We’re wrapping up here, folks. Last main stage production of the season: The Wild Party. Second-to-last show of the season (stay tuned for OPF 2019).
Now let’s be real. A little peek behind the curtain. I have not been “infiltrating” these shows that I’ve reviewed from the inside. I know, it’s a shock. See, because I do theatre, I tend to be, as some call it, “dramatic.” But, in truth, I get into these shows like anyone else. I audition, go to callbacks, bomb the callback, give $50 to the director, and I’m in the show.
My point is, as exciting and rewarding as it is, I’m tired (not from all the rehearsing, it’s just that bribery takes a lot out of you physically and emotionally). This isn’t me complaining, but just explaining why this blog post is more bare-bones than usual. If this doesn’t do it for you, I highly recommend Broadway World’s review of the production.
As I do with all my blog posts, I asked members of the cast and prostaff questions about the show and their experiences working on it. I hope you enjoy reading their takes, as I certainly did, and I hope this encourages you to not only see this production they are speaking so highly off, but to go to support this wonderful group of people.
What is this show about?
“The show at its core is about a woman’s situation with domestic violence and how she tries to take control of the relationship by embarrassing her significant other at a party. It’s very enlightening about the issues that many women who have been a part of abusive relationships deal with and have dealt with for centuries.” (Colee Bellmay, Props and Costumes Manager)
“The story demonstrates how in many cases of sexual violence, perpetrators aregiven the benefit of the doubt because of their social standing, like we have seen in the case of Brock Turner and other recent sexual assault cases amidst the #MeToo movement.” (Maya Mitterhoff, Director)
“This show speaks to the enablement of abuse which occurs when a society is apathetic to the suffering occurring in front of their very eyes. This show forces us to open our own eyes, reconcile with our traumas and regrets, and move forward as more conscientious, caring people.” (Mohsin Sharif, Phil)
“The Wild Party showcases both the darkest and the most vibrant sides of humanity.” -Mohsin Sharif
What do you like about this show?
“This show is brilliantly written, there are so many puzzle pieces we must fit together about the plot, characters, and complex harmonies. Yet spontaneously, there is also so much room to be creative and artistic in your own way. There is so much going on at once, it’s impossible to see everything. It’s messy, like a real party, and you never know who is going to end up with who, or how it’s going to end.” (Sophia Solimando, Virginia)
“The music of this show is show incredible; it ranges from jaunty, enormously fun, and energetic showstoppers to tender, emotional songs with beautiful melodies. It really allows for an interesting contrast between the party that is happening and the interpersonal issues that make up the backbone of the show.” (Thomas Pflanz, Lightning Designer)
”The dancing is my favorite part of the show and Liv’s choreography makes me feel like a little 1920’s vaudeville star and entertainer. I think behind all the bright lights and show stopping numbers, the audience will take away the deeper message that our actions play a major role in how the lives of others can play out.” (Randy Campo, Oscar)
”I have never had to learn difficult choreography or complicated music before, so diving into this challenging material headfirst has been a fantastic opportunity to push my boundaries as a performer.” (Mohsin Sharif, Phil)
“I love that this show is staged in a round. It allows the audience to feel like they are a part of the party. It creates an extremely intimate environment for both the actors and the audience.” (Sabrina Dunn, Kate)
“My favorite part of the show is how the story is told. It is such a lively show with dramatic and dark undertones that the stark contrast between the large numbers and the meanings behind the songs are incredible to watch.” (Colee Bellmay, Props and Costumes Manager)
“I love The Wild Party just because, as cliche as it might be to say, it is unlike any other show that I've ever been a part of. Between the expansive choreography, or the fact that everyone is onstage at all times, or the complex individuality of each and every character in the show, this production is something special.” (Jack Oliver, Sam)
“I absolutely love getting to be a part of the comic relief in this show. So much of this show will take you on a beautiful and emotional rollercoaster, and Mae and Eddie to be so wrapped up in their own happy world that they don’t even notice. Honestly, everyone should just come see this show every night, and each time watch a different person. You really have the opportunity to experience completely different wild parties from each character.” (Nina Tripodi, Mae)
“My favorite part about The Wild Party is the fact that each time I watch a run I notice something new, whether it be an interesting side conversation between two characters or another angle on a pivotal and emotional scene. If anything, that should be a reason for people to come see the show at least twice!” (Carson Cummins, Co-Stage Manager)
“I also love how audience members feel as though they are guests at the party themselves...I feel like I too am in Queenie and Burrs’ Manhattan apartment watching the eventful night fly by.”
What do you hope audiences will enjoy/take away from this production?
“I hope this show gives people a lot to think about on their drive home, and how so much of what goes on at this party is still present in society today and that we have the opportunity to help, we just have to have the agency to do so.” (Nina Tripodi, Mae)
“Queenie’s story is no joke – she represents an unsettlingly large amount of women who have been through unspeakable tragedy. I hope the audience continues to think about how their own life choices translate to the story we tell. I hope they consider how they can be better to everyone around them. I hope everyone walks away from this experience feeling like they can make a positive personal change.” (Mohsin Sharif, Phil)
“I hope people will take away that musicals are not always full of love and happy endings. This show is so raw and real and so unlike anything most audience members have ever experienced before.” (Sabrina Dunn, Kate)
“I hope that people take away an understanding for Queenie’s situation with domestic violence and an appreciation for the hard work that every person involved has put into making this production as impactful as possible.” (Colee Bellmay, Props and Costumes Manager)
“My hope is that audiences walk away from this show realizing the gravity of the implications set by our characters and story, while also being mesmerized by the sheer spectacle of what Cab is trying to do here.” (Jack Oliver, Sam)
“I hope people will leave our production of “The Wild Party” with a greater appreciation for theatre and shows that are not necessarily mainstream. Before this process, I hadn’t even heard of “The Wild Party,” but I have slowly fallen in love with the story and the music, and I hope even the most novice theatre-goers experience that as well.” (Carson Cummins, Co-Stage Manager)
“It has been such an honor working with such a passionate group. Cabaret Theatre is truly a safe place we are all encouraged to experiment beautiful artistic things, and that's how the magic happens.” (Sophia Solimando, Virginia)
“The cast is so incredible, and they give the show their all, physically, mentally, and emotionally, for every single run. It is truly an honor to get to watch them grow every night, and throughout this whole process.” (Thomas Pflanz, Lighting Designer)
“Directing this show has been my most rewarding theatrical thus far. To see the amount of care and time and love this staff and cast has invested in this production has motivated me to be the best director I possibly can, and I do everything I do for them. I love how we have been able to open a narrative about issues that are immensely important to me and relevant to the social and political climate we are currently experiencing. I love how we have been able to dive so deeply into these characters and live their truths and share their stories. This has been an experience I will never forget, and I hope audiences can say the same!” (Maya Mitterhoff, Director)
Now, I know that a review is supposed to include the opinion of the reviewer, but honestly there isn’t much more I can say about The Wild Party that hasn’t already been said. The music is so diverse and beautiful, the dancing is spectacular, and the acting is another level. One moment you’ll be tapping your foot along to the music, and the next you’ll be frozen, captivated by what’s happening onstage. It’s a swirling, high-energy party wrapped around a dark, incredibly important story. It’s worth seeing multiple times, and you can absolutely do that, because:
The Wild Party will continue running this weekend at Cabaret Theatre on
Friday, April 12 at 8pm
Saturday, April 13 at 8pm
Sunday, April 14 at 7pm
For tickets: https://sabo.tix.com/Schedule.aspx?OrgNum=4785
For more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/397514161087814/
Photography by John Hennessy