Photo by Don Kellogg

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Happiest Song Plays Last

The 3rd in a trilogy of plays by Quiara Alegria Hudes, this one just might need a bit more work.  There's nothing wrong with the story - unless you think the disjointed, unconnected characters and plot lines are too much to handle and too long and painful to endure.

Armando Riesco has been Elliott in all of the trilogies and once again does a remarkable job at showing the pain and anguish buried deep in his soul.  This time around,  we meet him back in the middle east (he is a war veteran of the middle east).  We also meet his cousin Yaz (Lauren Velez) her May to December romantic interest Augusin (Tony Plana, of Ugly Betty), a homeless man Lefty (Anthony Chisholm), his Jordanian/Iraqi guide (Duriush Kashani), his movie co-star Shar (Annapurna Sriram).  Follow all that?

Although this is being presented at Second Stage, one would assume this show had a first showing somewhere else.  With that, I would assume that the editor was sound asleep at the switch.  This play was so disorganized and so rambling that it just kept going and going and going... What exactly is then happiest song and why does it play last?  I have no idea.   The on-stage Puerto Rican 3-man band was unnecessary and often played for no reason.  It wasn't a musical at all and there were so many stories going on it was distracting.

This is one that should have gone straight to DVD without a stop in the theaters!