THE HAPPIEST SONG PLAYS LAST
Second Stage

CAST & CREATIVE
ANTHONY CHISHOLM (Lefty) Broadway: Radio Golf (Tony Nomination), Gem of the Ocean, Two Trains Running. Off-Broadway/Regional Theater: Two Trains Running, Jitney, The Train Driver, Tracers, Ice Bridge, King Lear, Black Visions, The Mighty Gents, The Talented Tenth, Gem of the Ocean. Television: Detroit 187, OZ, Strip Search/Thought Crimes, The Handler, Hack, Law & Order: SVU. Film: Newlyweeds, Premium Rush, Reign Over Me, Blackout, Dream Street, Coalition, Bought & Sold, Beloved, Let’s Get Bizzee. Awards: Drama Desk, Obie, Ovation, Audelco, NAACP Theatre Award.

DARIUSH KASHANI (Ali) Theatre credits include Homebody/Kabul (BAM, Mark Taper Forum & NY Theatre Workshop), East is East (Manhattan Theatre Club) and The Retreating World (McCarter & Cooper Union). Television: Franklin & Bash, NCIS: Los Angeles, Law & Order: CSI, Ghost Whisperer, NCIS, Medium, Drive, Lost, 24, JAG, Without a Trace, Criminal Intent and Guiding Light. Film: The Magic Shoes, Eagle Eye, & Wasabi Tuna. MFA: Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts instructed by Bill Esper & Maggie Flanigan.

TONY PLANA (Agustin) NEW YORK: Broadway: The Boys of Winter; Zoot Suit; Off-Broadway: Public: Rum and Coke, Bang Bang Blues. REGIONAL: Shakespeare Theatre Company: Much Ado About Nothing; Goodman: The Sins of Sor Juana; La Jolla: Figaro Gets a Divorce; Mark Taper: Widows, Richard III, Zoot Suit; South Coast: Anna in the Tropics, Charlie Bacon and his Family, Rum and Coke; FILM: Over 60 feature films; including Pain and Gain, JFK, Nixon, Salvador, An Officer and a Gentleman, Lone Star, Three Amigos, Born in East LA, El Norte, Primal Fear, One Good Cop, Havana, Half Past Dead, Goal: The Dream Begins. TELEVISION: Series regular on seven network series: notably Ugly Betty (ALMA, IMAGEN, Golden Satellite Awards), Resurrection Blvd. (ALMA Award and 2 nominations) Multiple Recurring Roles: recently Desperate Housewives, Commander in Chief, 24, West Wing; Movies & Mini-Series: The Jodi Arias Story, Meddling Mom, Fidel, Noriega, The Burning Season, Drug Wars. 2013 ALMA Lifetime Achievement Award.

ARMANDO RIESCO (Elliot) A has been part of the Elliot trilogy since its start, playing “Elliot Ortiz” in each premiere in New York, Chicago, and Hartford. He has dozens of film and TV credits including the upcoming Adult World opposite John Cusack and Emma Roberts. Other notable credits include Garden State, World Trade Center, Fever Pitch, National Treasure, and Che. He is a proud graduate of Northwestern University.

ANNAPURNA SRIRAM (Shar) is a Nashville, TN native and received her BFA in Acting from Rutgers University and spent a year studying at the Shakespeare Globe Theater in London. Favorite roles include: Marina in Pericles (Berkeley Repertory Theater),Nightingale in Conference of the Birds (Folger Shakespeare Library), Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare’s Globe Sam Wanamaker Festival), Hero in Much Ado About Nothing (Two River Theater Company), and Mary Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play (Mile Square Theater).

