Regional audiences have seen playwright Quiara Hudes' work before—in the touring version of the Tony-winning 2008 musical In The Heights. But this domestic drama (and Pulitzer runner-up) from the year before explores what happens when military service becomes a legacy in one Puerto Rican family. When the title character returns with a Purple Heart from the Iraq War, his struggles and stories interweave with those of his father, a Vietnam veteran, and his grandfather, who served in the Korean War.
According to The New York Times critic Phoebe Hoban, the resulting weave of narratives creates "a theater work that succeeds on every level, while creating something new ... a deeply poetic, touching and often funny indictment of the war in Iraq." Josh Benjamin directs and co-produces this Second Stage production Thursdays–Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through Jan. 20. Tickets are $10. —Byron Woods