Fuzzy showscore
New York | 1h 30m | Already closed

Wild Abandon

From 6 critic and 28 member reviews
Members say: Great singing, Ambitious, Entertaining, Clever, Slow

About the show

In this solo piece, actress and singer/songwriter Leenya Rideout explores a complicated mother-daughter relationship in a world where women are just beginning to have their voices heard through art. More…

Leenya, an actor and musician, is figuratively and literally stuck. One night she finds herself performing alone in a Long Island pub, separated by a snowstorm from the rest of her Irish rock band. Dusting off her original songs, she revisits stories of love, humor, and heartache which all seem to invoke thoughts of her mother, Lynn. Lynn is also an artist, but she prefers paints and canvas over a live audience. A reluctant stage mom, she is a church lady full of mixed messages. As Leenya performs, she reaches across a continent and a generation – connecting with her mother through art and memories. Together, the two women push beyond their pasts and discover how to live with "Wild Abandon."

Broadway Blog

"Diverting, gently comic, but dramatically slender…For all its underlying seriousness, 'Wild Abandon' takes a lighthearted view of its heroine's familial and romantic travails. It generates occasional laughter, but not enough to make comedy its strong suit. The universality of its fact and fiction mixture of Leenya and Lynn's mother-daughter story will resonate with some, but there's little in the writing that's anywhere near as noteworthy as the multitasking talents of Leenya Rideout." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"Leenya, a consummate actress, was born with talent far beyond the usual, excelling at everything – singing, playing piano and morphing into string instruments – violin, guitar, bass – all of which she showcases in this 90 minute presentation...She frequently takes on the role of her mother switching gears instantaneously, a tribute to her dramatic skills, as her complicated life emerges producing a release for a better, closer understanding between mother and daughter." Full Review


“A unique lens into a complex mother-daughter relationship...A rich tapestry of narrative, over a dozen songs...’Wild Abandon’ is at its best when it skirts and states the thorny issues that arose between Lynn and Leenya as they struggled to understand each other's separate lives and goals...'Wild Abandon' ultimately reveals that this mother-and-daughter duo, however different in temperament, share a passion for art and have lived, and continue to live, outside the lines." Full Review


"What our mothers owe us - and what we owe them - is at the heart of Leenya Rideout's one-woman autobiographical show, 'Wild Abandon.' In it, the prodigiously accomplished singer, songwriter, playwright, actor...comes to terms with both her mother's life and her own. Perhaps these twin goals converge a bit too neatly, especially given the harrowingly true complications Leenya introduces along the way, but there are so many hard-earned and poignant insights." Full Review

New York Stage Review

“This is yet another play about breaking into, and surviving in, show business as combined with the story of a checkered daughter-mother relationship. Anyone’s reaction to it will rely on tolerance for hearing about someone else gab on about show-biz perils and how they have or haven’t been incorporated into an overall rewarding life...Under Rothe’s direction, Rideout does sufficiently well at the challenge. There are, though, one or two instances...where she risks dipping into the vulgar.” Full Review


“The concept of ‘Wild Abandon’ is clear: work through the tension of the past to better understand the present...The problem is that it's not until these final moments that the audience sees Lynn for who she really is...Slick tricks and musical virtuosity aren't enough for a show built around the baring of souls, though. You get glimpses of Lynn and and Leenya's inner selves but nothing more. Far from a state of wild abandon, you're left feeling, at most, mild interest." Full Review

Intelligent, Entertaining, Great singing, Autobiographical, Great composing

See it if Wonderfully performance by a very talented songwriter, composer and performer Leenya Rideout.

Don't see it if If you do not like solo shows.

Great acting, Masterful, Resonant, Great writing, Great singing

See it if You love to watch an extremely talented woman charm us with her wit, humanity and incredible talent.

Don't see it if If don't like one woman shows.

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Great singing

See it if This most talented actress singer- songwriter and musician Leenya Rideout is a force to recon with ! Her work is carefully crafted.

Don't see it if If one person shows or complicated mother-daughter relationships is a troubling issue for you

Also congrads to the director as well. The 1 and a 1/2 show is never dull. ... Read more Read less


See it if you like to look into the road of an actress life and enjoy multi talented musicians

Don't see it if you hate musicians and actors bios

Also you are impressed with raw talent !

Funny, Moving, Emotional, Great singing

See it if If you're a mother or a daughter, and you find that relationship riveting, also if you love wonderful singing.

Don't see it if You aren't interested in a one-woman show about a daughter and mom that is mostly singing.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Edgy, Great acting

See it if If you want to see a one woman show with many instruments. Her talent was amazing. The style she presented it was rock biopic.

Don't see it if You dislike one woman shows. You want a linear plot

Absorbing, Enchanting, Epic, Thought-provoking, Great singing

See it if you enjoy quirky one-woman shows loaded with heart and a multitude of musical instruments.

Don't see it if you're looking for a traditional big-set and flashy costumes musical. This is a little show in a little theater with a huge amount of soul.

