WATER BY THE SPOONFUL

Critics

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55 %

Reviews: 10

Audience

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Reviews: 0

Los Angeles audiences will have the rare opportunity to follow Quiara Alegría Hudes' Elliot Trilogy playing concurrently at theatres across the city in early 2018. Center Theatre Group's production of Pulitzer finalist “Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue” (at the Kirk Douglas Theatre January 27 through February 25, 2018) and Pulitzer winner “Water by the Spoonful” (at the Mark Taper Forum January 31 through March 11) will be joined by Latino Theater Company's production of the final installment of the trilogy “The Happiest Song Plays Last” (at the Los Angeles Theatre Center February 17 through March 19). It is the first time all three plays will run at the same time in one city.

 

Reviews

Director Lileana Blain-Cruz has taken a complex, diffuse script and wrestled it into order. The central metaphor is keeping a young child alive with frequent (five minutes apart) tiny doses of a spoonful of water. Hudes writes in such a way that however exasperated or troubled or baffled we are by the characters' behavior, we get that frequent spoonful of information or advancement in the storyline that keeps us interested in what comes next. An audience feels like they have worked to appreciate this play, and the payoff is palpable.

sweet - Eric A Gordon - ...read full review


Directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz, Hudes' 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winning play WATER BY THE SPOONFUL continues through March 11, 2018 at the Mark Taper Forum. IBWW Review: Center Theatre Group Presents ELLIOT, A SOLDIER'S FUGUE and WATER BY THE SPOONFUL, the First Two Plays in Quiara Alegría Hudes' Trilogyn it, we meet the women in Elliot's family, his aunt Odessa (Luna Lauren Vélez) who raised him like her own after his birth mother, her sister, gave him up. His aunt, herself a crack addict fighting her addiction on a daily basis, is now the leader of an online crack addicts support group. Online chats between the group's members are noted with overhead projections designed by Hannah Wasileski.

sweet - Shari Barrett - ...read full review


There's an emotional resonance missing to the production: the show just doesn't pack the poignant punch that the script deserves.

sweet-sour - Katie Buenneke - ...read full review


Superbly produced by Center Theatre Group, Water by the Spoonful, the second play in Quiara Alegría Hudes' Elliot Trilogy, is a vibrant play of ideas, emotion and heart, leavened with abundant humor.

sweet - Paul Myrvold - ...read full review


This disappointment is substantial and systemic. Too often, play-acting substitutes for real acting, and the searing event that defines Elliot's confusion — and is fully named in the play's title — is never experienced as the wallop that it is by anyone on stage. Water By the Spoonful is a heartbreaking and beautiful composition that, in this production, is served cold.

sour - Sylvie Drake - Cultural Weekly - ...read full review


...the director, Lileana Blain-Cruz was not able to serve the script or the actors well, as one could not help thinking throughout the play that the acting at times amounted to line readings and had a rather high-schoolish feel, rather than a professional ensemble.

sour - Beverly Cohn - Westside Today - ...read full review


The most memorable moments occur in act two, and each storyline reaches a satisfying conclusion, beautifully illustrating the many different ways meaningful human connection can manifest, whether in cyberspace or the real world.

sweet - Erin Conley - On Stage and Screen - ...read full review


The play's fractured narrative proves a liability, with problems related to the writing compounded by Lileana Blain-Cruz's lax direction, weak performances, and an unimaginative scenic design (Adam Rigg) that drains the show of whatever dynamic a couple of the performers manage to scrounge up.

sour - Deborah Klugman - StageRaw - ...read full review


The 2014 Pulitzer prize-winning, “Water by the Spoonful,” now at the Mark Taper Forum through March 11, is Act II of the “Elliot” trilogy by “In the Heights” coauthor, Quiara Alegría Hudes. And while I admire the ambition of Hudes' undertaking, sadly, if the parts are unable to stand independently as in Alan Ayckbourn's "The Norman Conquests," Horton Foote's "The Orphans' Home Cycle" and of course Will's "Henry IV," Parts 1 and 2 and "Henry V," then the effort is moot. The characters of Elliot and Yazmin who are bridges to the preceding ("Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue") and proceeding ("The Happiest Song Plays Last") plays—in this middle work, are, “dangling flanks” with all of their inherent weaknesses.

