What’s Cooking in Clyde’s Kitchen?

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If you plan to see this play, I have one recommendation for you, don’t go hungry. This story is set in a truck stop sandwich shop – but it’s not your average greasy spoon, they serve unique, gourmet sandwiches made with lots of thought and love. They talk about them and prepare them live on stage, and many are enough to get your mouth watering. You might think this sounds similar to the concept of the Broadway hit Waitress. Think again! Clyde, the woman who owns the shop, is an ex-con who offers work to her fellow parolees. Just because they have similar backgrounds, Clyde doesn’t cut them any breaks. She is convinced getting out of prison doesn’t make you a better person, but her four employees soon teach all of us (and hopefully Clyde) otherwise. 

Clyde & Montrellous talking life, and of course, sandwiches
Rafael & Letitia on edge when Clyde puts in an order

Montrellous, the sandwich guru, along with fellow cooks Rafael, Letitia and Jason learn how to open up to one another, air out their pasts and find a way forward. Through their similar struggles, their newfound love of sandwiches and their hours in the kitchen, they learn that mistakes don’t make you, what you do after them does. People are not always as they seem, and just because someone did something bad, doesn’t mean it’s who they are. The gang comes to reconcile with wise words Montrellous shares, “just cuz you left prison don’t mean you outta prison.” They have to learn to battle past demons and seek a better life for themselves. 

Letitia, Rafael, Jason
The kitchen’s not only a place for food prep, it’s a place for learning for this crew

The Goodman Theater did a wonderful job with this play! The set was incredible and really submerged the audience into the kitchen of a truck stop sandwich shop – picture a real freezer, cups and paper goods scattered about for storage, even a fryer and grill. The lighting was spot on (pun intended) and when there was music it captured the moment perfectly. Nedra Snipes as Letitia and Reza Salazar as Rafael stole the show in my opinion. They put heart, humor and history into their characters and portrayed them so well. Kevin Kenerly as Montrellous added the calm this cast needed. With a lot of high-energy parts, because the characters are high-strung, Kevin’s Montrellous always brought peace to the hectic work-space. Danielle Davis’ Clyde reminded me of a mix of Lisa Landry (Jackee Harry) from the 90’s sitcom Sister Sister and Charlene Morton (Queen Latifah) in Bringing Down the House. This show kept the audience laughing throughout, even in the toughest moments. Drive on over to Clyde’s truck stop and enjoy the lessons they pile on your plate – and the sandwich inspiration too! 

Show Dates: September 10 – October 9

Goodman Theater Info & Tickets

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