Set to the joyful sounds of traditional Puerto Rican folk music, The Happiest Song Plays Last chronicles a year in the life of two kindred souls as they search for love, meaning and a sense of hope in a quickly changing world. At the dawn of the Arab Spring in an ancient Jordanian town, Elliot, an Iraq War veteran, struggles to overcome the traumas of combat by taking on an entirely new and unexpected career: an action-film hero. At the same time, halfway around the world in a cozy North Philadelphia kitchen, his cousin, Yasmin, takes on a heroic new role of her own: as the heart and soul of her crumbling community, providing hot meals and an open door for the needy.
Written by Quiara Alegría Hudes
Directed by Edward Torres
With: Vaneh Assadourian, Elisa Bocanegra, Kamal Marayati, Peter Pasco, Al Rodrigo, and John Seda-Pitre
Previews: Feb. 17-18 & 20-21 / Opening: Thursday, Feb. 22 / Performances: Feb. 17 to Mar. 19; Fr - Sat at 8 PM; Sun at 3 PM; Mon at 7:30 PM
“SPEAKS TO OUR HEARTS AND SOULS”
— Shari Barrett, Broadway World
“WOW!… contemporary theater at its most powerful”
— Steven Stanley, Stage Scene LA
“MASTERFUL… emotionally rich… many moments of satisfaction”
— Eric Gordon, People’s World
“A JOY TO EXPERIENCE… stirring performances…
a play with audience appeal performed by actors who feel
their parts in their bones…A MUST-SEE PRODUCTION.”
— Elaine L. Mura, L.A. Splash
"It's really thrilling to get a chance to see the plays produced back to back for the first time in a single city. You see one play, and you get that beginning, middle, end—you get that story. But you see two, three of the plays, you get that sense of family all of a sudden. You've gone through it over time with this family. So I think the ending of the entire trilogy lands in a deeper way. The laughs get deeper, the pain gets more pronounced. Hopefully the plays are resonating off of each other in ways that will yield rewards." -Quiara Alegría Hudes
Los Angeles audiences have the rare opportunity to follow Hudes’ Elliot Trilogy playing concurrently at theatres across the city in early 2018. Center Theatre Group's production of Pulitzer finalist Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue (at the Kirk Douglas Theatre January 27 through February 25, 2018), Pulitzer winner Water by the Spoonful (at the Mark Taper Forum January 31 through March 11) and Latino Theater Company's production of the final installment of the trilogy The Happiest Song Plays Last (at the Los Angeles Theatre Center February 17 through March 19). It is the first time all three plays will run at the same time in one city.
An installation courtesy of AbleArts Works was put up inside the inner lobby of Theatre 1 to accompany the run of The Happiest Song Plays Last. More information here.