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La Cocina

by Alonso Ruizpalacios
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It is the lunchtime rush at The Grill, a New York tourist trap that serves thousands of customers on a regular Friday like today. Money has gone missing from the till and all the workers are being questioned. Most of them are illegal immigrants and they struggle to defend their job, their only rightful place in the world, as they prepare an endless array of dishes, trying to keep up with the constant stream of orders coming in from the dining room. One of the cooks is Pedro, a young Mexican who is seeking more from life than this job has to offer. He is a dreamer and a troublemaker, and he is in love with Julia, an American waitress who cannot commit to a relationship with an undocumented alien. Rashid, The Grill’s owner, has promised to help Pedro with his papers. But when Pedro is accused of stealing the money, and then discovers that Julia has had an abortion, he sees red and spirals towards an act that will halt the production line at the kitchen once and for all. Based on the acclaimed stage play by Arnold Wesker, La Cocina is a tragic and comic tribute to the invisible people who prepare our food.

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