HERE’S A CLIP OF THE PLAY, “WILD WITH HAPPY”
City Theatre’s current offering, “Wild With Happy,” is a thoughtful meditation on death, dreams, grief and traditions and how all four can converge to offer much needed perspective on this thing called life. Or, more simply put, “Wild With Happy” is a fractured fairy tale.
It’s a play that you must see. It runs through May 7 at City Theatre, 1300 Bingham St., South Side. For tickets, call 412-431-2489 or www.citytheatrecompany.org.
About the play: Struggling actor Gil returns home to make final arrangements after his mother’s unexpected demise. As vivid memories of his last church experience with his mother Adelaide flash back while impatiently waiting for best friend Mo to help with the arrangements, Gil decides to handle the details in the most efficient and expeditious manner possible so he can return to New York for his next audition. Expediency does not always include family expectations or repasts or viewings. There will be consequences.
Somewhere between a new age undertaker, his aunt Glo and Mo, plans are thrown aside and we learn that the grieving process is an individual and community experience. Gil is set on having a more intimate remembrance at a later date and heads back to New York with Adelaide’s remains. A mother’s dreams, a nebby aunt and a best friend’s modus operandi converge to create a journey that is telling, healing and absolutely wild.
The cast of four are a spectacle as they assume each role with gusto and then some. Corey Jones is the perfect choice to play struggling actor Gil and straight man to the unfolding lunacy swirling around him. The balance of the cast assumes double duty with two roles: Jason Shavers’ range was from judgmental (Church Nurse) to Terry, the young, ingenue mortician who assists with the funeral plans; And C. Kelly Wright as Adelaide – Gil’s mother spent her last cents on a collectible brown-skin Cinderella Barbie doll and aunt Glo with her ubiquitous velour track suits, fanny-pack, gold-quilted converse sneakers, bottomless purse and endless opinions. Monteze Freeland’s antics would steal the show with a lesser cast; instead, they are more than up to the task for the dual role of Elder Bovane and best friend Mo.
All of these characters are vivid and have plenty of heart, and Reginald L. Douglas somehow manages to keep order in the asylum. Tony Ferrieri’s set design takes advantage of the intimacy of the Lester Hamburg Studio, making the production up close, and the soundtrack of disco music will help you get your life and set the anticipatory tone for the performance.
For more information on “Wild With Happy,” click the link below…