Theater review: 2ST doles out drama in ‘Water by the Spoonful’

The cast of "Water by the Spoonful" congregates onstage in a poignant sequence.

The trick to “Water by the Spoonful” — the Pulitzer-winning second play in a trilogy by Quiara Alegria Hudes — is that there isn’t one major climax; instead, there’s a rivulet of small reveals that pool together into one poignant portrait of a struggling Puerto Rican family in modern-day Philadelphia. The play starts with a death, but it’s the ensuing ripples that spread out across the surviving characters and ultimately affect how they act toward one another.

Elliot (Armando Riesco) is a wounded Iraq veteran coping with his return to civilian life and the ghosts of his past, including addiction and the loss of family members. His cousin Yasmin (Zabryna Guevara) is also searching for her own way to acclimate into her own city and family. Concurrently, the founder of a website for recovering crack users (username: Haikumom, played with dignity by Liza Colon-Zayas) chats with addicts across the globe; her social network often seems even more like a family than the one Elliot and Yasmin share by blood.

But the watershed moment occurs in the second act, when Elliot finally confronts Haikumom and reveals how they’re connected. Viewers have gotten used to seeing Haikumom as who she’s chosen to become — but the resentment of her kin, let alone details from her past that leak out, merge to reveal a more honest reflection of who she was and what she’s capable of being. It’s these tiny facets streaming together throughout the play, with their individual focus and collective weight, that are the true essence of “Spoonful.” The design and some directional choices can be nitpicked, but the product is an impeccable accomplishment.

If you go

‘Water by the Spoonful’
Through Jan. 27
Second Stage Theatre,
305 W. 43rd St.
$75, 212-246-4422
www.2st.com


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Rapper affiliate of Wu-Tang Clan 'cuts off own…

Rapper Andre Johnson, who has performed with New York outfit the Wu-Tang Clan, is in a critical condition after reportedly cutting off his own penis…

National

Cleavage complaint: Disneyland staffer orders curvy mom to…

A curvy mom-of-three says she filed a formal complaint after staff at Disneyland Resort in California ordered her to cover up her boobs. Melissa Behnken,…

International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Going Out

Tasty chicken and waffles in NYC

Try some soul food goodness around the city.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

NBA

Knicks wrap up season with win over Raptors

The Knicks wrapped up their season as it began — undermanned — but that still didn’t deter them from ending it the right way.

MLB

Adam Warren closes out doubleheader sweep for Yankees

Adam Warren navigated a tricky ninth inning earn the Yankees a 2-0 victory over the Cubs.

NHL

Marc Staal healthy, eager to contribute to Rangers…

Marc Staal remembers the feeling of helplessness watching his teammates compete for hockey’s ultimate prize and being unable to contribute.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.