We are pleased to announce the publication of Quiara Alegría Hudes’s The Happiest Song Plays Last, the final play in Hudes’s award-winning Elliot trilogy. In 2013, The Happiest Song Plays Last premiered at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, with a later Off-Broadway run at New York’s Second Stage Theatre in 2014. A 2015 production at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival has been announced.
“Ms. Hudes draws all her characters with precision and understanding…this warm-blooded play underscores how the disorienting flux of life can be navigated with the help of carefully tended family ties.”
—Charles Isherwood, New York Times
At the dawn of the Arab Spring in an ancient Jordanian town, 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 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. The final installment in Hudes’s three-play cycle, which began with Pulitzer Prize–finalist Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue and Pulitzer Prize–winner Water by the Spoonful, The Happiest Song Plays Last is about the search for redemption, humility and one’s place in the world.
“As ever, Hudes’s writing is poetic but wry, full of swagger and poetry. There’s live music, but oh, how the lines sing too.”—David Cote, Time Out New York
Quiara Alegría Hudes’s plays include Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue (Pulitzer Prize Finalist); Water by the Spoonful (Pulitzer Prize for Drama); The Happiest Song Plays Last; Yemaya’s Belly (The Clauder Prize); 26 Miles and Lulu’s Golden Shoes. Her work for musical theatre includes the book for In the Heights (Tony Award for Best Musical, Tony nomination for Best Book of a Musical, Pulitzer Prize Finalist), book and lyrics for Barrio Grrrl! and a new musical Miss You Like Hell. Hudes is on the board of Philadelphia Young Playwrights, which produced her first play in the tenth grade. She lives in New York with her husband and children.