As a lover of all things New York and all things travel, I was particularly excited to join the Workshop Theater Company last Thursday evening for the world premiere of Gary Giovannetti’s Tarragona, which held both of these elements and so much more.
We open to the scene of a NYC office and meet Greg (Tom Berdik), our protagonist whose stuck in a dead end job, romance-free life, and haunted by the past of his dead brother, as his cubicle mate Amy (Cecily Benjamin Hughes) is all too eager to remind him at every chance she gets. Greg’s boss Charles (Jonathan Weber) is the kind you hope to never have yourself, telling Greg that the reason he was passed over for the promotion was because, “You have to be a Yankee to get this job, not a try-real-hard Met.” Ouch.
All this changes when Greg gets a mysterious email from a woman named Christina (Lidia Ornero) in Tarragona, Spain. In lieu of being passed over on the promotion and sharing 15 more years of lunch time pasta salad and pity fests from Amy, Greg does the only thing he can do: jump on a plane and head to Tarragona to meet this mysterious woman of intrigue at a coffee shop. Saucy and sweet, seductive and gorgeous, Christina is any man’s wanderlust fantasy. Greg falls hard and fast, describing her as a “tidal wave of life”.
In a romantic comedy starring Matthew McConaughey, this is where we would cue the sunset kiss and wedding bells. But this is not Hollywood, and by now we know that Greg has to have at least one more bout of bad luck, because catching a break just isn’t made for characters like him.
In an effort to encourage you to dash off to the Workshop Theater and see this play immediately, I’m not going to spoil the ending. I will, however, promise you this: Greg ultimately finds what is missing in his life, and as a member of the audience you can’t help but stand up and cheer that his idealism paid off. Chock-full of witty lines, passionate performances, and plenty of laughs, this is not one to miss. Truly a great transport from the Big Apple to the beautiful Mediterranean, Tarragona makes you let go of the familiar and embrace possibility. And what lies in that is, quite frankly, endless.WHAT: Tarragona by Gary Giovannetti and directed by Elysa Marden WHERE: The Main Stage Theater at the Workshop Theater 312 West 36th Street, 4th Floor New York, New York WHEN: Playing on the following schedule through Saturday, October 27th