Make way for the master! Grammy Award-nominated musician Nelson Gonzalez has joined the creative team of the upcoming Second Stage Theatre production of Pulitzer Prize winner Quiara Alegría Hudes’ The Happiest Song Plays Last. Gonzalez will oversee the production’s musical elements and will lead a live band during performances. Directed by Tony winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson, The Happiest Song Plays Last begins performances on February 11, with opening night set for March 3.
Gonzalez is a Grammy Award–nominated musician distinguished for his mastery of the Cuban Tres guitar. Since the 1970s he has recorded and toured with bands and artists, including Típica 73, Israel “Cachao” López, Los Kimbos, Fania All-Stars, Tito Puente, Celia Cruz and Eddie Palmieri, among others, and has performed on national television with Gloria Estefan, Paul Simon, Marc Anthony and many more.
The Happiest Song Plays Last tells the story of cousins Elliot and Yaz, who discover the joy in coming home again and the comfort of family, both by blood and by love. When 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. Featuring the sounds of traditional Puerto Rican folk music, The Happiest Song Plays Last is the story of a year in Elliot and Yaz’s life.
The production will feature Anthony Chisholm, Dariush Kashani,Tony Plana (Ugly Betty), Armando Riesco, Elizabeth Rodrigquez (The Motherf***er with the Hat, Orange is the New Black), and Annapurna Sriram.
The Happiest Song Plays Last will have scenic design by Michael Carnahan, costume design by Karen Perry, lighting design by Rui Rita, and sound design by Leon Rothenberg.