Stage Raw: Wonder of the World

Stage Raw: Wonder of the World

Photo by Ed Krieger


American farce has a hero in playwright David Lindsay-Abaire, who skews

old-fashioned two-dimensional absurdity by surreptitiously adding depth

to initially shallow characters. Elizabeth Bond's brilliant,

comi-tragic performance  embodies Cass - a wife who suddenly leaves her

seven-year marriage after discovering a grotesque secret about her

otherwise dull husband Kip (Ian Vogt). She follows her list of

adventures she wants to experience, which takes her to Niagra Falls and

a cast of oddballs, who slowly turn into a strange new family. Chief

among these is Lois (Kimberly Van Luin) a drunken divorcée determined

to end her life by riding a barrel over the falls. Director Neil Wilson

skillfully attends to each new piece of foolishness, sustaining the

intensity of performances even as the comedy cuts through. Of special

interest is Jen Ray, who plays several absurd caricatures with

conviction. Act 1 produces some of the most honest laughs this reviewer

has experienced in years. The second act doesn't quite live up to the

hilarity and emotional charge promised by the first, but at least it

offers a satisfying conclusion - and an obligatory adventure scene. The

script demands several distinct setting and designer Damon Fortier

provides them with skill and wit. Victory Theatre Center, 3326 W.

Victory Blvd., Burbank; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 4 p.m.; thru Nov. 15.

(818) 841-5422. A SeaGlass Theatre Company production. (Tom Provenzano)

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