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Wild Party [Lippa] [Off-Broadway]

The Wild Party [Lippa] [Off-Broadway]

4.8 7
New Yorker writer Joseph Moncure March's novella-length poem, The Wild Party, a verse depiction of roaring '20s decadence, was published in 1928 and fell out of copyright in 1994. Soon after, it began to attract the attention of theater people, and, amazingly enough, two competing New York theater companies ended up mounting entirely different musical versions


New Yorker writer Joseph Moncure March's novella-length poem, The Wild Party, a verse depiction of roaring '20s decadence, was published in 1928 and fell out of copyright in 1994. Soon after, it began to attract the attention of theater people, and, amazingly enough, two competing New York theater companies ended up mounting entirely different musical versions of it within two months of each other in the second half of the 1999-2000 season: The Manhattan Theatre Club opened its production at its off-Broadway house, while the Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival mounted its production on Broadway. This album contains the Manhattan Theatre Club Wild Party, which was written -- book, music, and lyrics -- by Andrew Lippa. Lippa, who added some good songs to a revival of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown but had not previously written a full-length musical, is an eclectic composer who uses period styles as a reference. The score begins with a growling horn, recalling Duke Ellington's Jungle Band, for example, and the sound of the song "Old-Fashioned Love Story" (a tribute to lesbianism) is informed by Kurt Weill's German theater music. But Lippa does not feel constrained to maintain strict historical accuracy in his music, prominently using an electric guitar in many songs and bringing in other elements of rock and R&B. Similarly, his lyrics indulge in occasional anachronisms -- or was the term "bottom-feeding," for instance, which appears in "Out of the Blue," coined by the 1920s? As such, his Wild Party mixes the 1920s with the 1990s, which is appropriate, since its story of licentiousness and its consequences plays as well at the turn of the century as it did in the interwar period. The challenge with a show called The Wild Party that is full of sex, drugs, and violence is to address effectively its contrasting moods, and Lippa does this by taking an episodic approach. Many of the show's songs are set pieces that could be lifted out of the storyline, and they give the performers solo showcases. Julia Murney, who plays the female lead, Queenie, particularly benefits from this structure, but so does Idina Menzel, who plays Kate, a prostitute who sings the catchy act two opener, "The Life of the Party." Lippa's score is tuneful, and his handling of the material is direct, very different from LaChiusa's more abstract score and the highly stylized staging LaChiusa's director/co-librettist, George C. Wolfe, gave to the competing Broadway production. But Lippa's version of The Wild Party ultimately can't overcome the slightness of its source material and ends up being a minor, if lively, operetta in which kohl-eyed vamps and jealous men drink, love, and fight, or rather give the appearance of those things while actually singing and dancing. (The Manhattan Theatre Club's production of Andrew Lippa's The Wild Party opened Off-Broadway at City Center Stage I on February 24, 2000 and closed after 88 performances.)

Product Details

Release Date:
Rca Victor Broadway


Album Credits

Performance Credits

Alix Korey   Track Performer
Hollis "Bud" Burridge   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Jason DeBord   Piano
Vincent Della-Rocca   Clarinet,Flute,Piccolo,Alto Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone
Raymond McLeod   Track Performer
Bob Millikan   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Taye Diggs   Track Performer
Julia K. Murney   Track Performer
Frank Santagata   Clarinet,Bass Clarinet,Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone
Idina Menzel   Track Performer
Brian d'Arcy James   Track Performer
Ensemble   Track Performer
Kevin Cahoon   Track Performer
James Delisco Beeks   Track Performer
Jennifer Cody   Track Performer
Charles Dillon   Track Performer
Kena Tangi Dorsey   Track Performer
Peter Kapetan   Track Performer
Matt Beck   Guitar
Konrad Adderly   Bass

Technical Credits

Andrew Lippa   Producer,Book
Jay Newland   Engineer

Customer Reviews

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The Wild Party [Lippa] [Off-Broadway] 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first started listening to this soundtrack, because it has Idina Menzel, Julia Murney, and Taye Diggs in it. The first song I heard from it was "Raise the Roof," and after that I instantly fell in love with it. The musical is sultry, heartbreaking, comical, and the music is absolutely out of this world!! Julia Murney completely blew me away, and gave me yet another reason to love her voice!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Andrew Lippa's musical "The Wild Party" is an exciting off-Broadway show that soars above the regular and the expected. The songs are first-rate and slightly over the top; the cast is relentlessly talented; and, Michael Gibson's orchestrations raise the bar for show bands. This show is so original and musical that, like with Sondheim, it takes a couple hearings to fully appreciate its power. This is one of my favorite scores of the past ten years. Don't confuse it with the Ertha Kitt show (same title, same season) which flopped on Broadway.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you love exciting, seductive musicals... this is it. This gorgeous off-broadway musical has some of the finest voices and some of the finest tunes I've heard in a long time. If you like Idina, this is a great show for her voice with the song "Life of the Party." Taye Digg's rich voice is displayed prominently. "Wild, Wild Party" and "Queenie was a Blonde" show off the spunky voices that make up this album. The emotional story of two mixed up couples drives this show to a the exciting climax song, "Make me Happy". I cried the first time I listened to this musical start to finish. You will be addicted.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Originally I bought this CD because I love me some Taye Diggs and Idina Menzel from RENT, and would listen to them sing anything. But overall I fell in love with this CD because of the music. It is really really catchy, and some of it even beautiful. Also, the songs are very sexy, even when not talking about sex, made even more appealing by the outstanding vocals of, of course Taye and Idina, but especially Julia Murney. She has such passion in her voice it really brings it to life. Some of the lyrics are a tad cliche, but practically all of the lyrics are fun or heartwarming or heartbreaking, and the music is genius. I can't stop listening to this CD.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this cd after listening to Idina Menzel singing "Life of the Party". After buying this cd I am so happy I did! Julia Murney has such a wonderful voice. Raymond Jaramillo McLeod and Jennifer Cody, although secondary characters are so great in "Two of a Kind". And of course Idina Menzel is a show stealer. The ensemble is great too. I LOVE this cd now! Buy this instead of LaChiusa's version, it's a lot of fun!
Broadwaylove More than 1 year ago
I've never seen the Wild Party, but I am a fan of the actors who were it it so I got the soundtrack. It's a little hard to follow without knowing the story (though there is a lengthy description of the plot in the liner notes). It's got some unique and interesting music, though I'd say Raise the Roof and Life of the Party are the only two songs that have stuck with me as the most "hummable." Overall it's a fun purchase and a good soundtrack, especially if you're a fan of the actors/singers themselves.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago