Playwright shares ‘Miss You Like Hell”


In a session at City College, the playwright and actors of “Miss You Like Hell” talked about the musical. Photo by Andrea Morin

By Andrea Morin

The creative team and stars of a new musical came to City College to promote it. Award winning playwright Quiara Alegria Hudes presents “Miss You Like Hell,” currently playing at the La Jolla Playhouse through Dec. 4.

Alegria and lyricist Erin McKeown talked about the musical at the Saville Theatre. They provided a glimpse of the songs with the help of actors Cashaé Monya and Olivia Oguma, and answered a few questions from the audience.

The story is about a mixed-raced mother and her daughter who travel around the country on a road trip.

The New York Times calls it, “one of the most anticipated new musicals of the season.”

“They have some sensitive and uncomfortable, awkward conversations,” the playwright said, “and I take real delight in putting that stuff on stage and feeling an audience squirm through it. You can actually feel them being uncomfortable but really enjoying it. Those are the moments when the audience feels particularly engaged.”

After writing “Miss You Like Hell,” Alegria knew that she wanted to incorporate music to help tell the story. She contacted McKeown and the musical began to take form.

The first workshop for the musical was two years ago and it opened last October at the La Jolla Playhouse.

An original Broadway cast member from “Rent”, Daphne Rubin-Vega, plays the role of a free- spirited Latina mother, and Krystina Alabado (“American Psycho”) plays her daughter. Playwright Alegria was previously nominated for a Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for “In The Heights,” which was also a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2009.