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The Phoenix Café is a lively comedy approximately 90 minutes in length. Most of the action takes place in two sets, the diner and Saffron’s room. A few scenes take place outside, in the desert lands of the Southwest. Phoenix Café spiced with a touch of magic realism, is about 90 minutes in length, and has a cast of seven characters that drive the action.
The play opens with Curtis 37, and Jaime 22, buddies and escaped convicts. Curtis is black and Jaime is Latino. The two men stand contemplating their dying mule when it begins to glow and turns into a bird. When the bird flies away, they discover that they are near a paved road.
Next we are introduced to Saffron, a 17 year-old blossoming into womanhood. Saffron yearns for her deceased, mysterious grandmother, Adriana, who died before Saffron’s birth, and appears throughout the play, visiting various characters at opportune moments, to realize her own plan. She sings the beautiful Ranchera, Cacion Mezteca, and the theme song of the play.
Saffron’s mother, Eloise and her stepfather, Hersh had previously had a rousing argument, instigating Hersh to drive off in the only vehicle. Eloise has taken four sleeping pills to sleep off her depression. Grandpa George and Saffron spot Curtis and Jaime and bring the dehydrated men into the café. George, Saffron, Curtis and Jaime play a verbal sleight of hand, until Eloise wakens from her long sleep to find her long lost love, and father of her child with his hands in the air, and George, pointing a gun at him.
Hersh returns to momentarily complicate matters, but Eloise and Curtis have already realized their own true loves. They, Saffron and Jaime ride off into the sunrise, Hersh and George rise from the flames of their old life with the help of Adriana, and Adriana surprises herself.