On The Scene: 'Clyde's' serves up laughs and heartfelt moments
The new Broadway play "Clyde's," which is set in the kitchen of a truck stop, serves up laughs and heartfelt moments.
In it, the kitchen staff serves sandwiches, but before that, they served time. Now, they work for Clyde, the domineering boss played by Uzo Aduba, the Emmy Award-winning actor from "Orange is the New Black" fame.
"All of these characters, all that they are trying to do, is their best to make it to tomorrow," Aduba explains.
The characters are finding their place in society again.
The work conditions may be dismal, but the sandwiches they make are a metaphor for life in the world created by playwright Lynn Nottage.
"I chose to put it in the restaurant because I was interested in what happens when you take all these disparate ingredients and throw them together. Can you conjure something that works and tastes good? So, that is sort of the foundational metaphor of the piece," Nottage says.
Ron Cephas Jones, an Emmy winner from "This is Us," plays the kitchen's elder statesman, Montrellous. The role reminds him of growing up while working in his parents' luncheonette in Paterson, New Jersey.
"You know a lot of that cat is like my dad, and many of the men that I grew up with. This character is very close to home. Very close to home," Cephas Jones says.
"Clyde's" also marks the Broadway debut of Kara Young as single mother Letitia, who tries to make the most of her second chance.
"She's learning to tap into her creativity and her power and her voice," Young says about her character.
Also on that journey to find their power and voice are characters Jason and Rafael, played respectively by Edmund Donovan and Reza Salazar in this production by Second Stage Theatre where humor and healing are on the menu.
"Clyde's," which is directed by Kate Whoriskey, runs through Jan. 16 at The Hayes Theater.
There will be a live streamed simulcast the last two weeks of performances for a limited number of ticket buyers.