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  Water By The Spoonful at Mark Taper Forum

Water By The Spoonful

Mark Taper Forum
135 North Grand Ave. Los Angeles

Theater junkies and fans of In the Heights will love writer Quiara Alegría Hudes' Water by the Spoonful, a play whose relevancy dates back to the current events of 2012. Think of it like The Breakfast Club, but replace the teens and the library with a group of addicts and an online chat room. A janitor, a software mogul, a college grad and an IRS paper-pusher will crack jokes and bully each other into recovery, but when an Iraqi war vet brings some drama into the chat room, things will take a complete left turn. Family, forgiveness and community are the lessons learned when Water by the Spoonful comes to the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.

Thru - Mar 11, 2018



Price: $95

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 213-628-2772

www.centertheatregroup.org/theatres/mtf/


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  Water By The Spoonful Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Cultural Weekly - Not Recommended

"...This disappointment is substantial and systemic. Too often, play-acting substitutes for real acting, and the searing event that defines Elliot's confusion - and is fully named in the play's title - is never experienced as the wallop that it is by anyone on stage. Water By the Spoonful is a heartbreaking and beautiful composition that, in this production, is served cold."
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Sylvie Drake


Stage Raw - Somewhat Recommended

"...Under Lileana Blain-Cruz’s direction, the work here feels more assured than in Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue. The actors seem more at home in their characters, despite a few line flubs here and there. But once again, Hudes’ writing outshines the performances. Also, there’s a palpable sense of alienation in this play, since the characters often talk to each other through computer screens and face out towards the audience, rather than speaking directly with each other. That distancing is only furthered by Adam Rigg’s scenic design. The stage of the Taper is not huge, but it is so sparsely dressed that it seems as if a vast expanse is swallowing up the actors."
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Katie Buenneke


Accessibly Live Off-Line - Recommended

"...Chutes&Ladders (Bernard K. Addison), a software mogul (Fountainhead played by Josh Braaten), and a college grad paper-pusher (Orangutan played by Sylvia Kwan) who have one thing in common. Although they live thousands of miles apart, these four people share a secret: they're recovering crack addicts who have found a safe haven in an online chat room. There, with liberal doses of jokes and bullying, they help each other navigate the broken terrain of their lives."
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Shari Barrett


Theatre Notes - Highly Recommended

"...Superbly produced by Center Theatre Group, Water by the Spoonful, the second play in Quiara Alegría Hudes' Elliot Trilogy, is a vibrant play of ideas, emotion and heart, leavened with abundant humor."
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Paul Myrvold


The TVolution - Somewhat Recommended

"...Lileana Blain-Cruz's staging is boldly crafted with multiple playing areas, projected graphics for the chat room participants and even a tropical down pour in a Puerto Rican rain forest - but I'd trade all the finely staged theatrics for a more focused narrative."
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Ernest Kearney


On Stage and Screen - Highly Recommended

"...It is truly the characters who populate the recovery forum who make this story what it is, and there could easily be an entire different play focused only on them that would be effective in its own right. HaikuMom is the most compelling character, and her shocking personal history provides the most viscerally memorable moment, a revelation that illuminates the meaning behind the play's title and is sure to stick with audience members for some time. Orangutan and Chutes&Ladders have their own subplot that proves to be the most charming and, ultimately, satisfying storyline, and will ring true for anyone who has ever made a friend thanks to the internet."
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Erin Conley


Capital And Main - Not Recommended

"...The play gets more interesting in the second act, with Elliot's emotional crisis intensifying and brought to a head in his confrontation with Odessa. Unfortunately, the drama is done in by subpar acting. Carvajal, employing a weird pseudo-street dialogue (it's as if he has marbles in his mouth), sounds an unconvincing one-note. (As someone born and raised in Philadelphia, I can personally testify that that is not how residents of Philly speak.) Lugo's Yazmin lacks personality of any sort - she seems to be there just for Elliot to play off of. Velez's performance in a linchpin role projects neither charisma nor clarity."
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Deborah Klugman



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