So, like…real life is hard, you know? One second you're a college graduate, working part-time at a comic-book cafe, and the next you're turning 30, still at the same cafe, living with your parents and suffering from depression due to all the unspoken pressures of society. At least, that's the reality for the characters in CoHo Productions' Enjoy, written by Japanese playwright Toshiki Okada and translated into English by Aya Ogawa.
The play, directed by Michael Griggs, takes place primarily in the cafe of a bustling subway station in Japan, and it focuses on the lives and relationships of Japanese âFreeters,â educated people in their 20s and 30s who work part-time minimum-wage jobs in order to maximize free time. As they navigate hookups, breakups, homeless customers and a former friend-turned-businessman, they speak in a way thatâs half-slangy, half-intellectual. Though this disjointed style of dialogue is at times illogical and unclear (âOr, likeâ¦uhâ¦I mean, whateverâ and âRightâ¦rightâ are articulated as complete thoughts, meant to end a story), it becomes easier to understand the charactersâ roundabout way of thinking and speaking as the play progresses.
Led by an eager cast with ace timingâparticularly Anne Sorce, who steals scenes with gangly awkwardness and offhand background reactionsâEnjoy cleverly examines the uncertainties of young adulthood and the power dynamics of everyday relationships.