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'Miss You Like Hell' review: Mom and daughter road trip

Gizel Jiménez, left, and Daphne Rubin-Vega star in

Gizel Jiménez, left, and Daphne Rubin-Vega star in The Public Theater's new musical "Miss You Like Hell," by Pulitzer Prize winner Quiara Alegría Hudes and singer-songwriter Erin McKeown. Credit: Joan Marcus

WHAT "Miss You Like Hell"

WHERE Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St.

INFO $90; 212-967-7555, publictheater.org

BOTTOM LINE Mom-daughter road trip with hidden agendas and serious questions.

 A mom-teenage daughter road trip is fraught with potential disaster no matter who's making the trip. But in "Miss You Like Hell," Quiara Alegría Hudes' provocative new musical at The Public Theater, there's more at stake than missed opportunities for bonding.

The undocumented Mexican mom, Beatriz (a poignant but fierce Daphne Rubin-Vega), has lost custody and is estranged from her daughter, Olivia (the promising Gizel Jiménez). After Olivia suggests suicidal thoughts on her blog, Beatriz drives frantically cross-country in her beat-up truck, all but commanding her daughter to join her for a week. "A woman can't kidnap her own child," she notes.

But Beatriz has ulterior motives and as they come to light, so do tough issues like inequities in the justice system and troubling immigration policies. There is no happy ending here, just a lot of questions desperate for answers.

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