The Happiest Song Plays Last Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through May 12 2013

Maybe I'm at a disadvantage here because I haven't seen the previous two installments of Quiara Alegría Hudes's "Elliot Trilogy": Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue and Water by the Spoonful. The former was a finalist for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize and the latter won said prize in 2012, so they're both clearly masterful—but, more to the point, they might give me an idea why I should be interested in anything that goes on in The Happiest Song Plays Last. Hudes splits the narrative between Iraq War vet Elliot, making a docudrama about that war while the Egyptian revolution rages nearby, and his cousin Yaz, an urban earth mother who looks out for all the lost souls in her north Philadelphia neighborhood. Each story line features contrivances, implausibilities (Elliot's lover is shocked to learn that he killed Iraqis in Iraq), and mawkish cliches (a sweet simpleton, a ghost). The whole thing stupefied me. But then I missed the earlier plays. —Tony Adler

Price: $15-$30

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