By Crystal Skillman
Directed by Evan F. Caccioppoli
Produced by Kid Brooklyn Productions
At Angel Island, Chicago
Smart new drama depicts a new take on betrayal, forgiveness and the staying power of love
Kid Brooklyn Productions opens with a world premiere of a smart, well thought out drama, Wild. Playwright Crystal Skillman shows her talent for storytelling as she has a keen understanding of how an affair can be so overwhelming as to threaten a strong relationship. She uses a male gay relationship to make her statement.
The play opens with Nikki (Julia Daubert) and Peter (Evan Linder) drunk on Oak Street beach in Chicago after a night of partying on Rush Street. They are horny and eventually, after Nikki pontificates on life, society and her personal foibles, they have sex on the beach in the early morning.
Next, Peter feels so guilty that he confesses to his lover/roommate Bobby (Michael Manocchio) about his affair. Bobby is devastated, especially that Peter had sex with a woman. Peter tries to makes things right with Bobby who just can’t forgive Peter. The two continue to live together and even sleep in the same bed but the relationship is totally strained. The two barely speak.
Bobby then eyes the young intern Jordy (Justin Harner) and they have a skinny-dipping sex on the beach. Is Bobby really in love with Jordy or is screwing him to get back at Peter? Peter, brooding over Bobby’s reluctance to forgive him, meets an attractive Aussie free spirit, Vin (Jude Hansen). The two become an item. But does Peter really love Vin? Add Peter’s dying father with whom he hesitates to visit in the hospital and Peter is filled with self-loathing.
When Bobby’s brother Ted (Adam Schulmerich) offers both Bobby and Peter advise about forgiveness and the classic “we’re all family” concept, he is met with emotional resistance from both lovers.
This smart drama vividly focuses on hurts so deep that forgiveness is difficult. It looks at how on letting go of past hurts can immobilize one emotionally. The play also demonstrates how we often use others sexually for both relief and as bodies that substitute for the one we love.
This work is quite sexual, honest and telling. The use of nudity by four of the guys is done as essential to they story. Wild is a fine work by a new voice with something to say. The ensemble acting was terrific as Linder, Harner, Hansen were quite effective. I especially liked the performance of Michael Manocchio as he played Bobby’s pent up anger and emotional entropy quite truthfully. Wild is quit funny, honest, sexy and entertaining. It is worth seeing.
Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast
Date reviewed: June 23, 2012
For more info checkout the Wild page at theatreinchicago.com
At Angel Island Theater, 731 W. Sheridan, Chicago, IL, www.kidbrooklynproductions.org/wild, tickets $15, industry/students $10, Thursdays thru Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 5pm, running time is 1 hour, 50 minutes with intermission, through July 1, 2012