THEATRE: WONDER OF THE WORLD
WONDER OF THE WORLD
For the past year or so, I’ve severely limited my Equity Waiver play-going because I don’t love most of what I see and just don’t have that kind of time to spend on things I don’t love. But when I was invited to the opening night of the Seaglass Theatre Company’s production of Wonder of the World in Burbank last week-end, I readily accepted.
I had seen this play elsewhere a few years back and knew that it’s a fun evening with lots of laughs. Then I panicked, worrying that it could be a mess if done not well.
But, as I soon found-out, there was nothing to worry about. As a matter of fact, this company did exceedingly well with the little space allotted, several set changes, and a seven-person cast. We were all comfortable and entertained.
(Sidebar: There were a couple of auxiliary surprises, one before the play even started, but they may have been for just opening night. I have a feeling with this fun company, though, one never knows.)
I’ve found that most actors in small theatre productions usually push way too hard, in an effort to stand-out to anyone of even small importance who may have wandered into the audience; the sort-of “Look at me!” syndrome. But not here. This cast was a true ensemble, who seemed very happy to be working together for the over-all good of the piece. So much so, as a matter of fact, that I can’t single-out anyone; there were no weak links.
Wonder Of The World was written by David Lindsay-Abaire, who also wrote the book and lyrics for Shrek, The Musical, which, after seeing just one ingenious number from it on the Tonys this year, is one show I’m dying to see. Clever, clever guy. Wonder… was originally produced off-Broadway almost a decade ago, with Sarah Jessica Parker in the lead. But it’s campiness makes it feel so current.
You know I never discuss details of the story (because I find that it ruins it for me to know them before I see something,) but I will tell you that it’s broadly about the break-up of a marriage and the need to find oneself. But really, it’s so much more.
Wonder… is a dark comedy, which I usually eschew, but the laughs just keep coming. Even the basically depressing storylines don’t seem so. I must be honest and say that I didn’t get, or like, the ending, but at that point, it didn’t matter–the journey was so fun! And that makes it already ahead of the pack in the LA theatre scene.
Wonder of the World running through November 1, 2009
Victory Theatre Center 3326 W. Victory Blvd. Burbank 818-841-5422 www.SeaGlassTheatre.org