The New Yorker

Letters of Suresh


In our e-mail-addled world, it’s refreshing— and also somewhat surreal—to fumble through this touching dramedy of letters. Written by Rajiv Joseph and directed sensitivel­y, through soft tableaux of subtle motion, by May Adrales, for Second Stage, the play offers a portrait of Suresh (Ramiz Monsef), a brilliant but lost young polymath whose mother has died. His talent for origami has put him in touch with a Catholic priest (Thom Sesma) from Nagasaki, Japan, and the two carry on a years-long correspond­ence; Suresh’s letters are found by the priest’s grandniece, Melody (Ali Ahn), in the days after the older man’s death. Every word we hear, except for a quick phone call, comes from the one-way transmissi­on of a letter. And all of the action is reflection: a growing web of personal history, intermitte­nt regret, and the kind of questionin­g—of others, of oneself—that leads toward the dangerousl­y tall grasses of growth.—Vinson Cunningham (Tony Kiser Theatre; through Oct. 24.)

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