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‘Wild Party’ at Bucknell

April 15, 2012
By JACK FELIX - Sun-Gazette Correspondent , Williamsport Sun-Gazette

LEWISBURG - There is boozing and brawling galore at "The Wild Party," which is being performed at Bucknell.

The university's production of this controversial musical has 8 p.m. performances tonight and tomorrow in the Harvey Powers Theatre in Coleman Hall.

Michael LaChiusa's ground-breaking musical was inspired by the insistent and hard-edged rhyming of James Marsh's 1928 banned-in-Boston poem and the jazz-infused music of the era.

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“The Wild Party” has 8 p.m. performances tonight and tomorrow in the Harvey Powers Theatre in Coleman Hall.

Bucknell's professor of theater Gary Grant directs "The Wild Party," which captures the desperation of a group of vaudeville performers in the dangerous period of the 1920s.

The musical adapted from the book by Michael LaChiusa and George C. Wolfe revolves around a young couple, a vaudeville dancer and a vaudeville clown. As the lyrics describe the dancer, "Queenie was a blonde and if looks could kill, she would kill twice a day in vaudeville."

Set in New York City during the Roaring 20s, the couple, sensing a loss of the passion that ignited their hot-blooded romance, throw a party for their friends, equally desperate members of the Lost Generation.

Filled with wild excesses, a love triangle and drunken tirades, the party takes a sudden violent turn. Only then each character tries to escape not only responsibilty, but reality as well.

"As the opening lyrics suggest, LaChiusa uses the .... urban and debonair zeal of a knockabout all-night in the Roaring '20s as the setting for his look at our search for authenticity in the drug-addled and highly sexualized milieu of our times," Grant said.

Assistant professor Dustyn Martincich directs the choreography and adjunct professor Samantha Phillips handles the fight choreography.

Guest artist Lee Harris traveled from Texas to be music director, with the pit orchestra assembled from Bucknell students and local and New York City professional musicians.

The dark, sensual and glittering musical is suggested for mature audiences. Tickets are $10 general admission and $5 for Bucknell students, senior citizens and children.

For more information, call Bucknell's box office at 577-1000. Tickets are also available in person before each performance.



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