"If there is an afterlife, I hope Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., has had the opportunity to look down and watch the Wheelhouse Theater Company's excellent production of his hilarious, incisive farce...directed with vitality, creativity, and respect...O'Connell manages all of Harold's dimensions in a tour de force performance...MacCluggage is every bit as good....A delayed-release show, where you laugh non-stop while watching it yet remain genuinely moved by it afterward." Full Review
"Must a strange, dusty old piece that so efficiently bottled the darkness of the edgy, moody past have to be so damned apt again? I suppose if it must, it might as well be really, really well done, and this production sure is...It zeroes in so brilliantly on some of the republic's most tender bruises...Very frequently hilarious...It's also exceptionally acted...'Wanda June' left me in the most curious state of simultaneous elation and melancholy, but the joy outlasted the sorrow." Full Review
"Vonnegut Jr.’s shaggy but zingingly relevant comedy now getting a ferociously funny revival...As Jason O’Connell proves in a hilarious and explosive performance as Harold, the cult of masculinity that Vonnegut lampooned is still with us, absurd and menacing and terribly, terribly vain...This is quite a departure, and quite a star turn...In the final act, there’s a scene whose resonance now Vonnegut couldn’t possibly have imagined." Full Review
"This darkly comic, often absurd and evocative play keeps the laughs coming while never letting its audience forget the bitter and ugly disparity between old-world misogynist machismo and new-age enlightened, sensitive yet sometimes impotent masculinity...O'Connell's broad-stroked but disgustingly gleeful performance...making him the man you love to hate...MacCluggage is extremely enjoyable and a shining standout...All flourish under Wise's deft direction and capable staging." Full Review
"The actors do not disappoint, especially in the performance by Jason O’Connell in the leading role...He is enough to see the show all on its own. As for the play itself, even if Vonnegut’s writing, once cutting edge is now somewhat duller, his absurdist take on the human condition has not dated at all. And if the plotting is clunky (which frankly, it always was), Vonnegut more than makes up for it up by his witty and thought-provoking dialogue, which will forever be linked as his trademark." Full Review
"The play may not be a masterpiece, but the production by the Wheelhouse Theater Company under director Jeff Wise breathes screwball life into it with strong performances and unabashed theatricality...Under Wise’s direction, the disparate elements blend together like some psychedelic head trip...Most crucial to the production’s success is Jason O’Connell’s riveting performance as Harold, even if he often tips into excess." Full Review
"Vonnegut fans will recognize the genre-busting conceits and madcap non sequiturs, and the play's antiwar, antigun satirical focus is pointed and unambiguous...Not a great play...It is, though, boldly theatrical and has its share of Vonnegut's trademark lunacy and deliciously lowbrow humor...Under Jeff Wise's brash direction, the cast is uniformly strong...The play overstays its welcome in the nearly two-and-a-half-hour running time, but in this production...there is certainly much to celebra... Full Review
"Vonnegut fans and enthusiasts of extremely broad acting will be thrilled by this revival...It’s rarely performed and this excellent production from Wheelhouse Theater Company demonstrates why...Exuberant dialogue matched with a 1960s biting sensibility, a familiar plot, and Shavian speechifying adds up to a patchy and long-winded experience...Their sterling presentation reveals it to be a piece of its time with little weight that does faithfully convey the sly spirit of Vonnegut." Full Review
"The play is top-heavy with unamusing exposition; the characters keep coming and going to no purpose, except to engage in lengthy, detail-filled conversations with each other. When a climactic scene is finally arranged, it is as flat as everything else that has come before it. These conclusions are easy to reach because Jeff Wise's staging seems to be right in the spirit of Vonnegut's intentions, with a skillful cast onboard...But much of 'Happy Birthday, Wanda June' dates badly." Full Review
"Unfortunately, and I know I'm an outlier here, this Wheelhouse Theater Company production is overacted, under-funny, and ineffectually directed. The original's three acts are compressed into two, running a talkatively dreary two hours and 40 minutes. Director Jeff Wise isn't able to locate the correct pace, leading to a lugubrious lack of tension. He also fails to create a world in which we can accept the plausibility of these offbeat characters and a sense of their commitment to one another." Full Review
See it if you are an avid Vonnegut reader and understand his writing. Appreciate a modern tale of a classic, with the consequences of male stupidity.
