The author stages the production, featuring Jonathan Crombie, Randy Hughson, Daniel Karasik and Eric Peterson in the Tarragon Mainspace.
"The Dishwashers is a comic play set beneath the urbane world of the modern restaurant," according to Tarragon. "It is a play which Panych has said is a tribute to his father, and 'working people like my father. He was a machinist ... it was pretty demeaning work. Yet he was always very happy in his work and I really admired that about him, and I really admire that about people who found a path.'"
In the play, Dressler (Randy Hughson) is the head dishwasher in an upscale restaurant, ruling the dingy domain of the dish pit for some 30 years. He believes in "the dignity of labor and that people truly care about the cleanliness of his dishes."
His co-worker, Moss (Eric Peterson) has been a career dishwasher even longer. Now cancer-stricken, he can barely handle the job. "Crashing the drudgery of the dish pit is the young upstart Emmett" (Jonathan Crombie) who was once a high roller and a former patron of the restaurant. Now sunken to this new low, he seeks meaning in his life.
"With trademark Panych wit, the play explores the bigger existential questions of coming to terms with one's own humility and limitations and also finding a path through life all in the context of this no exit environment," according to Tarragon. Morris Panych's Tarragon history includes Earshot, which is being remounted at the Tarragon Extra Space in the new year; Vigil, which since its 1996 presentation has had over 30 productions in Canada, the U.S., and Europe; Lawrence and Holloman, nominated for a Chalmers Canadian Play Award; The Ends of the Earth, which won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama and was produced in New York in 1996; 7 Stories, which has been produced in New York, London, England and Hungary, and also received a Chalmers nomination; and his most recent work, Girl in the Goldfish Bowl, which also won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama in 2004.
As an actor, Panych he has appeared in over 50 leading stage roles, including Pal Joey at the Tarragon.
Set and costumes are designed by Ken MacDonald, lighting I designed by Paul Mathieson, sound is designed by Todd Charlton.
Performances continue to Dec. 18. For more information, call (416) 531-1827 or visit www.tarragontheatre.com.