sweet-sour - Ernest Kearney - www.thetvolution.com - ...read full review


The first wonder of Hudes' script is how it weaves back and forth as all these diverse people, some connected by genetics, some merely by need of human contact, struggle to hang onto their humanity despite the odds. This is anchored by the playwright's evocative storytelling and uncanny ability to turn descriptions of the ugliness overpowering the world to which Elliot has returned into lyrically poetic Williams-esque dialogue. Unfortunately, under the direction of Lilena Blain-Cruz, it's somehow hard to care about Hudes' characters as passionately as she intended and that her play demands.

sweet-sour - Travis Michael Holder - TicketHolders LA - ...read full review


Director Lileana Blain-Cruz has taken a complex, diffuse script and wrestled it into order. The central metaphor is keeping a young child alive with frequent (five minutes apart) tiny doses of a spoonful of water. Hudes writes in such a way that however exasperated or troubled or baffled we are by the characters' behavior, we get that frequent spoonful of information or advancement in the storyline that keeps us interested in what comes next. An audience feels like they have worked to appreciate this play, and the payoff is palpable.

sweet - Eric A Gordon - ...read full review


Directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz, Hudes' 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winning play WATER BY THE SPOONFUL continues through March 11, 2018 at the Mark Taper Forum. IBWW Review: Center Theatre Group Presents ELLIOT, A SOLDIER'S FUGUE and WATER BY THE SPOONFUL, the First Two Plays in Quiara Alegría Hudes' Trilogyn it, we meet the women in Elliot's family, his aunt Odessa (Luna Lauren Vélez) who raised him like her own after his birth mother, her sister, gave him up. His aunt, herself a crack addict fighting her addiction on a daily basis, is now the leader of an online crack addicts support group. Online chats between the group's members are noted with overhead projections designed by Hannah Wasileski.

sweet - Shari Barrett - ...read full review


There's an emotional resonance missing to the production: the show just doesn't pack the poignant punch that the script deserves.

sweet-sour - Katie Buenneke - ...read full review


Superbly produced by Center Theatre Group, Water by the Spoonful, the second play in Quiara Alegría Hudes' Elliot Trilogy, is a vibrant play of ideas, emotion and heart, leavened with abundant humor.

sweet - Paul Myrvold - ...read full review


This disappointment is substantial and systemic. Too often, play-acting substitutes for real acting, and the searing event that defines Elliot's confusion — and is fully named in the play's title — is never experienced as the wallop that it is by anyone on stage. Water By the Spoonful is a heartbreaking and beautiful composition that, in this production, is served cold.

sour - Sylvie Drake - Cultural Weekly - ...read full review


...the director, Lileana Blain-Cruz was not able to serve the script or the actors well, as one could not help thinking throughout the play that the acting at times amounted to line readings and had a rather high-schoolish feel, rather than a professional ensemble.

sour - Beverly Cohn - Westside Today - ...read full review


The most memorable moments occur in act two, and each storyline reaches a satisfying conclusion, beautifully illustrating the many different ways meaningful human connection can manifest, whether in cyberspace or the real world.

sweet - Erin Conley - On Stage and Screen - ...read full review


The play's fractured narrative proves a liability, with problems related to the writing compounded by Lileana Blain-Cruz's lax direction, weak performances, and an unimaginative scenic design (Adam Rigg) that drains the show of whatever dynamic a couple of the performers manage to scrounge up.

sour - Deborah Klugman - StageRaw - ...read full review


The 2014 Pulitzer prize-winning, “Water by the Spoonful,” now at the Mark Taper Forum through March 11, is Act II of the “Elliot” trilogy by “In the Heights” coauthor, Quiara Alegría Hudes. And while I admire the ambition of Hudes' undertaking, sadly, if the parts are unable to stand independently as in Alan Ayckbourn's "The Norman Conquests," Horton Foote's "The Orphans' Home Cycle" and of course Will's "Henry IV," Parts 1 and 2 and "Henry V," then the effort is moot. The characters of Elliot and Yazmin who are bridges to the preceding ("Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue") and proceeding ("The Happiest Song Plays Last") plays—in this middle work, are, “dangling flanks” with all of their inherent weaknesses.

sweet-sour - Ernest Kearney - www.thetvolution.com - ...read full review


The first wonder of Hudes' script is how it weaves back and forth as all these diverse people, some connected by genetics, some merely by need of human contact, struggle to hang onto their humanity despite the odds. This is anchored by the playwright's evocative storytelling and uncanny ability to turn descriptions of the ugliness overpowering the world to which Elliot has returned into lyrically poetic Williams-esque dialogue. Unfortunately, under the direction of Lilena Blain-Cruz, it's somehow hard to care about Hudes' characters as passionately as she intended and that her play demands.

sweet-sour - Travis Michael Holder - TicketHolders LA - ...read full review