The Wild Party was the show that introduced composer-lyricist Michael John LaChiusa to a wider audience when it played on Broadway in 2000. Though it was not a hit, it did pick up seven Tony Award nominations and plenty of admirers of its funky score. Now LaChiusa's musical will introduce freeFall Theatre Company to the Tampa Bay area. For the company's debut, artistic director Eric Davis says the audience will be "immersed'' in the decadent party in his staging at a St. Petersburg art gallery, the Studio@620. There will be a preshow cocktail party and late-night performances on Fridays and Saturdays.
The Wild Party is based on a narrative poem by Joseph Moncure March that was banned in Boston when it was first published in 1928. It's about a dancer named Queenie and her insanely jealous lover, Burrs, a vaudeville comic. When they throw a party, the raffish crowd that shows up includes a faded diva named Dolores, a lesbian stripper, a prizefighter and a gay piano duo. Naturally, an orgy ensues. (Be warned there is partial nudity.)
There is a preview tonight; the show opens Friday and runs through Sept. 28 at the Studio@620, 620 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg. $20 for preview; $24 for students, seniors; $34.50 general admission. (727) 895-6620; studio620.org.