Last night I attended a production of “The Wild Party” put on by Sound Theatre Company in Seattle, WA.
It was the Lippa production which is generally preferable to me, as it includes more of the lines from the actual poem.
“The Wild Party” is a fascinating play when you apply feminist values to it. Why? Well. It’s a show about domestic abuse, a woman attempting to figure out what she wants to do about her situation.
The fact that it is a musical does not diminish the serious and dark themes which are involved within the text of the script.
The Sound Theatre production managed the balance of 1920s fun with the dark and violent themes. The production had an unsettling effect, causing me to ponder much about the play and how I feel it handles domestic violence in the context of the ’20s.
Women’s bodies are not their own, and even within the tender & protectionary moments with one Mr. Black, Queenie is still nothing more than a pretty body to have and to hold.
The other thing which I very much appreciated is that it is a show for adults. It is not a play you would take your child to see, it’s a show that adults can enjoy and talk about afterwards, parsing issues of body politics, marriage, adultery, and many other themes rather than walking out and giggling at the jokes. Theater & entertainment for adults is waning, as everything becomes more for the general populous. As an artist, I find myself often asking questions about how to challenge audiences, instead of spoonfeeding them and walking away with no questions.
“The Wild Party” left me mulling well into the wee hours of the morning, considering that I had worked on the show in the past, it made me want to work on it again, this time with the script presented.
I highly suggest seeing it if you are in the Seattle area (or on Bainbridge.)
It plays tonight at 7:30 at the Seattle Center Theater, tomorrow at 2pm, and then moves to Bainbridge for the next two weekends.
A trigger warning should certainly be in place for this production, as it represents rape, domestic violence, and use of firearms.