Drama and Dreams in the Café
Dukesbay Productions, a wonderful Theatre company in Tacoma, opened its fifth episode of an ongoing series, Java 5 Tacoma -Game of Scones, at the Merlino Arts Center in downtown Tacoma. Be prepared for an evening of laughter, irony and poking fun at just about everything fashionable in the Northwest; it is all there, jokes about how bad vegan cooking is, how detestable gluten-free baking is, online entrepreneurship, how nasty even local politics can be and some Monty Pythonish dream sequences.
The scene opens in Perky’s café, a hip independent coffee shop (independent being the operative word) run by a Japanese American woman, Linda, played by Aya Hashiguchi along with her African American husband, Bert Gonzales, played by Malcolm J. West. Over the course of two days a drama is played out involving their daughter’s new “business”, some local politics-the husband is on the Tacoma city council and may be in some hot water, and a bad barrista, Phyllis, played by Sharry O’Hare.
As the excrement is about to hit the fan, our hero Bert, snoozes in the café and his dreams come alive. The recipe for his dreams are a fusion of Scottish cooking ( MacBeth) plus a hint of Japanese ( Kurasawa), with plenty of aside to the audience. It was so witty the audience was falling into the aisles laughing.
Since two of the patrons of the café are also Karaoke addicts, there are a number of musical numbers to die for. Sharry O’Hare delivers a great Ethel Mermanish performance. Randy Clark, designed the set, which is vintage indie café complete with original art work on the walls.
It is worth the trip to Tacoma-the downtown is charming, the Merlino is a magnificent 19th Century building and there is a scrumptious café right around the corner. Plenty of off-street parking.
Java 5 Tacoma-Game of Scones. Dukesbay Productions. Merlino Arts Center. 508 Sixth Ave. (Between Fifth and Sixth at Tacoma Ave) Tacoma, WA 98402 Fri & Sat. 7:30 pm Sun at 2:00 pm. Til March 22, www. Dukesbay.org