The musical theater department is turning the clocks back to the roaring ’20s, where women were loose, liquor was celebrated and parties were wild.
The Wild Party opens Wednesday and runs through May 1. The production, written by Andrew Lippa, is based on a poem written by Joseph Moncure March about the late ’20s. It tells the story of a party thrown by a vaudevillian clown, Burrs, his girlfriend, Queenie, and the events that take place on a wild night in Manhattan. The couple pledges to throw a party to “end all parties.”
Lippa, who received a Tony Award in 2010 for best original score for his Broadway musical The Adams family, adapted March’s poem in 2000.
“I would say it is a sexy musical that stylistically is very similar to Chicago or cabaret,” Director Kaitlin Hopkins said.
Hopkins said there is strong language in this production compared to the fall production of All Shook Up that was a fun-for-all ages musical. This production differs in that there is sexual content which may not be suitable for younger audiences.
“I don’t think there’s anything shocking or inappropriate,” said Hopkins. “I wouldn’t necessarily say it might be appropriate for a teenager.”
Hopkins said the best way to describe the show is wild and crazy, and the audience should come ready to hold on for the ride.
John Berring, musical theater junior and the production’s “Oscar,” said he was attracted to the sexually-driven content the play offers.
“As a musician the swanky jazz influence speaks to my inner nasty jazz cat,” Berring said.
Berring said expect to see sexy dancing and compelling acting from his cast mates.
“Some of these kids are singing their ‘blanks’ off,” Berring said.
Olivia Corbello, musical theater junior, said rehearsals are exhausting. Corbello plays Nadine in the play.
The actors rehearse every day, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. with 10 minute water breaks in the middle. Some scenes are rehearsed repeatedly to work out every kink — the angles of the spotlights, the marks on the stage and the tone a line should be pronounced.
Rachel Hull-Ryde, musical theater sophomore and the play’s “Dolores,” said sometimes she feels like her life has been taken over by the theater, but she has no regrets because the finished product is worth the hard work.
Her castmates agree.
“In the end, we are having a great time in our bras and panties,” Corbello said.