January 21st, 2014 | by KAITIE TODD Arts & Books | Posted In: Theater

Just Opened: Enjoy

A review of CoHo's production of Toshiki Okada's play.

11974973704_8b6f3edf5c_bBrud Giles
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 “Freeters,” 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 that’s half-slangy, half-intellectual. Though this disjointed style of dialogue is at times illogical and unclear (“Or, like…uh…I mean, whatever” and “Right…right” are articulated as complete thoughts, meant to end a story), it becomes easier to understand the characters’ roundabout way of thinking and speaking as the play progresses.

Led by an eager cast with ace timing—particularly Anne Sorce, who steals scenes with gangly awkwardness and offhand background reactions—Enjoy cleverly examines the uncertainties of young adulthood and the power dynamics of everyday relationships.

GO: Enjoy is at CoHo Theater, 2257 NW Raleigh St., 220-2646. 7:30 pm Thursdays-Saturdays and 2 pm Sundays through Feb. 8. $15-$25. Tickets here.
 
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