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Tony Plana, Anthony Chisholm & More to Lead Second Stage's THE HAPPIEST SONG PLAYS LAST; Full Cast Announced

Second Stage Theatre, currently celebrating its 35th Anniversary season, has announced the complete cast for its upcoming production of THE HAPPIEST SONG PLAYS LAST, written by 2012 Pulitzer Prize winner Quiara Alegría Hudes and directed by Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson. The company will feature Anthony Chisholm (Radio Golf, Jitney), Dariush Kashani (Homebody/Kabul), Tony Plana (Ugly Betty), Armando Riesco (2ST's Water by the Spoonful), Elizabeth Rodriguez (Motherf***er with the Hat, Orange is the New Black), and ANNAPURNA SRIRAM (Pericles at Berkeley Rep).

THE HAPPIEST SONG PLAYS LAST will begin previews on Tuesday, February 11th, 2014 and officially open on Monday, March 3 at 6:30pm at Second Stage's Tony Kiser Theatre (305 West 43rd street). For more information, please visit

Cousins Elliot and Yaz, having long searched for their place in the community, discover the joy in coming home again and the comfort of family, both by blood and by love. While Elliot gets a lucky break in the film business, Yaz takes on the role of familial and neighborhood matriarch, nourishing those that pass through her door. Beating to the sounds of traditional Puerto Rican folk music, THE HAPPIEST SONG PLAYS LAST invites you to spend a year with Elliot and Yaz on their journey to peace and purpose in an ever-changing world.

THE HAPPIEST SONG PLAYS LAST is the third in a trilogy of plays that began with Hudes' Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue, a play about a young Marine coming to terms with his time in Iraq and his father's and grandfather's service in Vietnam and Korea. The second play in the trilogy, the 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Water by the Spoonful, received its New York premiere at Second Stage Theatre in 2013.

THE HAPPIEST SONG PLAYS LAST will have scenic design by Mike Carnahan, costume design by Karen Perry, lighting design by Rui Rita, and sound design by Leon Rothenberg.

Anthony Chisholm last appeared at Second Stage Theatre in August Wilson's Jitney. His Broadway credits include Radio Golf (Tony Nomination), Gem of the Ocean, and Two Trains Running. Off-Broadway/regional credits include Two Trains Running,Jitney, The Train Driver, Tracers, Ice Bridge, King Lear, Black Visions, The Mighty Gents, The Talented Tenth, and Gem of the Ocean. His television credits include "Detroit 187," "OZ," "Strip Search/Thought Crimes," "The Handler," "Hack," "Law & Order: SVU" and his film work includes Newlyweds, 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's theatre credits include Homebody/Kabul (BAM, Mark Taper Forum & NY Theatre Workshop), East is East(Manhattan Theatre Club) and The Retreating World (McCarter Theatre and Cooper Union). Television work includes "Franklin & Bash," "NCIS: Los Angeles," "Law & Order: CSI," "Ghost Whisperer," "NCIS," "Medium," "Drive," "Lost," "24," "JAG," "Without a Trace," "Criminal Intent," and "Guiding Light." He has appeared in the films The Magic Shoes, Eagle Eye, and Wasabi Tuna.

Tony Plana has appeared on Broadway in The Boys of Winter and Zoot Suit and off-Broadway in The Public Theater's productions of Rum and Coke and Bang Bang Blues. He has appeared regionally in productions at the Goodman Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Repertory, Pasadena Playhouse, and California Shakespeare Festival, among others. Tony has appeared in 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, Romero, One Good Cop, Havana, The Rookie. He was a series regular on "Ugly Betty" (ALMA, IMAGEN, Golden Satellite Awards), "Resurrection Blvd." (ALMA Award and 2 nominations), "City of Angels," "Total Security," "Bakersfield P.D.," and had recurring roles on "Desperate Housewives," "Commander in Chief," "24," "West Wing," "John Doe," and "Hill Street Blues." He is the recipient of two NOSOTROS Golden Eagle Awards, five DramaLogue Awards, The IMAGEN Foundation 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award, HOLA's 2009 Raul Julia Memorial Award, and the 2010 Dream of Los Angeles Award by the City of Los Angeles. He has directed the films, A Million to Juan and The Princess and the Barrio Boy (ALMA nomination, IMAGEN Award), several episodes of TV shows, including "Desperate Housewives" and "Resurrection Blvd" (GLAAD Award, Shine Award Nomination), and productions at Mark Taper Forum and East LA Classic Theatre.

Armando Riesco returns to Second Stage Theatre where he appeared in Water by the Spoonful, the second play in Quiara Alegria Hudes' Elliot trilogy. He 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.

Elizabeth Rodriguez has appeared onstage in the world premiere plays, The Motherf***er with the Hat (Tony Nomination, Outer Critics Circle Award), The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Unconditional, A View from 151st Street. Other stage work includesBeauty of the Father, Roger and Vanessa, Den of Thieves, Robbers. Her TV and film credits include Aleida Diaz on "Orange is the New Black," "Prime Suspect," "The Shield," "Cold Case," "Law & Order," "ER," "OZ," "Just Shoot Me," "Six Feet Under," "Tio Papi" (Imagen Nomination), "Miami Vice," Dead Presidents, Return to Paradise, and Animal Rescue. She is a member of Labyrinth Theater.

ANNAPURNA SRIRAM 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).

Tickets are $75 and may be purchased by phoning 212-246-4422 or online at $30 UNDER 30 YOUTH ADVANCE TICKETS AVAILABLE - patrons age 30 and under may purchase a limited number of specially-priced $30 tickets in advance. Proof of age must be shown at the box office. Group tickets are available at a discount by phoning 212-246-4422.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos Ltd.

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