Theatre Mirror Reviews - "The Wild Party"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

Reviews of Current Productions

note: entire contents copyright 2002 by Carl A. Rossi


"THE WILD PARTY"

Music and Lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa
Book by Michael John LaChiusa and George C. Wolfe
Based on the poem by Joseph Moncure March
Directed by Andrew Volkoff

CAST:
With: Bridget Beirne, Christopher Chew, José Delgado, Jackie Duffy, Kent French, Bree Greig, James Jackson Jr., Maureen Keiller, Lisa Korak, Trevor Little, Merle Perkins, Rachel Peters, John Porcaro, Brian Robinson, Phillip Woods

* * *

Queenie was a broad in a Joe March poem
And she now parks her can in a brand new home
So gather round, suckers, cuz I'm takin' yas in
To a world made of jazz and sex and gin

To a wild party
Yeah! THE WILD PARTY
A show so hot and passionate
They really oughta ration it

I tracked the poem down (cuz I ain't no dunce)
And I'll read it twice cuz I read it once
A gem long forgotten, with no signs of age
The words come at ya, brudders, leapin' off the page

March's WILD PARTY
Yeah! His WILD PARTY
The plot, it got the frost in
Old hoity-toity Boston:

"Queenie is a blonde and her age stood still
And she danced twice a day in vaudeville"
She lives in sin with Burrs – he's the clown in her show,
He's brutal – she's bored; they decide to throw

A wild party
Such a wild party
Inviting friends and foes
Just to see how far it goes

Queenie falls for Black, who is kept by Kate
They shouldn't – but they do; it's the hand of Fate
Burr, he goes bersoik when they're heatin' the bed
There's a rod, there's a BANG! and a man lies dead

>From this wild party
Yeah! This wild party
A moral to this fable?
It's passed out beneath the table

Queenie and her Burr and her Black and Kate
Are now on a stage, and, ya know, it's GREAT!
LaChiusa did the score and co-wrote the book
With George C. Wolfe – boy! they sure can cook

Up a WILD PARTY
Yeah! This WILD PARTY
I scratch my head and wonder
Why on Broadway did it blunder

Queenie isn't faithful; Bob and George are
Fleshin' out the poem, may they both go far
March's guys and dolls, though, they're all snow-white
Here, it's all a rainbow, correct and right

For a WILD PARTY
Yeah! For a 1920s-Bohemian-Set-in-Greenwich-Village-Anything-Goes WILD PARTY
The red light shines on faces
From several of the races

The show, it's in the gutter; what flows through it ain't pure
It sparkles in the light, though, so, hell, go take the tour
It grabs ya from the first note, it grabs ya by the throat
The next two hours, brudder, you ain't reachin' for ya coat

To leave this WILD PARTY
Yeah! This WILD PARTY
Speakeasy should be proud of it
I hope they draw a crowd for it

Bridget Beirne is Queenie, blowzy in her charms
Taffy hair and powder, with bruises on her arms
Christopher, yeah! Christopher! I speak of Mr. Chew
He's somethin' fine as Burrs, but he ain't got much to do

At the WILD PARTY
Yeah! This WILD PARTY
But to glower and to roam
As he does in March's poem

Ms. Perkins and Ms. Keiller, the Messrs. French and Woods
They sing like goddamn angels; they sure can sell the goods
Ms. Duffy plays a dum-dum; Ms. Grieg, her little sparrow
With comic turns supplied by Messrs. Little and Porcaro

At this WILD PARTY
Yeah! THE WILD PARTY
José's the charming Black
Who gets Queenie on her back

Ms. Korak plays a stripper with a sapphic yen for Sally
Who's played by Rachel Peters as a druggie from the alley
Robinson and Jackson, they play the Freres D'Armano
Who sing an' flirt an' bitch an' screw – and all at the pee-yahno

Such a WILD PARTY
Not a mild party
There's nudity (a bit;
A damsel bares a tit)

So get ya tickets now while ya still got time
Miss this show, I tell ya, it's a lousy, stinkin' crime
It ain't one for all tastes; but go sample it and see
You might be comin' back again and sittin' next to me

At this WILD PARTY
Yeah! This WILD PARTY
I swear, ya won't regret it
Once it's seen, ya won't forget it

Once it's seen, ya won't forget it
Once it's seen, ya won't forget it

Ya won't forget it

YA WON'T FORGET IT!

[Seriously, folks: GO SEE THIS SHOW. It may well prove to be a milestone in American musical theatre. Love or hate THE WILD PARTY, it's certainly not dead. – C. R.]

"The Wild Party" (1 - 23 February)
SPEAKEASY THEATRE
539 Tremont Street, BOSTON
1(617)426-2787)

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