The Wild Party

A CONCORD THEATRICALS TITLE

The Wild Party

Full-Length Musical, Drama  /  7f, 8m

Music and Lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa / Book by Michael John LaChiusa and George C. Wolfe / Based on the poem by Joseph Moncure March

1920s Manhattan sets the backdrop for this musical fable about debauchery, decadence, and sexual freedom.

Photography by Tristram Kenton

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    7f, 8m
  • Duration
    Duration
    105 Minutes
  • SubGenre
    Subgenre
    Period, Docudrama/Historic
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Adult, Teen (Age 14 - 18)
Accolades
Accolades
  • Nominee! 2000 Tony Awards, Best Musical
    Nominee! 2000 Tony Awards, Best Book of a Musical
    Nominee! 2000 Tony Awards, Best Original Musical Score

Licence details
  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.
The Wild Party

Details

Summary
Manhattan decadence in the 1920's provides the backdrop for this tough musical fable. Queenie, a vaudeville chorine, hosts the blow-out of the title with her vicious lover, a black-face minstrel. The guests are a vivid collection of the unruly and the undone: Queenie's conniving rival; a cocaine-sniffing bisexual playboy; a washed-up boxer; a black brother act; a diva of indeterminate age and infinite life experience; the fresh-off-the-farm ingénue whose naïveté quickly evaporates; a lesbian actress and her comatose girlfriend; and the bargain basement Valentino who catches Queenie's roving eye. The jazz and gin soaked party rages to a mounting sense of threat as artifice and illusion are stripped away. When midnight debauchery leads to tragedy at dawn, the high-flying characters land with a sobering thud, reminding us that no party lasts forever.
Cast Attributes
  • Multicultural casting
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)
Performing Groups
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
PRINCIPALS
7 Women
8 Men

CHARACTERS
Queenie - a fading vaudeville chorine, neither young nor old
Burrs - Queenie's vicious lover, a blackface vaudevillian
Jackie - a playboy of dubious sexuality
Miss Madelaine True - a nearly famous stripper
Sally - Madelaine's date, a morphine addict
Eddie Mackrel - a black, aging ex-champion of the boxing ring
Mae - Eddie's ditzy wife, a former chorine
Nadine - Mae's excitable 14-year old sister
Phil D'Armano - part of a black brother act
Oscar D'Armano - part of a black brother act
Dolores Montoya - an ageless star of yesteryear
Gold - a vaudeville producer with Broadway ambitions
Goldberg - a vaudeville producer with Broadway ambitions
Black - a handsome, suave escort
Kate - a dagger-tongued, former chorine and would-be star
  • Time Period 1920s
  • Features Period Costumes
  • Duration 105 Minutes
  • Cautions
    • Intense Adult Themes
    • Mild Adult Themes

Media

"The Wild Party is a dark, sensual, and glittering musical. [It proves] that the good, old-fashioned book musical form is still vibrant and very much alive. Bravo!”
— Thomas Burke, TalkinBroadway.com

"The first musical triumph of the new century!"
New York Daily News

"The Wild Party unfolds with all the speed of Jazz Age rhythms, and by the time its 100 furious minutes have run their course, the ferocity of it all leaves you both exhilarated and exhausted."
— Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

"It’s a good bet you will never find a more brilliant rendering of this party (based on Joseph Moncure March’s classic Jazz Age narrative poem)."
— Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

"The Wild Party should make you want to go to a wild party, and this one surely does. It functions, in essence, as a musical manifestation of the effects of cocaine and bathtub gin..."
— Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

"It should have many more reincarnations in the regional theatres and elsewhere and take its rightful place among the few great works of contemporary musical theatre."
— Suzanne Bixby, TalkinBroadway.com

