Lawrence Stallings, Pablo Castelblanco, Richard Azurdia, Peter Pasco
The Fountain Theatre has been honored with three Ovation Award nominations for its Los Angeles Premiere of My Mañana Comes by Elizabeth Irwin. Directed by Armando Molina, the fast-paced comedy/drama about four busboys in the kitchen of an upscale restaurant drew rave reviews. The talented cast featured Richard Azurdia, Pablo Castelblanco, Peter Pasco and Lawrence Stallings.
The Ovation Awards are the only peer-judged theatre awards in Los Angeles, created to recognize excellence in theatrical performance, production and design in the Greater Los Angeles area.
The Fountain Theatre production of My Mañana Comes has received the following nominations:
Best Production of a Play
Best Acting Ensemble of a Play – Richard Azurdia, Pablo Castelblanco, Peter Pasco and Lawrence Stallings
Best Scenic Design – Michael Navarro
For the 2015/16 Ovation Awards voting season, there were 280 productions registered from 116 different organizations, resulting in nominations for 70 productions from 45 organizations. These productions were voted on by 233 Ovation Awards voters — vetted individuals from the Greater Los Angeles area who are working theatre professionals.
The 27th Annual LA STAGE Alliance Ovation Awards will occur on Tuesday, January 17, 2017 at The Ahmanson Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles. More info
Lawrence Stallings, Pablo Castelblanco, Richard Azurdia, Peter Pasco
by Victoria Montecillo
Last weekend, I got to watch our production of My Mañana Comes on its closing weekend. It’s three days later, and I’m still thinking about it. After hearing about the show and the kind of work that the Fountain produces from Stephen Sachs and Barbara Goodhill, I was eager to see the work in action. I knew that the show was about four busboys in a high-end restaurant, and that the show would touch on issues surrounding immigration and fair pay, but I was otherwise walking in with no expectations of what I was about to see.
Playwright Elizabeth Irwin
One of the first things that captured me within the first couple of scenes was the reality of it all. I knew the playwright was a woman, and I was stunned at her ability to capture the conversations between these young men so well. I could feel each unique voice and personality from the four characters, which only made the story even more riveting.
I felt like this play really sneaks up on you, in the best way possible. For a while, it’s just four guys working in a kitchen trying to make ends meet, teasing each other, and sharing their lives with one another. And in the next moment, you’re suddenly aware of how much you care about each of these men. They’re each dealing with their own set of challenges, and you can feel yourself rooting for them. And suddenly you’re watching these characters you care about struggling to fight for equal pay, providing for their families, and maintaining their friendships with each other.
As a theatre geek, I have to say that I have a soft spot for powerful pieces of theatre that don’t have a happy ending. They end, instead, by giving the audience something to think about, and with the gut-wrenching realization that theatre is, in fact, an avenue for real stories about real people. Perhaps after the show that I saw, the actors all came out smiling and ready to answer all of our questions and discuss the piece in an illuminating and inspiring talkback, but stories like that don’t always end that way. This piece, and the incredible actors in the cast, were telling a much bigger story of real struggle.
On top of all of that, the audience gets to witness all of this unfold in the Fountain’s cozy, 78-seat theatre. Their space made us feel like we were all apart of this story, and part of the action. Seeing this particular piece in such a small space helped me realize how effective it can be to tell stories in a smaller space, where there seems to be no separation or distance between the performers and the audience. Everything is shared, and that makes the experience all the more powerful.
Pablo Castelblanco and Peter Pasco
Another thing I really appreciated about this production was how well it brought to light very specific perspectives within cultural identity. In the talkback with the cast after the show, which was moderated by Stephen Sachs, an audience member praised actor Peter Pasco for his portrayal of Whalid, a young Mexican-American man with no claim to his own heritage. Pasco responded to the audience member, expressing the difficulty that many first-generation and second-generation Americans have with the culture of their families, especially when visiting their “home countries”. As I clearly remember him explaining his own experiences in relation to Whalid’s in the talkback, “When I’m here in the United States, everyone sees me as Peruvian, even though I feel that I’m American. But when I’m in Peru visiting my family, I don’t feel like a Peruvian at all.” His words deeply resonated with me, as a first-generation Filipino-American. Getting to see a character like that onstage, as well as hearing the actor speak about it so eloquently afterwards, was a very special feeling.
