Trip to ‘Wonder of the World’
Everybody keeps secrets. But what happens when someone discovers those secrets, and it fundamentally changes the way they think?
That’s what happens to Cass in David Lindsey Abaire’s “Wonder of the World,” the latest production at Miners Alley Playhouse.
The show will be playing at the theater, 1224 Washington Ave. in Golden, through Sept. 1. Performances will be Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 6 p.m.
“This playwright has a knack for taking serious topics and brings them down into a form where they’re not so serious,” said director Robert Kramer. “In this play we take a look at whether or not things are fated to happen or if we make our own destiny, but it’s really a crazy, silly play.”
The story revolves around Cass (Haley Johnson) who discovers a hidden secret in her husband, Kip’s (Matthew Blood-Smyth) sweater drawer — a secret that sends her running to Niagra Falls, the scene of a tragic car accident that forever changed her family’s life.
“She gets on a bus to head back to the falls to see what might have happened if the accident hadn’t occurred,” Kramer said. “Along the way she makes a friend (Lois), and it turns into a dark kind of ‘Thelma and Louise.’”
In addition to meeting Lois, a suicidal alcoholic, she also encounters a lonely tour-boat captain, a pair of bickering private detectives and a mystery involving a gargantuan jar of peanut butter.
In addition to calling the sets being spectacular, Kramer said that the cast for the show is wonderful.
“It really is a dark absurdist comedy, while being a self-discovery tale also,” Johnson said. “Once my character meets Lois, it really turns into a bit of a buddy play as well.”
Johnson said that all the characters have their own quirks, and that’s what makes the show such a riot to watch.
Blood-Smyth said that he wasn’t really familiar with the play when he auditioned, but that the cast and crew quickly came around to embracing its humor and wit.
“The first read-through took us about three-and-a-half hours because we were laughing so hard,” he said. “It’s really over the top, but a lot of fun.”
Blood-Smyth describes Kit as a character with a “Ned Flanders kind of innocence,” and the tensions between his innocence and the secret Cass discovers about him makes for a lot of fun to play.
While everyone involved with the play readily admits that it’s a comedy, there is a lot more going on than just trying to get laughs.
“Because at times it’s so silly, viewers may not realize how deep the questions go,” Kramer said. “It takes concepts that we think of every day, and allows us to ask questions and explore topics in a way we ordinarily wouldn’t.”
For Blood-Smyth, the show is a lot of fun, and a great thing to explore along with the actors.
“Tragedies and comedies are the same thing — they just have different endings,” he said. “It’s important that you listen to the characters and they’ll tell you what they want, just like real people do.”
Johnson said that people should come to the show expecting a good time, and going in with an open mind will only add to the enjoyment.
“It’s a wild ride and a great show for summer,” she said.