ELLIOT, A SOLDIER'S FUGUE

Critics

LemonMeter

95 %

Reviews: 11

Audience

LemonMeter

Reviews: 0

Elliot Ortiz is a young soldier, like his Pop was before him, like his abuelo before him. But despite the things they share—their love of music, their love of each other, and their experiences of war—they can't communicate, even when they desperately need to.

This powerful portrait of a Puerto Rican military family by Pulitzer Prize winner and Tony Award® nominee Quiara Alegría Hudes (In the HeightsWater by the Spoonful) is a breathtaking symphony of music, memories, and the things that mark our bodies…and our souls.

Los Angeles audiences will have the rare opportunity to follow 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. Learn more at ElliotTrilogy.org.

Reviews

Directed by Shishir Kurup, ELLIOT, A SOLDIER'S FUGUE introduces audiences to Elliot, a young American of Puerto Rican heritage, as he begins to find his way in life, portrayed by Peter Mendoza from East Los Angeles with an emotional understanding of the character from deep within his soul, having spoken with the real Elliot upon whom the role is based. No doubt most of us have met young men in the same set of circumstances, making a choice they are not prepared to make and winding up living the kind of life they could never have imagined for themselves.

sweet - Shari Barrett - ...read full review


Personalized by a single Puerto Rican family, Quiara Alegria Hudes' Elliot: A Soldier's Fugue chronicles the three-generational silences that wash the wages of war in a false heroism. Hudes weaves together these interwoven tales --- alternating directly addressing the audience, then revealing moments in scenes ---through a musical metaphor of fugue. Director Shishir Kurup intertwines each story, utilizing every corner of the stage in a grid that privileges each story with its own space.

sweet - Leigh Kennicott - ShowMag.com - ...read full review


With two theater companies joining forces to offer L.A. audiences the rare opportunity to follow Elliot Ortiz's journey from fresh-out-of-high-school Marine recruit to adulthood, Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue and Peter Mendoza set the bar high for both productions and Elliots to follow.

sweet - Steven Stanley - Stage Scene LA - ...read full review


There are a few other stunning moments — but as good as they are, they can't surmount the difficulties of the show's presentation and structure. Hudes is telling an important, underrepresented story from America's not-so-distant past, but the lessons are too easily lost in the show's inconsistencies.

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


The cast, under the outstanding direction of Shishir Kurup, is sensational, seamlessly moving back and forth in time, assuming the characteristics of their older and younger selves as they bear the misfortunes of war.

sweet - Paul Myrvold - ...read full review


A lot of this production's success is owed to the four actors in the cast — Peter Mendoza, Rubén Garfias, Jason Manuel Olazábal and Caro Zeller — and to the light touch of director Shishir Kurup who stays well away from hammering any message. It is a swift, touching, vivid and, in its own way, conclusive portrayal that reminds us of who is out there, among others, fighting these battles and reaping their grim rewards.

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


Elliot is emotional and effective. Directed by Shishir Kurup, no moment overstays its welcome, and the story keeps moving at an even pace, servicing all of its characters and painting both a broad picture of the experience of war and a specific portrait of one family affected by it.

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


...And the production is admirable. The uber-sensitive friend I brought along found it to be especially moving. Actually she was moved to tears on more than one occasion during the show. And even on the way home when we were just discussing the show! So it accomplished what I perceive is its purpose.

sweet - Karen Salkin - It's Not About Me - ...read full review


Soldier's Fugue is a smaller and more contained play than Spoonfull, and Kurup and his company serve it up with grace.

sweet - Evan Henerson - Curtain Up - ...read full review


ELLIOT: A SOLDIER'S FUGUE is raw and uncensored – but nonetheless maintains an oblique poetry which shines through the noir. Voices are raised and silenced across the far points of the stage as the four sustain a quartette of sorts. The poignant tale is carefully woven through the words – or absence of words – as the talented four actors carefully play off each other in a finely tuned piece.

sweet - Elaine L Mura - LA Splash Magazine - ...read full review


...Whatever you do, don't miss the middle masterpiece.

sweet - Charles McNulty - LA Times - ...read full review


Directed by Shishir Kurup, ELLIOT, A SOLDIER'S FUGUE introduces audiences to Elliot, a young American of Puerto Rican heritage, as he begins to find his way in life, portrayed by Peter Mendoza from East Los Angeles with an emotional understanding of the character from deep within his soul, having spoken with the real Elliot upon whom the role is based. No doubt most of us have met young men in the same set of circumstances, making a choice they are not prepared to make and winding up living the kind of life they could never have imagined for themselves.

sweet - Shari Barrett - ...read full review


Personalized by a single Puerto Rican family, Quiara Alegria Hudes' Elliot: A Soldier's Fugue chronicles the three-generational silences that wash the wages of war in a false heroism. Hudes weaves together these interwoven tales --- alternating directly addressing the audience, then revealing moments in scenes ---through a musical metaphor of fugue. Director Shishir Kurup intertwines each story, utilizing every corner of the stage in a grid that privileges each story with its own space.

sweet - Leigh Kennicott - ShowMag.com - ...read full review


With two theater companies joining forces to offer L.A. audiences the rare opportunity to follow Elliot Ortiz's journey from fresh-out-of-high-school Marine recruit to adulthood, Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue and Peter Mendoza set the bar high for both productions and Elliots to follow.

sweet - Steven Stanley - Stage Scene LA - ...read full review


There are a few other stunning moments — but as good as they are, they can't surmount the difficulties of the show's presentation and structure. Hudes is telling an important, underrepresented story from America's not-so-distant past, but the lessons are too easily lost in the show's inconsistencies.

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


The cast, under the outstanding direction of Shishir Kurup, is sensational, seamlessly moving back and forth in time, assuming the characteristics of their older and younger selves as they bear the misfortunes of war.

sweet - Paul Myrvold - ...read full review


A lot of this production's success is owed to the four actors in the cast — Peter Mendoza, Rubén Garfias, Jason Manuel Olazábal and Caro Zeller — and to the light touch of director Shishir Kurup who stays well away from hammering any message. It is a swift, touching, vivid and, in its own way, conclusive portrayal that reminds us of who is out there, among others, fighting these battles and reaping their grim rewards.

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


Elliot is emotional and effective. Directed by Shishir Kurup, no moment overstays its welcome, and the story keeps moving at an even pace, servicing all of its characters and painting both a broad picture of the experience of war and a specific portrait of one family affected by it.

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


...And the production is admirable. The uber-sensitive friend I brought along found it to be especially moving. Actually she was moved to tears on more than one occasion during the show. And even on the way home when we were just discussing the show! So it accomplished what I perceive is its purpose.

sweet - Karen Salkin - It's Not About Me - ...read full review


Soldier's Fugue is a smaller and more contained play than Spoonfull, and Kurup and his company serve it up with grace.

sweet - Evan Henerson - Curtain Up - ...read full review


ELLIOT: A SOLDIER'S FUGUE is raw and uncensored – but nonetheless maintains an oblique poetry which shines through the noir. Voices are raised and silenced across the far points of the stage as the four sustain a quartette of sorts. The poignant tale is carefully woven through the words – or absence of words – as the talented four actors carefully play off each other in a finely tuned piece.

sweet - Elaine L Mura - LA Splash Magazine - ...read full review


...Whatever you do, don't miss the middle masterpiece.

sweet - Charles McNulty - LA Times - ...read full review