Party down: Live Arts opens holiday show

Wild, wicked, scandalous… with bathtub gin and bedroom eyes, this is a party you don’t want to miss! That's the hype for the latest offering from the folks over at Live Arts, Michael John La Chiusa and George Wolfe’s musical transformation of Joseph Moncure March’s 1928 jazz poem about the roaring 1920s, The Wild Party. 
The Wild Party’s premiere on Broadway in 2000 garnered seven Tony nominations including Best Musical and nominations for its stars Mandy Patinkin, Toni Collette, and Eartha Kitt. Live Arts presents the Virginia regional premiere of the play, both as its season musical and holiday show. John Gibson, Artistic Director of Live Arts, says, “The Wild Party is the best way to celebrate the holidays since spiked eggnog.”
In the play we meet tough-as-nails Queenie and her tougher-than-nails boyfriend, Burrs, both vaudeville performers, who throw an all-night party to revive the excitement in their lives. It turns out to be a gin-soaked bash to which they invite all their nearest and dearest– an assortment of has-beens and wannabes who parade their hearts and egos before the audience in a series of songs
Most of the guests arrive at the party in pairs: ex-boxing champ Eddie and his girl, Mae, with her little sister, Nadine; lesbian Madelaine True with her new paramour, Sally; gay brothers Oscar and Phil D'Armano; three-piece-suited Jewish producers Gold and Goldberg; and Queenie's sassy best friend, Kate, and her new man, Black. Jackie, an "ambi-sextrous" looker, and the faded star Dolores arrive alone.
Well-known local musical theater veteran Doug Schneider provides musical and artistic direction for the show, and Boomie Pedersen choreographs. The cast includes a host of Live Arts regulars: Mark Valahovic, Alice Reed, Chris Estey, Fran Smith, and Daphne Latham, along with several newcomers.Gear up for the holiday revelry in theatrical style this season. Join the party that lasts for the next month at Live Arts.

The Wild Party opens Friday, November 15, and plays Wednesdays-Saturdays through December 14, but tickets are selling fast, so call now if you want to see the show. Live Arts, 609 E. Market St. $11-14. 977-4177.

Read more on: Live Arts