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Hungry to succeed in 'My Mañana Comes'

Restaurants face so many challenges these days with staffing but do you ever think much about the actual staff? The back-of-house workers get their moment center stage in "My Mañana Comes," opening this weekend at Stars Playhouse.

Director Ivan Mendoza said he found the story about the struggles of four busboys — played by Alberto Pelayo, Xavier Gonzalez Elizondo, Jorge Lopez and Michael Allen Moore — in an Upper East Side restaurant very relatable.

"I got interested in this play mainly because I was able to connect with every character," he wrote in an email. "Not only as a minority but also as a hard-working immigrant who's gotten (expletive) by the system a couple times; and I believe most people will be able to relate to these characters, especially during these times."

The Stars Playhouse's set-up allows the audience to feel like they're part of the action, he said.

"By being a squared space, it allows us to have a more realistic perspective on the performance, almost as if you were a fly watching them from the wall."

Although the four men are often at odds as each struggles to make a living, Mendoza said he hopes viewers see who's really behind the discord: "The enemy is not your brother who's working beside you, but the system that pins you against your brothers."

And even though there's not a happy ending for all in this story, Mendoza said it speaks to the endurance of immigrants who have served as the backbone for many industries, taking on essential menial jobs. 

"Throughout history, us immigrants have been stomped, lied to, and betrayed a million times, but we're like the flowers that grow without water. We refuse to keep getting kicked out of our land."

"My Mañana Comes" runs this weekend and next at the Rosedale theater.

Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter: @realstefanidias.

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