“Laughing wild amid severest woe” perfectly describes the fiercely ironic comedy of Christopher Durang’s Laughing Wild (which takes its title from this Thomas. The evening’s actual title, ”Laughing Wild,” is a reference to Samuel Beckett’s ” Happy Days” – and, Mr. Durang’s past ribbing of Beckett. Laughing Wild plot summary, character breakdowns, context and analysis, and performance video clips. Christopher Durang. Based on the Play/Book/Film.
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It was directed by Ron Lagomarsino; set was designed by Thomas Lynch; costumes were designed by William Ivey Long; lighting design was by Arden Fingerhut; sound design was by Stan Metelits; press representative was Bob Ullman; the production manager was Carl Mulert; and the production stage manager was M. Howard, stage manager was James Fitzsimmons. Unique in form, the play consists of duarng monologues one for each performer plus an hilarious playlet which brings the two together, where they turn out to be having overlapping dreams.
This strange, hilarious three-part play is two monologues and a meeting of two dreamers. The second speech is …filled with brilliant observations.
They intersect and mix in crazy patterns. You should see this mad, mad, and quite extraordinary play. Durang is one of the funniest men in the world, able to make the audience laugh time and time again, taking us by surprise with his one-of-a-kind jokes and his relentless bitter satire.
Durang is, without doubt, the most talented satirist of his generation. He is also alughing excellent performer, milking his own boyish personality for all its worth. Jean Smart is equally good, bringing her character to the heights of hysteria and back down again without a hitch. In the first section Laughing Wild a Woman addresses the audience.
She has a startling loud laugh she likes to do at parties, but she also bursts into tears unexpectedly. She curses the audience at the end of her speech, but then apologizes.
She tries to do her loud laugh to lahghing the mood, but is too tired. Laughter is a tonic. Cry, and you cry alone. Laugh and you… cry alone later.
The Man is smart, but clearly has trouble maintaining his positive attitude, his thoughts keep spiraling off into fears and irritations and angers at injustice.
He also tells us about his job at a magazine, and about his bisexuality, which he brings up kind of by accident.
Though more frequently to other guys, which I find rather embarrassing to admit to publicly. Why do I bring it up publicly then, you may well ask.
The third piece Dreaming Wild has the Woman and Man interacting. First they re-create their scene in the supermark et, trying out different scenarios of how else they might have behaved — though all the scenarios end badly. The Woman dreams she has killed Sally Jessy Raphael and taken over her talk show; and the Man dreams this as well, appearing as a guest on this talk show, dressed as the Infant of Prague, a religious figure the Woman has never heard of. Then the Convergence becomes the supermarket, they fight over tuna fish again, the sky darkens and the Woman, finding the tuna fish to be all poison anyway, weeps uncontrollably.
The Man makes a conscious choice to communicate to her, and they reach a kind of calm between them. The dawn comes up at the Harmonic Convergence, and they both lead the crowd in the act of breathing.
This is a very unusual play by Durang, and it was received in a mixed fashion at its premiere. Its popularity and wilr has grown over the years, however. The theme of the two characters struggling laaughing make sense out of life seems to continue to resonate. In FebruaryPlaywrights Horizons where the play premiered opened its new laufhing building with staged readings of four of its past productions, three musicals Falsettos, Floyd Collins, Violet and one play Laughing Wild.
Christopher Durang and E. Katherine Kerr, again directed by Ron Largomarsino, recreated their roles; and the play went extremely well with the audience s. A few topics are worth mentioning. The Infant of Prague: Luckily the picture at right can show you what the Infant of Prague looks like. This particular costume was designed by the wonderful designer William Ivey Long, and it was based on the various pictures and statues that exist of this religious icon. It was never discussed much and was not very central to the faith, unlike, say, statues of Lsughing on the cross or of the Dugang Mother.
As a child I was told that the Infant of Prague was the Christ child, which it turns out is correct. Ignoring, I guess, any Carmelites who were only Calced. Like several other Durang plays, Laughing Wild has references to people and events that were current when the play was written.
In the Dramatists Play Services acting edition, there are author notes at the end where some references from that period have been changed. References to Ronald Reagan in the original script were mostly dropped.
References to the Meese Commission have laughinv changed to something more generically understandable. For more discussion of this issue, click on Essay on Updating.
Laughing Wild – Wikipedia
Bower, which has recently been overturned. Click on essay on Supreme Court. Updates Like several other Durang plays, Laughing Wild has references to people and wilv that were current when the play was written.
Dramatists Play Service photos by Gerry Goodstein. Jean Smart and Durang in the L.