Wild Party is wild, just don’t mind those actors in their underwear

Tickets are still available for Wild Party. (Community photo by Tara Cocco)

The J is having a wild, wild party; and you’re on the guest list.
This steamy musical, set in prohibition-era Manhattan in the 1920s, invites us into the “wild party” Queenie and Burrs throw in an extreme attempt to spice up their stagnant love life. Throughout the musical, we are introduced to a slew of colorful, supporting characters, one of whom catches Queenie’s eye and sparks Burrs’ jealousy, ending the life of one of the wild party guests.
Based on the book by Andrew Lippa, Wild Party opened Thursday, February 15, to an excited audience. It didn’t disappoint. The long hours this cast put in to rehearsals evidently paid off in all aspects of the show – from the lighting to the dance sequences and even down to the onstage chemistry.
This show, directed by CenterStage veteran Jordan Price, flowed effortlessly.
Landon Sholar’s star shines bright in his role of Burrs. It shines so bright, in fact, that you would never notice this is his first CenterStage production. His portrayal of this loved-crossed character was impeccable and his involvement with professional theater for the last six years certainly elevates his performance. It was a joy watching him bring to life Burrs’ jealousy to the stage.
Kate Smith, who played Queenie, is no stranger to CenterStage. She owned her role and commanded the stage, walking around with such poise and confidence. When her character was faced with a tough decision, she allowed the audience to feel her struggle in choosing between what she’s known and what she deserves.
Sholar and Smith’s onstage chemistry is undeniable, which only makes watching the show that much more believable and enjoyable to watch.
Attend a showing of Wild Party and you will not be disappointed. The audience gets introduced to the other party goers throughout the performance in a way that makes theater goers feel like they are among the guests.
Only these guests (the audience) happen to be overdressed for this occasion. It is worth noting that for a majority of the show the cast is performing essentially in their underwear. That should not deter you from seeing the show, and it takes nothing away from the overall performance. If that’s still something that might make you uncomfortable, then, as they said in their pre-performance curtain speech, “there’s a bar in the back to help get you through it.”
The vocal performances by this cast are outstanding. I will say there were some parts of songs where the words were hard to understand. But even when I didn’t understand what they were saying, I still found myself enjoying the songs; they were simply so well performed.
If you’re feeling the need for a night out on the town, Wild Party, with a run time of approximately two hours, might just do. Seeing this show will make you feel as if you stepped out for the evening.
Tickets are still available for shows running through March 3. Visit jewishlouisville.org/the-j/centerstage/2017-18-season/andrew-lippas-wild-party/. Wild Party is meant for mature audiences and is rated R for sex, violence, language and drug use.

Leave a Reply