nytheatre.com review by Kelly McAllister
Anyone who has ever waited tables
in Manhattan knows what a de-humanizing and awful job it can be. As a
veteran waiter of eight years here in NYC, I know for a fact that there
are often dark intentions behind the pleasant smile of many a server.
David Simpatico’s comedy Waiter, Waiter! explores the nastier
aspects of restaurant life in a scorching production at the Greenwich
August 15, 2003
This is a fantastic show; funny, intelligent, well acted, and brilliantly written. Directed by the immensely talented Christopher Grabowski, the show starts off with a bang and gets better as the evening progresses. The play is presented in two short acts. The first is a scene on the floor of a restaurant. A particularly nasty couple are having an anniversary dinner, and treating the waitress like garbage in the process. At one point, after a really mean dig at the long suffering waitress (played to perfection by Jane Young), the boorish husband asks, "Is it us?" I wanted to scream out from the audience, "Yes, it is you, you rotten bastard! Leave that poor waitress alone!" Lee Blair and Dana Vance, who play the loveless pair, are fantastic, evoking both anger and pity from the audience with their portrayal of a couple who long ago gave up their humanity for a nice house and a good job.
Act Two switches the action to what has been going on in the waiter station in the same time frame as Act One. It is slightly reminiscent of Noises Off in this aspect, and works well. In the waiter station, we see the staff with their "How-may-I-help-you" masks thrown to the floor alongside their aprons—and the fun really begins. I don’t want to give too much away, but the key line in the show for me was, "We’re turning into monsters." Simpatico very believably shows us what evil lurks in the hearts of a waitstaff—with hilarious results. Every actor is wonderful, but I must give extra kudos to William Flately who plays Fang, the smart mouthed waiter who’s seen it all, and Christen Simon who plays the tough waitress Rocky with great energy a power that fills that stage. And Grabowski’s direction is fantastic. There are moments in the play that leap from realism to absurdism, and he handles them perfectly, with the transitions working seamlessly.
I could go on and on about Waiter, Waiter!, but I won’t. Go see this show—it is damn funny.