Pear Theatre’s ‘Elliot: A Soldier’s Fugue’
At a time when we all feel trapped, gorgeous writing is one of the few ways we can feel free.
To experience the imagination, poetry and daring of playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes’ “Elliot, a Soldier’s Fugue” — presented in a new digital recording by the Pear Theatre beginning Friday, Aug. 14 — is to rise above, however briefly, pandemic-inflicted barriers.
The 2006 play was inspired by interviews Hudes conducted with her uncle and cousin, both soldiers. It follows three generations of a Puerto Rican family, all of whom served their country in war: Elliot (Marco Neves) is deployed to Iraq; his parents, Ginny (Carolina Morones), a nurse, and Pop (Francisco Rodriguez), a soldier, were in Vietnam; and Grandpop (Gabriel Montoya) served in Korea.
As Elliot grapples with whether to redeploy, what stands out is the contrast between the regimentation of army life and individuals’ irrepressible humanity — how a flutist can play a Bach passacaglia even in a Korean War camp; the way a soldier can make his mirror reflection into his enemy, his mother, his lover.
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