Photos

  • The Wild Party

    Credit: Tristram Kenton

Music

Music Samples

1. "Queenie Wazza Blonde/" - Queenie, Burrs and the Company
1.5. "Marie Is Tricky/" - 
1.75. "Wild Party" - 
2. "Dry" - Jackie, Madelaine, Sally, Eddie, Mae, Nadine, the Brothers D'armano, Dolores and Burrs
3. "My Beautiful Blonde" - The Brothers D'armano
4. "Welcome To My Party" - Queenie
5. "Like Sally" - Madelaine
6. "Breezin' Through Another Day" - Jackie
7. "Uptown" - The Brothers D'armano and Burrs
8. "Eddie And Mae" - Eddie and Mae
9. "Gold And Goldberg" - Gold and Goldberg
10. "Moving Uptown" - Dolores
11. "Black Bottom" - Queenie
12. "Best Friend" - Queenie and Kate
13. "A Little M-M-M" - The Brothers D'armano
14. "The Lights Of Broadway" - Nadine
15. "Tabu" - Oscar
16. "Takin' Care Of The Ladies" - Black
17. "Tabu Dance" - Oscar, Queenie, Black and Sally
18. "Wouldn't It Be Nice?" - Burrs
19. "Lowdown Down" - Queenie
20. "Gin" - Burrs and the Company
21. "Wild" - Burrs and the Company
22. "Need" - Madelaine and the Company
23. "Black Is A Moocher" - Kate and the Company
24. "People Like Us" - Black and Queenie
25. "After Midnight Dies" - Sally
26. "Golden Boy" - Eddie and the Brothers D'armano
27. "The Movin' Uptown Blues" - Gold and Goldberg
28. "The Lights Of Broadway (Reprise)" - Nadine
29. "More" - Jackie
30. "Love Ain't Nothin"' - Kate
31. "Welcome To Her Party" - Burrs
32. "What I Need" - Queenie
33. "How Many Women In The World?" - Burrs
34. "When It Ends" - Dolores
35. "This Is What It Is" - Queenie
36. "Marie Is Tricky (Reprise)" - Burrs
37. "Finale" - Queenie, Burrs and the Company

Full Orchestration

Piano
Reed I (Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone, Alto Saxophone)
Reed II (Clarinet, Alto Saxophone)
Reed III (Flute, Piccolo, Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone)
Reed IV (Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Bariton Saxophone)
Trumpet I (Doubling Flugelhorn)
Trumpet II (Doubling Flugelhorn)
Trombone
Piano (Doubling Celeste)
Bass (Acoustic Bass Doubling Tuba)
Guitar (Doubling Banjo, Standard Ukulele, Baritone Ukulele)
Violin I&II
Violin III (Doubling Viola)
Drums (Traps, Police Whistle, Wood Block)
Percussion

Suspended Cymbal
Xylophone
Vibes
Mouth Siren
Temple Blocks
Chimes
Pipes [2]
Timpani
Wood Blocks (2)
Shaker
Marimba
Glockenspiel
Vibraslap
China Cymbal
Concert Bass Drum
Slap Stick
Splash Cymbal
Cow Bell
Floor Tom-Tom
Tam-Tam
Ratchet

  • Musical StyleJazz, Country/Western, Contemporary Broadway
  • Dance RequirementsModerate
  • Vocal DemandsModerate
  • Orchestra SizeLarge
  • Chorus SizeNo Chorus

Materials

Music Rentals

Concord offers a full suite of resources to help you put on the show of a lifetime!
17 Libretto-Vocal Book
1 Piano-Conductor
1 Reed 1
1 Reed 2
1 Reed 3
1 Reed 4
1 Trumpet 1
1 Trumpet 2
1 Trombone
1 Piano
1 Guitar
1 Drums
1 Percussion
1 Violin 1&2
1 Violin 3
1 Bass
1 Logo Pack
17 Libretto-Vocal Book
1 Piano-Conductor
1 Logo Pack

Add-Ons

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Authors

Michael John LaChiusa

Michael John LaChiusa – composer, lyricist and librettist – established himself as a powerful presence on the American musical theatre scene after winning Off-Broadway’s 1993 Obie Award for his musicals First Lady Suite and Hello Again. Six years later, LaChiusa was represent ...

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George C. Wolfe

George C. Wolfe directed CAROLINE, OR CHANGE (nominated for six 2004 Tony nominations, including Best Musical and Best Direction) and directed and co-wrote THE WILD PARTY (nominated for seven 2000 Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Book). He won the Tony Award for h ...

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Joseph Moncure March

Joseph Moncure March wrote his daring, electrically charged poem "The Wild Party" in 1926, and saw it published two years later in a limited edition that became something of a success de scandal that was banned in Boston. The noted writer and editor Louis Untermeyer called "T ...

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