Don't see it if you can't stand conflict, absurdity or things that are not neatly wrapped up like a birthday cake for a cute girl with a green balloon.
See it if you like experimental plays of the 70's that are still relevant today. The acting of most of the actors was outstanding. Great funny plot
Don't see it if you don't like experimental quirky work or if you don't like to see plays in a very tiny theater.
See it if You're up for a terrific and sharp production of Vonnegut's flawed but timely meditation on American machismo, violence and determination.
Don't see it if No reason not to catch more great work by this thoughtful & enterprising company; cast, direction &production shine in this rarely seen play
See it if The acting is excellent. Very impressed by the intensity of the energy! Definitely worth seeing before it leaves.
Don't see it if You don’t like small theaters,or if you are offended by yelling and loud noises.
See it if You want to see actors take huge truthful chances and succeed in going very far. The premise is involving and relevant to our time
Don't see it if If you want a safer strictly entertaining light evening. It's in an intimate theatre which may not be for everyone
See it if you love Vonnegut. A biting satire for Donald Trump's America: aggressive masculinity, guns, war, corruption, amorality, abuse of women.
Don't see it if you prefer light comedy, and realistic settings, situations, and dialog. This play is dark and experimental.
See it if you like seeing plays that aren’t produced as much and enjoy black comedies
Don't see it if you aren’t a fan of Vonnegut’s writing, are uncomfortable with swearing and twisted imagery, or prefer big budget productions
See it if You like good acting, specially Harold and Penelope was over the top. Eventhough the play takes place in past, still relavant.
Don't see it if You do not like Very intimate theatre setting, violence, hunting, war talk, profanity.
See it if you love farce, absurdism, brilliant direction, and a marvelously broad acting style from this perfect cast in a very intimate theatre.
Don't see it if you cannot handle themes of misogyny and violence in this dark comedy of toxic masculinity. Well costumed in the 70s eerily relevant today.
See it if If you like good acting, directing lighting and an esoteric story. KV, JR is a very provocative writer and the show is well acted, staged.
Don't see it if If you do not like a story with several meanings that tests your thought process. If you like big productions.
See it if absurdity gone wild keeps you amused. Lots of madness in the service of signifiant ideas including imaginative use of the set.
Don't see it if realistic dramas are your preferred form. These are stock characters performing farce.
See it if you like Vonnegut, appreciate strange stories & dark comic satires; can see how a play written in Vietnam era has relevance for today
Don't see it if you want a play to get better in 2nd half - this one does drag a lot then; or if you don't want to see an over-the-top macho type
See it if you want to see themes of toxic masculinity/violence/the problems of heroism explored in a funny and intense way
Don't see it if you're not comfortable in a small theater (cast members very close to/speaking directly to audience at some moments)
See it if Vintage Vonnegut (at his satiric best) proves shockingly timely & moving Whip cracking direction; strong acting propel potent drama Neat set
Don't see it if At times tends towards narrative vs action which can slow pace But Jason O'Connell's Harold in a stunning star turn covers any dramatic sins
See it if You appreciate truly funny, over-the-top acting and terrific directing, or if your are a fan of Vonnegut. Excellent cast.
Don't see it if You can't stand some dated, misogynistic lines, or depictions of violence, or a script with its tongue firmly in its cheek.
See it if You like offbeat humor, unsubtle progressive politics in the face of Trump-like instigation, and an old, old story that is still relevant
Don't see it if Politics aren't progressive & U can't put them aside to enjoy a show, or politics R progressive & U can't stomach awfulness to make a point
See it if You want to see a play about a macho character who is out of place with society. The parallel to current manliness is uncanny
Don't see it if You don’t like plays with violence or abusive characters.
See it if ...you like absurdist plays with an undercurrent of unrest and relevance. Black comedy at its best,
Don't see it if ...you need literal and linear explanations for everything. You dislike cramped, warm off-Broadway theatre spaces.
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