The Happiest Song Plays Last – by Crystiona Maiden

May 14, 2013 in Blog by Cindy-Bandle-Young-Critics

Think about what you do before it’s done. The Happiest Song Plays Last is all about thinking before you do something. The play is part of a trilogy, not knowing what happened in the previous productions I adjusted well. Before I went in to see the production I read the playbill and I was totally fine. During the production we see the relationship between our main character Yaz, who is an educated community activist, and her next door neighbor Agustin grow, literally. It isn’t until Agustin dies that Yaz realizes that she is with child.

The theme of this production according to the author (Quiara Alegria Hudes) is protest. I don’t believe that protest was the center of this production. There are some random protest scenes that are to me pretty useless or confusing. In the opening scene it started with a protest, it is quite perplexing.  I understand that they are trying to fight for the rights of the Puerto Ricans, but it is still quite baffling. Hudes creates this play from her own family difficulties, and her cousin Elliot. I believe that the main theme of the production should be family. I think the production is more family based, opposed to protest.

The idea that you should be conscious of what you do can be seen when Yaz gives herself to Agustin (Jaime Tirelli). Agustin was Yaz’s next door neighbor who was also married. Yaz was very hesitant to have a child, but did she have her child with the right man? Also, when Yaz’s cousin Elliot, who is a former soldier, goes into the home of the soldier and kills him, turns out this man wasn’t even the “enemy”. He had no idea who this man’s family was or how many little children he had. Elliot’s’ consequence is that this would be with him forever. Consequences and decisions go hand in hand. Also, when Yaz basically beats the poor man that calls her mom, Lefty, without realizing that the watch that he was wearing, was not the watch of Agustin.

The musician (Nelson Gonzalez) sums up the whole production with his music. He makes the production feel Latino. Taking Spanish class at school also helped me to understand what he was saying. Elliot’s (Armando Riesco) accent is fantastic. He reminds me of an army version of Vinny from Jersey Shore. At first, it was unbelievable to me that Yaz and Elliot were cousins, until I did research on Elliot (Armando Riesco). Elliot (Armando Riesco) is also Puerto Rican just as Yaz (Sandra Marquez). The technology in the production is incomparable and brilliant. It is nothing that I’ve seen in any other production, it is neat. The best part is when we see Elliot and Yaz on facetime with each other, it is quite mind boggling.