It was sad to see such a beautiful piece as My Mañana Comes in its closing weekend, but I felt lucky to be apart of one of the many audiences that got to see such a powerful piece at the Fountain, with an unbelievable cast bringing such an important story to life. One of the most inspiring things to see after the show was all of the people in the audience who were clearly so moved by the performance; there was one woman behind me who clearly wanted to express her gratitude to the actors for sharing such an important story, but she was far too overcome with emotion. There were countless people around me who made a point of thanking the actors and the Fountain Theatre for bringing such an important and relevant piece to audiences in this community, and I was again reminded of the magic and power of live theatre, and all it can do to bring communities together through art and storytelling.
After earning rave reviews, an Ovation Recommendation, recognition from the Fringe Festival and strong audience response, our Los Angeles Premiere of My Mañana Comes completed its glorious 11-week run on Sunday afternoon. The sold-out final performance was followed by a joyous catered reception.
Written by Elizabeth Irwin and directed by Armando Molina, the play brought to life the friendship and conflict between four busboys working in an upscale restaurant. The fabulous cast featured Richard Azurdia, Pablo Castelblanco, Peter Pasco and Lawrence Stallings.
The Fountain audience leapt to its feet in a standing ovation for the final performance on Sunday, then joined the company upstairs in our cafe for a post-show party.
“We’re very proud of this production, ” beamed Co-Artistic Director Deborah Lawlor. “A riveting play about important issues performed brilliantly by a powerful cast. Who could ask for more?”
Next up at the Fountain: the West Coast Premiere of Tennessee Williams’ Baby Doll.
Lawrence Stallings, Richard Azurdia, Jossara Jina, Pablo Castelblanco, Armando Molina, Emily Lehrer
The house was packed Saturday night for the opening night of our Los Angeles Premiere of Elizabeth Irwin’s fast, funny and powerful new play, My Mañana Comes.
The thrilling performance was followed by a lively reception upstairs in our charming cafe. The delicious food was provided by Marouch, a local Lebanese and Armenian restaurant. Fountain Friends and audience members had a wonderful time meeting the cast and company.
Directed by Armando Molina, My Mañana Comes features Richard Azurdia, Pablo Castelblanco, Peter pasco and Lawrence Stallings. The play offers an inside look at four busboys in a fancy NY restaurant as they joke wildly with each other and struggle to better their lives and chase the American Dream.
Our Fountain LA Premiere is already earning rave reviews. “This production of My Mañana Comes is an exemplar of ensemble acting, ” hails Theatre Notes.”The players are extraordinary.”
Lawrence Stallings, Pablo Castelblanco, Richard Azurdia, Peter Pasco
Enjoy these new production photos from our LA premiere of My Mañana Comesby Elizabeth Irwin, directed by Armando Molina. Starring Richard Azurdia, Pablo Castelblanco, Peter Pasco and Lawrence Stallings. Tonight is our final preview. We officially open tomorrow night, Saturday April 16th.
In My Mañana Comes four busboys in the kitchen of an upscale restaurant learn the hard way how to deal with pay cuts that could jeopardize their dreams for a better life, their dignity and their friendship. Fast-paced, hip and funny, the play brings to colorful life the camaraderie, sharing of dreams, competition and traitorous backstabbing that climaxes with a powerful dramatic turn at the end. Immigration, the minimum wage crisis, rights for undocumented workers, and citizenship lie at the center of this fast-moving, funny and powerful new LA premiere that examines the true meaning of ”home” and how far we’re willing to go to get there.
Photos by Ed Krieger
My Mañana Comes Now playing to June 26 (323) 663-1525MORE
The funny and powerful new play, My Mañana Comes brings to colorful life the friendship and competition between 4 busboys working in the kitchen of an upscale New York restaurant. The play was hailed “Terrific” by the NY Daily News. The Los Angeles Premiere opens at the Fountain Theatre on April 16.
Playwright Elizabeth Irwin worked for years alongside these overworked and under-appreciated foundations of the service industry. Here in her own words, Elizabeth Irwin shares why she decided to tell their story, and her inspirations and aspirations for My Mañana Comes and the rest of her writing.
What was the initial inspiration behind My Mañana Comes?