Ambitious, Resonant, Entertaining, Personal, Multitalented

See it if You have a mother with whom you have issues , or like one person shows featuring very talented performers

Don't see it if You don't like small , basement theaters or dwelling on mother daughter relationships

Charming, Entertaining, Great singing, Touching

See it if / to see a virtuosic musician/singer; for some mother-daughter bonding; if you like solo shows.

Don't see it if solo shows or singer-songwriters are not your bag; you don't want something cabaret-ish.

Funny, Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy watching a multi talented woman perform with a deep past.

Don't see it if you want a fast moving piece without sentiment.

Ambitious, Quirky, Resonant, Cliched, Slow

See it if Rideout's musical, autobiographical paean to her mother (a frustrated artist) is touching w/o being very moving but her musicianship shines

Don't see it if Tone of the drama veers wildly from poignant to maudlin; Rideout's personal life often clouds the picture Comes vibrantly alive at the end

Riveting, Great singing, Intimate, Good storytelling, Great instrumentals

See it if you enjoy one-woman shows with lots of art, singing and instrumentals. Leenya Rideout is very talented. The show builds in intensity.

Don't see it if you are not into biographical mother/daughter sagas. If you are uninterested in a woman's voice, this show is not for you.

Ambitious, Clever, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Entertaining

See it if You like sort-of Irish folk songs and appreciate the fact that 1 woman can play many instruments in 1 show.

Don't see it if You don't like 1 woman shows, you expect to hear familiar songs, you don't like cabarets dressed up to resemble a show.

Also Ms Rideout is a lovely person with a good voice. Her personal stories ... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Indulgent, Disappointing, Cliched, Entertaining

See it if to discover an emerging playwright, like solo shows with live music, discussions of mother-daughter issues, career concerns & self-discovery

Don't see it if don't like 1-person shows, memoir-style explorations of personal growth & familial relations, character trying to work out issues with music

Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Indulgent, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You want to know what a woman's life in the theater and music industry is really like. Also, see it with your mother or daughter.

Don't see it if You don't like one-woman shows. The actress is very good, but it's hard for any 1 person to sustain an audience's interest for 90 minutes.

Great singing, Great musicianship

See it if you want to see a hard-working and highly-disciplined performer at her zenith.

Don't see it if you're expecting perfection. The book could use some polishing.

Also Leenya Rideout is a beautiful and super-talented actress-singer-musici... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Delightful, Intelligent

See it if You enjoy an intimate setting with a talented actress/musician. Very enjoyable performance.

Don't see it if You want a splashy big musical with a linear plot and a big cast

Thought-provoking, Resonant, Indulgent, Great singing, Great musicality

See it if You like a mother-daughter story told by talented solo actor-singer-musician Leenya Rideout with a Celtic twist. Very relatable to us all.

Don't see it if You expect a well-formatted story flow with smooth conjoined segments. You dislike solo performances & sitting for 90 minutes straight.

Also Leenya is super talented, and has a long resume of performances on and... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Enchanting, Resonant, Great music, Great singing

See it if You enjoy one woman musicals with great singing and instrumentals. An interesting story about a mother-daughter relationship.

Don't see it if You need a tight show, this is good but could use a little cutting, some moments start strong but lose steam and are repetitive.

Disappointing, Slow, Too long, Good singing

See it if About a mom and daughter relationship. A lot of singing and it is a little funny.

Don't see it if That there's a lot of singing and it's a little bit too long.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Slow, Great singing

See it if You enjoy Irish, folk, or singer-songwriter, music. You want to go see a show with your mom that will bring the two of you closer together.

Don't see it if You dislike shows that are more about familial conflict than anything else. Dislike any of the above genres.

Also "Says she's just a church lady but don't let 'er fool ya." -Leenya Rid... Read more Read less

Clever, Slow

See it if To be up close to a talented multi-instrumentalist in a one woman show with some catchy tunes and a complicated mother-daughter relationship

Don't see it if You want a narrative.

Also It’s fine for what it is but there’s not much to it. Sets, props and i... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Disappointing, Needs a dramaturg

See it if you enjoy a scattered autobiographical monologue. A talent exhibition - an impressive variety of instruments played.

Don't see it if you prefer a coherent script. Not enough contrast between herself and her mom.

Indulgent, Excruciating, Slow

See it if You want to see a talented musician play the roles of herself and her mother in a diatribe against said mother. You think grow up .

Don't see it if You don’t like a very intimate theater where the actor has her eye on one and all in the audience or basically a long repetitive complaint.

Disappointing, Slow, Great singing, Over-long

See it if You don't mind watching a 90 minute biographic on the life of Leenya Rideout, with brilliant singing, original songs, and many slow bumps.

Don't see it if You don't like one-woman shows, or would rather avoid something that should be at least 1/3 shorter. An hour would have been enough.

Also Rideout was at top game in Before We're Gone. Here, she misses the mar... Read more Read less

Cast & Creatives (6)