Posts Tagged ‘Andrew Lippa’

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Brazilian theatre director, writer, politician, and founder of “Theatre of the Oppressed,” Augusto Boal once wrote: “Theatre can be done anywhere, even in the theatre.”

It can even be done in the mid-sized space located in the basement of the Seattle Center Armory known as the Center Theatre, where the good folks of Sound Theatre Company are now inviting audiences to come join in the festivities of their spectacular new production, “The Wild Party,”  written by Andrew Lippa and directed by Corey D. McDaniel.

And a wild party it is, indeed!!! So much so that it almost seems to be on the brink of breaking through the confines of the theatre and spilling out into the streets as it transports audiences back to the Golden Age of Jazz and into the 1928 New York City apartment of the party’s hosts, “Queenie” and “Burrs,” played respectively by Tori Spero and Troy Wageman.

The party favors include bottles and bottles of bootleg wine and whisky, stylishly clad flapper girls and chic dandies swigging booze, snorting cocaine, engaging in orgies, and basically just living the swinging life that is echoed in the free-spirited and libertine music that serves as the soundtrack to their lives.

With choreography by Jessica Low and musical direction by Carl Petrillo, the party pulsates with dance numbers and euphonic rhythms in which the story of a love quadrangle between Queenie, Burrs, Kate (played by Allison Stanley), and Mr. Black (played by Jesse Smith) is told in a quasi-Brechtian and operatic style.

Wageman, in his role as Burrs, is nothing short of brilliant! His strong and powerful physical presence is complimented equally by his strong and powerful voice. He gives an impassioned yet nuanced  performance as the thuggish, abusive vaudevillian clown in love with Queenie.

Spero, as well, does a fantastic job in her role.  She is voluptuous, sensuous, and completely riveting as the sex goddess who tears through men like pieces of paper and rips them to shreds; though she has finally met her match with Burrs.

Stanley and Smith also give commanding performances as Kate and Mr. Black. The mismatched couple quickly realize that it’s a no-go between them and they set their eyes on other prizes, with Kate unsuccessfully pursuing Burrs, and the mysterious Mr. Black stealing Queenie’s heart by surprise. Both have strong voices and excellent delivery.

The rest of the invitees serve primarily as the party’s entertainment; they are a cabaret of characters that include incestuous gay brothers, lesbians on the prowl, happily in-love couples, and many, many others.  Though there are too many of them to mention by name, they should all be very proud of the great work they did.

And finally, I must give recognition to the band, who do a wonderful job of bringing this musical to life.  They include Carl Petrillo on keyboards, Olivia Hamilton on bass, Kyle Doran on drums, and Jeff Evans (also on bass for the August 10th performance).

In short, Sound Theatre Company has another hit on their hands with “The Wild Party,” and I am so happy to see this theatre company become a force with which to be reckoned in the Seattle theatre scene.  Congratulations cast and crew!

“The Wild Party” is now showing August 8-25 at Center Theatre in the Seattle Center Armory, 305 Harrison Street.  For more info, visit:  http://www.SoundTheatreCompany.org.