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A Musical Fit for its Name- Wild Party

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As the name suggests, “Wild Party” is indeed about a party, one that features relationship drama that would make any soap opera look like merely a squabble of bickering children.

This musical that will be performed by the Music Theatre Workshop Bootcamp (THR 2620) class taught by Professors Corinne Ness, Thomas Novak and Melissa Cardomone takes place appropriately during the 1920s. It centers on several strained romantic relationships in the midst of a large party at a New York City apartment.

“Wild Party” is based on Andrew Lippa’s 2000 Broadway musical “Andrew Lippa’s Wild Party,” which in turn was adapted from Joseph Moncure March’s 1928 narrative poem, “The Wild Party.”

The play starts out with a young woman named Queenie (Jessica Cepolski, ’18) and her lover, Burrs, (Gage Patterson, ’17), a sexually voracious professional clown. In order to save their strained relationship, Queenie and Burrs decide to throw a party, thinking they can reenact the excitement that brought them together in the first place.

During the course of the party, Burrs hits on a naïve minor named Nadine. In an act of revenge, Queenie makes a move on a guest named Mr. Black (Austin Nelson, ’18), who is mutually attracted to her. Mr. Black’s friend, a self-centered, rapacious woman named Kate (Emma Terrell, ’17) then jealously decides to seduce Burrs.

The rest of the musical’s outlandish cast of characters includes Madelaine True, a licentious lesbian who hits on Nadine, and Oscar and Phil D’armano, a set of male twins who are lovers.

In addition to having gay and lesbian characters, the poem’s featuring of violence against women and consumption of alcohol during the prohibition era led to it being banned in Boston at the time.

Performing controversial musicals such as this one is nothing new for Carthage’s music theater program: “We try to explore a wide variety of stories and musical genres to give our students experiences that prepare them for the professional world,” said Ness.

Unlike the poem, the party in the musical will take place in a cabaret club. Since it is being performed in the Johnson Arts Center’s visual and performing arts lab, it will only be able to host a small audience. However, the musical’s location will place the audience in close proximity to the performance. “The actors will perform to the audience as if they [the audience] are people in the cabaret club,” said Ness. This also, is nothing new for the music theater program.

This 90-minute long musical will be directed by Novak, with Ness and Cardomone serving as the music directors. The showing times will be 7:30 p.m. on October 28 and 29, and 3 p.m. on October 30.

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