The Happiest Song Plays Last by Quiara Alegria Hudes


The Happiest Song Plays Last
By Quiara Alegría Hudes
Directed by Chip Walton

January 14-February 18, 2017

The Happiest Song Plays Last by Quiara Alegria Hudes


The Happiest Song Plays Last
By Quiara Alegría Hudes
Directed by Chip Walton

January 14-February 18, 2017

In a cozy North Philadelphia kitchen, Yaz finds herself the heart and voice of her crumbling community. A newfound community organizer and reluctant matriarch, Yaz takes a stand against injustice and for her family. Halfway around the world in Jordan, her cousin Elliot finds that his wartime nightmares have followed him into his new life as a film star. Punctuated by live music of Puerto Rico, this play exudes revolution, advocacy, and family. A timely piece for our world today.

Denver Post Review:  “Beautifully performed…the play’s crosscurrents still roil and resonate: wartime grief and guilt, health-care failures, communal complexity and unity. ”

Colorado Drama Review: “…the antidote to societal prejudices and economic marginalization is the family, and Hudes provides us a deeply enriching experience of Puerto Rican camaraderie, food, and musical exuberance…”

Highlands Ranch Heard Review: “…Complex and multi-layered, it all flows well under Chip Walton’s careful direction.”

Scenic Designer: Markas Henry
Costume Designer: Kevin Brainerd
Lighting Designer: Richard Devin
Properties Designer: Kristin Hamer MacFarlane
Sound Designer: Brian Freeland
Music Director: Satya Chavez
Stage Manager: Shannon Desmond
Scenic Construction: You Want What? Productions

Season Sponsors

Shamos Family Foundation
The Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust
Season Patrons
Diana & Mike Kinsey
Elizabeth Steele
Carol E. Wolf
Serial Storytelling Sponsor
Laura Cowperthwaite & LiveWork Denver
Platinum Show Sponsors
The Hon. Karen Brody & Mr. Michael Hughes
Susan Tucker
Gold Show Sponsors
Christine and Brent Case
Silver Show Sponsor
David Price


Six years after Mubarak Crackdown on Dissent Continues in Egypt  NPR Story. January 25, 2017

Music is her Muse: Quiara Alegría Hudes and her Path to the Pulitzer: An article from The Brooklyn Rail.

Quiara’s Playlist: From the Goodman Theatre, a playlist of music Quiara listened to while writing Happiest Song.

Denver Public Library Recommends: Our friends at DPL read the play and put together this special list of recommended books and media, complete with links to the catalog.

Arab Spring: An Interactive Timeline. A comprehensive and fascinating look into the events of the Arab Spring produced by The Guardian.


Empty on Empathy: An article by Managing Director Katie Maltais on how vital this show is in America today.

Activism: Living in the Fixer Upper: An article by GerRee Hinshaw who plays Yaz about her personal journey with activism and how it influenced her character development.

Power in Performance: A reflection on The Happiest Song Plays Last by Kevin Smith a new member of the Curious Content Team

Beauty in Rubble: A look at the scenic design challenges and opportunities of The Happiest Song Plays Last by Kevin Smith, Curious Content Team

One Size Does Not Fit All: Costumes in the Happiest Song Plays Last
by Katie Maltais, Managing Director

Egypt Revolts: A brief summary of the events that led to the resignation of Egypt’s President and the celebrations in Tahrir Square in Jan. 2011.

Music as Character: An article about the use of music and sound in The Happiest Song Plays Last.

Want to talk with others about the show? Want to hear from the actors about the process behind the play? Talkbacks with artistic staff and cast members follow each performance, after opening weekend. A Curious favorite!

This play is the third in a series of three plays by Quiara Alegría Hudes known as The Elliot Plays. Each play was written independently and can be seen without the other two; in fact, Curious offers the first time that any audience could see all three together – most often, each play is performed completely independently as a stand-alone show. All three of The Elliot Plays center around Elliot, who is based on the playwright’s real-life cousin Elliot, at a different stage in his life. Each play offers insight into the other two through Elliot, the only character in all three.

Unlike a movie trilogy, there are no cliffhangers. Rather, Serial Storytelling allows a broader canvas and allows a playwright to more fully explore their work. For more information on Serial Storytelling, visit this page.