"I just remember the instant I saw him, there was just something changed in his eye," Hudes says. "You know, he was still absolutely the same young clown of a cousin I had always known and had grown up with, loving, but there was something different. And I felt that I might never understand it. And that's the simple spark that it came from," (NPR Morning Edition).The play starts in a chat room. Haikumom and her devotees make up a chatroom for recovering crack addicts, and are checking in with each other. Orangutan, a young Japanese-American woman who decided to run from her addiction back to Japan to meet her birth parents. Chutes&Ladders, an IRS worker in his 50s. Fountainhead, new to the site.
We also follow Eliot, a 20-something Iraq vet & Yasmin, the family rock -cousins dealing with their aunt's death and funeral arrangement.
Far be it from me to give less than five stars to a Pulitzer Prize for Drama Winner, but this one earned it. It was lovely, yes, but it also spoke to me, which it should. And I understood it. Perhaps because I know someone who's struggled with addiction, and I think it speaks truths that you're afraid to ask that person. Hudes also finds a way to be so forgiving and loving to her characters, while allowing her characters to be unforgiving to each other. It's a truly beautiful piece and I can only assume it's a total bitch to stage.
|Boston's Lyric Stage Company|
I mean, the characters are chatting online...but they're real and present and really connecting to each other, they know each other in that online way, where you can know everything about a person, things they won't admit out loud but feel free to type. Yet you wouldn't recognize them on the street. How do you stage that?
It has just enough heartbreak in it to make you feel human, but not so much that you want to go numb yourself afterwards. And that is what makes this play really beautiful.