Review: "Wild: A Musical Becoming" is finding its place

The only actor who has briefly lucked out in a dialogue that lets entire characters emerge is Josh Lamon, as the excitable Minister Muddl...


The only actor who has briefly lucked out in a dialogue that lets entire characters emerge is Josh Lamon, as the excitable Minister Muddle and the ultra-quiet therapist Dr. Projection.

“Your children were traumatized when they learned about the consequences of leasing your land,” Dr Projection told parents in Outskirtzia. “Then you told them you didn’t care what they thought or felt. You made them feel unimportant and invisible.

Somehow, according to Dr. Projection, this lesson doesn’t sound like a lesson – a rare sensation in “Wild.” The creators of the series often seem to have the impression that virtue excuses artistic shortcomings, such as when a program note highlights the eco-consciousness of the construction of its costumes.

The designers, SiiGii, Roy Caires and Tommy Cole, write that they used “exclusively second-hand, recycled and reused materials”. Yet the outfits, in absurd quilts of denim and checks, aren’t flattering – “Hee Haw” meets the apocalypse – in a way that seems condescending, as if being poor and rural means having no sense of the land. style.

The show’s successful reuse of scenic elements from the start of the season – the ART set of “Macbeth In Stride” (by Dan Soule), augmented with lush sculptures (by Daniel Callahan) from his “The Arboretum Experience “- makes a more dignified point: that recycled materials do not need to be penitentiary.

“Wild” meets the world before it’s ready, but there is something ultimately affecting about parents and teens, and something commendable, too, about the theater that tries to meet the demands. pressing concerns of the day.

“We want you to panic, we want you to act,” sing the children, implicating their elders. “You have stolen our future and we want to get it back. However awkwardly, “Wild” is on the children’s side – an offer of respect and contrition on the part of the adults, while there is still time.

Wild: a musical future
Until January 2 at the Loeb Drama Center, Cambridge, Mass .; americanrepertorytheater.org. Duration: 1h30.

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