Lynn Nottage’s Clyde’s is a companion piece to her gritty Sweat. The new play is much lighter and more hopeful (even if the antagonist gets the last word), and is a tour de force for the props department. Four ex-felons work as sandwich makers and short order cooks, telling their stories while avoiding the domineering glare of their boss Clyde (force of nature Dee Dee Batteast)—there’s little plot to this long one act. As oppressed by Clyde as they were by any legal authority, nevertheless our scrappy chefs find creativity and meaning. They are led by the Zen master-ish Montrellous (the oracular Lamont Thompson) into a place something like freedom. Montrellous is a Jedi of the kitchen (sampling one of his coworker’s inventions, he says, “I can taste your impatience.”)

  • Clyde’s, by Lynn Nottage, directed by Candis C. Jones, Studio Theatre Victor Shargai Theatre, Washington