MOXIE Theatre Presents Lynn Nottage's "Clyde's"

A Play that Prompts the Imagination and the Taste Buds 

A Blog View by Alejandra Enciso-Dardashti

Tanya Alexander and DeAndre Simmons. Photo Daren Scott
MOXIE welcomed the year with the hilarious "Clyde's" by the esteemed Lynn Nottage, under the slick direction of MOXIE co-founder and former Artistic Director, Delicia Turner Sonnenberg.

Clyde's, a hidden gem sandwich shop and trucker favorite, is owned by Clyde (Tanya Alexander) who thoroughly takes advantage of her employees due to them being returning citizens/formerly incarcerated. She uses the fact of them having a record to retain them with bad pay, verbal abuse, and threats. Clyde is no stranger to the bars either...

The cast shines brightly with each member delivering authentic performances that resonate and several laughs which made it a rollercoaster of a performance, balancing suspense and comedy. Tanya Alexander's portrayal of Clyde captures the character's feisty essence with a compelling intensity that keeps the audience captivated throughout. In the opening night performance, there was what I called a "Saturday Night" moment between Tanya Alexander and Justin Lang, where Alexander could not hold the laughs and had to take a pause to get back into character. Audiences celebrated and it made the performance even more special.

Marcel Ferrin as Rafael and Deja Fields as Letitia definitely prompt the comedic and cute moments as well as having great stage rapport. DeAndre Simmons as Montrellous is not only the "sandwich whisperer" but the grounding voice for his co-workers, and the imagination prompter for the audience as he belts combinations of different ingredients that sound like the perfect sandwich. Jason (Justin Lang) gives a false image to the rest of the employees because of all his face tattoos when really, all he wants to do is get his life back. Lang's histrionic work has undergone a nice evolution, showcasing a level of maturity. His portrayal proves dedication and talent, elevating the emotional depth of the play.

Side/added note: I understand the context, I understand the stereotype, yet, it jumped at me how Nottage definitely included the racist undertones and tones regarding a Latin American employee (assuming Mexican) in the kitchen, portrayed by Marcel Ferrin who as always, was a joy to watch and because of his work, it definitely got some laughs and reactions *raises an eyebrow*. 

Deja Fields, Marcel Ferrin, and Justin Lang. Photo Daren Scott

Michael Wogulis's scenic design, in collaboration with Rai Feltmann's meticulous props, creates a visual feast for the senses. The attention to detail in recreating a kitchen setting is praiseworthy, evoking a sense of nostalgia for me as I remembered a play kitchen and exploring it as a kid. The use of props in this play, from serving paper to trays, putting the buns, the tomatoes, and the ever-triggering garnish, -as it is key in the show- adds a delightful touch that enhances the audience's immersion in the theatrical experience, blending the lines between reality and fiction seamlessly.

Zoë Trautmann's costume design brought out the personality of each character, especially Clyde with fitted corsets, high heels, and red tones. Annelise Salazar's lighting and Harper Justus's sound design further elevate the production, creating a multi-sensory experience that lingers long. Salazar's lighting design sets the mood and tone of each scene, while Justus's sound design enhances the emotional impact of key moments. And... what an awesome playlist! I heard it, I danced to it in my seat, and I mumbled a couple of words as I was being mindful of my fellow audience members.

"Clyde's" is fresh and this cast made it hilarious and memorable. The production resonates with raw emotion and under the skillful direction of Delicia Turner Sonnenberg, this production is a testament to the power of live theatre to transport and transform.

Currently performing until March 10. Industry performance on Monday, February 26th.

For more information please click HERE

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