The newly reformed venue The Other Palace has opened it’s doors for the first time this month and has kicked off with an incredible production of Michael John LaChiusa’s The Wild Party. Starring musical theatre royalty Frances Ruffelle and directed/choreographed by Olivier award winner Drew McOnie, The Wild Party is an exciting and thrilling musical and a very good choice to have opened The Other Palace main house.
Based on the poem by Joseph Moncure March, The Wild Party follows Queenie and Burrs, vaudeville performers who throw a massive party to cover up the fact that they have an incredibly toxic relationship. Throughout the show, I couldn’t help thinking, the party felt like a commentary on the kind of people who put on a facade to cover up the fact that their lives aren’t as glamorous as they appear to be. Over the course of this party we see the breakdown of a partnership between two brothers, a marriage and the relationship between Queen and Burrs. The music is extravagant and jazzy and the choreography is, indeed, wild and outlandish as if to enhance the facade of the characters. Drew McOnie has certainly lived up to expectations since his Olivier Award winning choreography for In The Heights. And it’s fantastic that he has directed the show as well.
While Frances Ruffelle and John Owen Jones are incredible as Queenie & Burrs respectively, I think the strongest stand outs are within the ensemble. Particularly, in the forms of Dex Lee, Victoria Hamilton-Barritt and Genesis Lynea & Gloria Obianyo. Dex’s acting is incredible, there’s one scene in Act Two that had me on the edge of my seat. Victoria’s voice is unlike anything I’ve ever heard before and fits so well into this score. And I loved enjoying the partnership between Genesis & Gloria as the D’armanos Bros. Their voices blended so well together and I loved how in sync they were.
The Wild Party is a fantastic, wild and sexy show that bursts life into relatively unknown musical theatre and I highly recommend it. Unless you’re scared of clowns.
The Wild Party is running at The Other Palace until April 1st. For more information you can visit https://www.theotherpalace.co.uk/theatre/wild-party/
Until next time,