf on Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Could San Francisco’s tiny tourist cruisers become the cars of the future?

‘Fun Utility Vehicles’ have arrived in The City

Most Read