I was inspired to write this play to put the question of what a political issue like undocumented immigration actually means to people who are directly affected it, both those who are undocumented and those who work alongside and have relationships with them. I worked in the restaurant industry for a long time and am fortunate to be able to chronicle this story.
What makes this story important? What makes these characters so interesting to you, even though their backgrounds are so different from your own?
Instead of looking at the interests of someone like a politician around the issue of immigration, this story looks at the people it actually affects and explores the complications and nuances of their lives. These characters and this story are interesting to me because they’re human – none of them are perfect and none of the conflicts exist in a clearly black and white way.
You’ve been a teacher in both New York City and Mexico. What attracted you to teaching?
It’s not so much an attraction as a propulsion. I believe deeply in the power of education and the relationships between teachers and students to expand the choices of students and to remove limitations. Education as a tool to erase inequality is something the keeps me up at night. (Though I’m currently working on a play about this which fortunately is giving me a healthy outlet so I can sleep more!)
The play is set in New York, but it feels very relevant to California. Is the story of undocumented immigrants in America different in different parts of the country? What does your play say about the American Dream?
I think there is a common thread which is that when one is willing to make a change as drastic as leaving behind one’s country, one’s family, everything one knows, the stakes of success are much higher. That being said, “success” can mean different things to different people and this play looks at those differences because there is no one immigrant story. I hope this play sheds light on just how challenging it is to simply survive in the U.S. We can talk about the American Dream as something that you can achieve through hard work but we must also acknowledge the enormous amount of luck it involves and that the circumstances that one is born into has an enormous effect on whether it can be realistically achieved.
The cast of ‘My Manana Comes’ at Fountain Theatre
Who did you write this play for and why?
Like everything I write, this was something I couldn’t stop thinking about or talking about and eventually you get tired of just having conversations about something and you sit down and try to make some art that can reach an audience and get people to think about things beyond their own everyday experience. This play is for everyone who cares about their fellow human and wants to understand them better. I hope this play inspires conversation, compassion, action, and/or acknowledgement of one’s privilege, depending on how it relates to an audience member.
Director Armando Molina is one of the nicest guys you’ll meet. We think you’ll agree. Take a look. In this short video chat with us, he talks about about our upcoming LA Premiere of Elizabeth Irwin’s My Mañana Comes, his fabulous actors, and working at the Fountain.
Armando Molina’s credits include The Long Road Today by Jose Cruz Gonzalez (South Coast Repertory), Visitors’ Guide to Arivaca by Evangeline Ordaz (Teatro Vision in San Jose and Denver Center of the Performing Arts), Anna In The Tropics by Nilo Cruz (PCPA Theaterfest), Conjunto by Oliver Mayer and Hippie Mexicana by Evangeline Ordaz (Borderlands Theater Company, Tucson) and Living Out and Distracted by Lisa Loomer (TheatreWorks in Palo Alto and Mixed Blood Theatre in Minneapolis). Armando received national recognition from the NEA and Theater Communications Group as a recipient of their Career Development Program for Directors. As a member of the Cornerstone Theatre Company for nine years, Armando acted in and directed Cornerstone community residencies in Baldwin Hills, Chinatown, Boyle Heights, Watts, South Central and with the Bus Riders Union. He is a co-founder of the critically acclaimed Latino comedy group Latins Anonymous, whose first play, Latins Anonymous, was held over for six months at the Los Angeles Theater Center, then followed by runs at San Diego Repertory Theater, Group Theater in Seattle, South Coast Repertory and Sacramento Theater Company. Their second play, The LA LA Awards, premiered at the Japan American Theater in Los Angeles, then ran at San Diego Rep, the Guadalupe Cultural Center in San Antonio and the Odyssey Theater in Los Angeles. Both plays were published by Arte Publico Press and continue to be performed nationally. He is currently artistic director of Company of Angels Theater, the oldest non-profit professional theater company in Los Angeles.
Four busboys in a fancy NY restaurant juggle plates, immigration and their friendship in our LA premiere of this funny and fast-paced new play about chasing the American Dream and how far you’re willing to go to get it.
My Mañana Comes by Elizabeth Irwin, directed by Armando Molina, opens April 16 and runs to June 26. Featuring Richard Azurdia, Pablo Castelblanco, Peter Pasco, and Lawrence Stallings.