LAUREN VÉLEZ (Yaz)For seven seasons, Lauren Velez starred as the sexy, ambitious, tough-as-nails ?Captain Maria Laguerta on Showtime’s Emmy award-winning series, Dexter. Velez has earned? several awards for her riveting dramatic work on the hit series, including four Alma Award nominations, and one win for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series, and along with her Dexter cast mates, she’s been nominated for four consecutive Screen Actor’s Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by an ?Ensemble in a Drama Series. Prior to joining the cast?of Dexter in 2006, Velez was also recognized for her gut-wrenching performance as Dr. Gloria Nathan on HBO’s critically acclaimed show, Oz, as well as for her portrayal of Det. Nina Moreno in the classic television series, New York Undercover. Her breakout role was a star-is-born turn in the film, I Like It Like That, which earned her an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Lead Actress. Other career highlights include working with the likes of Al Pacino in City Hall and Meryl Streep in the presentation of the play Seven for the Women in the World Conference. A pioneer for Latina (and Afro-Latina actresses), Velez has broken down barriers and opened doors for some of today’s biggest Latina TV stars.

CREATIVE TEAM
QUIARA ALEGRÍA HUDES (Playwright) received the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play, Water by the Spoonful, which had its New York premiere at Second Stage last season. The play is the second in a trilogy which began with her play, Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue, which was also a Pulitzer Finalist, and concludes with The Happiest Song Plays Last. Hudes wrote the book to the Broadway musical, In the Heights, which premiered off-Broadway and earned the Lucille Lortel Award and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical. In the Heights transferred to Broadway where it received the Tony Award for Best Musical, a Tony Nomination for Best Book of a Musical, and was named a Pulitzer Finalist. Hudes wrote the book and lyrics for a children’s musical, Barrio Grrrl!, which premiered at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and toured nationally. Hudes was born and raised in Philadelphia, where she recently returned to receive a Resolution from the City of Philadelphia. Her first play was produced in the tenth grade by Philadelphia Young Playwrights, where she now serves as a board member and mentor to other young writers. After graduating from public school, she received a B.A. in music composition from Yale and an M.F.A. in playwriting from Brown, where she studied with Paula Vogel.

RUBEN SANTIAGO-HUDSON (Director) is a Tony and Obie award-winning actor, as well as an accomplished writer and director. He recently received the 2013 Lucille Lortel and Obie Awards for Best Direction of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson at Signature Theatre. Mr. Santiago-Hudson made his directorial debut with August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean at the McCarter Theater and the American Conservatory Theatre. Most recently, Ruben directed the highly acclaimed Jitney at the Two Rivers Theater Company. Other directing credits include the New York Premiere of Naomi Wallace’s Things of Dry Hours at the NY Theater Workshop, August Wilson’s Radio Golf at The Kennedy Center, Wilson’s Seven Guitars and Leslie Lee’s The First Breeze of Summer for The Signature Theater Company, where Santiago-Hudson holds the position of Associate Artist and where he recently directed Athol Fugard’s My Children! My Africa! Mr. Santiage-Hudson’s Broadway acting credits include Stick Fly and Seven Guitars, which garnered him a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor. His recent film work includes Their Eyes Were Watching God, American Gangster, Mr. Brooks, Shaft, Devil’s Advocate, and Domestic Disturbance. Mr. Santiago-Hudson’s television work includes NYPD, Castle, Forgotten Genius, The Red Sneakers, Michael Hayes, The West Wing, Law & Order.

NELSON GONZÁLEZ (Music Director & Composer) is a Grammy Award–nominated musician. Mr. González was born in Puerto Rico, and is distinguished for his mastery of the Cuban Tres guitar. Since the 1970s he has recorded and toured with all the major top Latin bands and artists, including Típica 73, Israel “Cachao” López, Los Kimbos, Fania All-Stars, Tito Puente, Celia Cruz and Eddie Palmieri, among others. He has been featured prominently on numerous Grammy Award–winning albums, and has performed on national television with Gloria Estefan, Paul Simon, Marc Anthony and many more. He has published a book on the Tres guitar method, been featured in Latin Beat magazine, and has been recognized by numerous institutions, including the Smithsonian Institution, for his educational workshops.