BY MAITE JUNCO
Actor Elvis Nolasco couldn’t put down Junot Diaz’s “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” when the novel came out in 2007.
“I fell in love with it,” said Nolasco, who saw members of his own Dominican family reflected in the characters of the multigenerational work that won the Pulitzer Prize.
The Washington Heights resident now stars in a one-man show that is adapted from the epic novel by the American Place Theatre, as part of the group’s Literature to Life program.
“It’s amazing how things come full circle,” he says.
The new show is a verbatim version of the novel done in about an hour, a challenging task for a book rich in characters, history, footnotes, and real and made-up words in Spanish and English, such as “fukú” and “ghettonerd.”
“It’s very complicated,” said David Kener, executive director of the American Place Theatre. “It might be one of the most complicated we’ve done.”
Nolasco, who is in his 30s, plays various characters, including Oscar, the obese sci-fi fan at the center of the book; his mother, Belicia; his sister, Lola; his grandmother, Nena Inca; and Yunior, the narrator.
Most often the show is performed to students in college campuses, followed and preceded by conversations about the work, but on Saturday at 3 p.m. it will have a general audience presentation at Harlem Stage, 150 Convent Ave., followed by a Q&A with Diaz.