Second Stage Season Adds Quiara Alegrķa Hudes' Happiest Song and David Schwimmer-Directed Sex With Strangers

By Michael Gioia
24 Jun 2013

Quiara Alegria Hudes
Quiara Alegria Hudes

Second Stage Theatre, under the artistic direction of Carole Rothman, has added the New York premieres of Quiara Alegría Hudes' The Happiest Song Plays Last, the follow-up to last season's Water by the Spoonful, and Laura Eason's Sex With Strangers, directed by David Schwimmer, to the Off-Broadway company's 35th anniversary season.

As previously announced, 2ST will kick off their season Oct. 15 with the new musical Little Miss Sunshine by James Lapine and William Finn.

"Our upcoming 35th anniversary season will represent what we do best at Second Stage — presenting thought-provoking new plays from some of the most exciting American writers working today," said Second Stage founding artistic director Rothman in a statement. "I'm thrilled to welcome Quiara Alegría Hudes — and the two indelible characters she introduced in last season's Water by the Spoonful — back to Second Stage with The Happiest Song Plays Last. And I'm very eager to introduce the singular voice of Laura Eason, a vital new writer who will be making her New York City playwriting debut here."

Pulitzer Prize winner Hudes' The Happiest Song Plays Last, the final play in the acclaimed trilogy that also includes Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue and Water by the Spoonful (2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama), will be presented in winter 2014 under the direction of Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Seven Guitars, The Piano Lesson at Signature Theatre).



Here's how it's billed: "Cousins Elliot and Yaz, having long searched for their place in the community, discover the joy in coming home again and the comfort of family, both by blood and by love. While Elliot gets a lucky break in the film business, Yaz takes on the role of familial and neighborhood matriarch, nourishing those that pass through her door. Beating to the sounds of traditional Puerto Rican folk music, The Happiest Song Plays Last invites you to spend a year with Elliot and Yaz on their journey to peace and purpose in an ever-changing world."

Sex With Strangers, written by Eason (Netflix's "House Of Cards") and directed by Schwimmer (The Caine Mutiny Court Martial, Detroit at Playwrights Horizons, "Friends") will receive its New York premiere in summer 2014.

Here's how the provocative new play is described: "How far will you go to get what you want? Will you be the same person if you finally do? When star sex blogger and memoirist Ethan tracks down his idol, the gifted but obscure novelist Olivia, he finds they both crave what the other possesses. As attraction turns to sex, and they inch closer to getting what they want, both must confront the dark side of ambition and the near impossibility of reinventing oneself when the past is only a click away."

Second Stage's 35th season, which will celebrate the company's founder and artistic director Rothman with a spring gala in 2014, will include one additional production to be announced.

All productions are staged at Second Stage's Tony Kiser Theatre at 305 West 43rd Street. For more information, call (212) 246-4422 or visit 2ST.com.