Sat11222014

Stepping Out

'Water' rises in Mtn. View


Kevin Berne/Special to the Town Crier
Elliot (Miles Gaston Villanueva) struggles to understand Odessa’s (Zilah Mendoza) online activity in TheatreWorks’ regional premiere of the award-winning drama “Water by the Spoonful.”

TheatreWorks’ regional premiere of the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama “Water by the Spoonful” opened last weekend and is scheduled to run through Sept. 14 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St.

Leslie Martinson directs the story from Quiara Alegría Hudes.

The play follows a community of troubled strangers who seek refuge in an online chat room, and their interaction with the webmaster – who may be running from demons of her own. When real and virtual worlds collide, the characters find that despite their torments and flaws, they each embrace the spirit of hope.

The second installment in Hudes’ “Elliot Trilogy” tracing the coming of age of a young Puerto Rican named Elliot Ortiz, “Water” depicts life’s complications and hardships, focusing on Elliot’s struggle with civilian life upon returning from the Iraq War.

In a parallel storyline, recovering drug addicts share their secrets in an Internet forum moderated by a mysterious woman.

When the two storylines converge, notions of family, forgiveness, community and courage are challenged as the characters fight to move forward against their crumbling realities.

Originally trained as a musician, American playwright and composer Hudes is best known for writing the book for Broadway’s “In the Heights,” which won the 2008 Tony Award for Best Musical as well as a Tony nomination for Best Book of a Musical.

Hudes graduated from Yale University with a bachelor’s degree in music and later earned a Master of Fine Arts in playwriting from Brown University.

The “Water” cast features Miles Gaston Villanueva as Elliot, Sabina Zuniga Varela as Yazmin, George Psarras as Professor Aman/“Ghost,” Zilah Mendoza as Odessa/“Haikumom,” Anna Ishida as “Orangutan”/Madeleine, Anthony J. Haney as “Chutes & Ladders”/Wilkie and Patrick Kelly Jones as “Fountainhead”/John.

Martinson – TheatreWorks’ associate artistic director – has served as a director and administrator at TheatreWorks since 1984.

Performances are scheduled 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays (no performance Sept. 9; 2 p.m. performance Sept. 10), 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 2 and/or 8 p.m. Saturdays and 2 and/or 7 p.m. Sundays.

Tickets are $19-$74. A $6 convenience fee will be assessed for online and telephone orders.

For tickets and more information, call 463-1960 or visit theatreworks.org.

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