Post February Show Review #1: Wild Party
I didn’t get to do a show review in January, so I’m going to give you two in February to make up for it! The first one will be of The Wild Party.
Actually, I have to be more specific than that, because in the 1999-2000 theater season, two musicals were written under that name, one by Andrew Lippa and one by Michael John LaChiusa. They were both based on the narrative poem of the same name published by Joseph Moncure March in 1928. While the LaChiusa version was the one on Broadway and nominated for multiple Tony Awards, I greatly prefer the Lippa version so that’s what I’ll be discussing today. I mean, the Lippa version stars Brian d’Arcy James, Idina Menzel, and Taye Diggs, so of course it’s my favorite.
The show is about a showgirl, Queenie, and the clown, Burrs, she is dating. Sick of Burrs and his violence, Queenie decides to embarrass him at a huge party. Kate, Queen’s rival of sorts, shows up with Mr. Black, and immediately the couples become enmeshed in a complicated love-square, if you will. The party is indeed wild, and tragedy ensues.
My favorite thing about this musical is the music, so I will give you two example songs.
If you heard Idina Menzel’s songs in Rent or Wicked, then you know she can really belt. Still, this song that she sings as Kate will blow you away. (It’s super fun to sing in the shower or alone in the car too.)
Now this next song is brilliant, but don’t watch it if you don’t want to know the end of the show. It involves [SPOILER ALERT] the final showdown between Queenie (Julia Murney), Burrs (Brian d’Arcy James), and Mr. Black (Taye Diggs).
Have any of you seen The Wild Party? Which version (Lippa or LaChiusa) is your favorite?