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Off Broadway

The Wolves: A Winning Pack of Warriors

The Wolves: A Winning Pack of Warriors

The Wolves

These nine young women we see before us are strong, athletic, and powerful. They are a pack of Wolves, preparing to embark on a war-like charge of sorts. These young teenage women engage in casual effortless banter with each other, talking to one another, over one another, and ignoring others. It’s a breathless beginning, so real and honest, creating a instant engagement and awe of these warrior women preparing for battle. At the beginning of The Wolves, this indoor soccer team, stretching and preparing, are undefeated, but we know these women are going to have to deal with many obstacles that will be thrown in their way. Will they triumph or will they be defeated?

The Wolves

Sarah DeLappe, the playwright, delivers spectacularly on her debut production. The Wolves has been in the works since the summer of 2014, and we owe a debt of gratitude to organizations like Playwrights Realm, which foster young talented writers such as DeLappe, and the plays they are developing. The hard work and dedication has paid off in the creation of such a fierce and fearless play. These new productions don’t just magically appear as completed pieces, but get manicured and developed with many a note from numerous interested talented souls. And because of that help, The Wolves wins big.

The Wolves

Directed by Lila Neugebauer, this play aggressively throws us into the mix mid-sentance. All these name-less teammates; Susannah Perkins (#11), Lauren Patten (#25), Jenna Dioguardi (#13), Tedra Millan (#46), Sarah Mezzanotte (#2), Brenna Coates (#7), Samia Finnerty (#14), Midori Francis (#8), and Lizzy Jutila (#00), are warming up and gossiping. They discuss every order of the day from sanitary napkins to the Khmer Rouge of Cambodia. They speak about some things that they are unable to fully comprehend; information and ideas ingested from reading articles, textbooks, and listening to their parent’s conversations. It’s as if they want to understand and solve all the worlds problems, in the way that only a pack of teenagers would. The girls are figuring out who they are, at the same time as we, the audience are. We are witness to their img_8980anxiety and fear, right along side their courage and optimism. The stereotypes that we try to fit the individual teens into don’t fully work here, changing and expanding our definitions and delineations with each scene. This is where DeLappe’s genius is most apparent: in the details and the differences. Some of them have a history that goes back years, and some are new to the team and to each other. It’s captivating watching them argue, fight, tease, and commune together, wanting to be a uniformed force, but also striving for personal identity, individualization, acceptance, and accomplishment.

The Wolves

In much the same way that DeLappe delivers on her authentic dialogue, the creative team, Laura Jellinek (set design), Lap Chi Chu (lighting design), Ásta Bennie Hostetter (costume design) and Stowe Nelson & Beth Lake (sound design) succeed wonderfully at giving us a solidness and excitement to fully engage us throughout this 90 minute dissertation in young female power, competitiveness, and angst. The big reveal that comes midway through, in the form of the one adult actor, the thankless role of the Soccer Mom (Kate Arrington) who has something to say, is the one area that feels the most constructed, which is not to say it doesn’t work. But it is the one moment in this raw production that feels manufactured. For a moment, it takes us out of the race forward. But thankfully, it passes. And we return to the young women that are keeping this play on track. We understand, that the real standout, the MVP, besides the impeccable work by all nine of the young women actors, is the script. The beauty and the power of these young athletes moving from teenage to adulthood. The team and the play are the true winners here.

For more go to frontmezzjunkies.com

Off Broadway
@#frontmezzjunkies

My love for theater started when I first got involved in high school plays and children's theatre in London, Ontario, which led me—much to my mother’s chagrin—to study set design, directing, and arts administration at York University in Toronto. But rather than pursuing theater as a career (I did produce and design a wee bit), I became a self-proclaimed theater junkie and life-long supporter. I am not a writer by trade, but I hope to share my views and feelings about this amazing experience we are so lucky to be able to see here in NYC, and in my many trips to London, Enlgand, Chicago, Toronto, Washington, and beyond. Living in London, England from 1985 to 1986, NYC since 1994, and on my numerous theatrical obsessive trips to England, I've seen as much theater as I can possibly afford. I love seeing plays. I love seeing musicals. If I had to choose between a song or a dance, I'd always pick the song. Dance—especially ballet—is pretty and all, but it doesn’t excite me as, say, Sondheim lyrics. But that being said, the dancing in West Side Story is incredible! As it seems you all love a good list, here's two. FAVORITE MUSICALS (in no particular order): Sweeney Todd with Patti Lupone and Michael Cerveris in 2005. By far, my most favorite theatrical experience to date. Sunday in the Park with George with Jenna Russell (who made me sob hysterically each and every one of the three times I saw that production in England and here in NYC) in 2008 Spring Awakening with Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele in 2007 Hedwig and the Angry Inch (both off-Boadway in 1998 and on Broadway in 2014, with Neal Patrick Harris, but also with Michael C. Hall and John Cameron Mitchell, my first Hedwig and my last...so far), Next To Normal with Alice Ripley (who I wish I had seen in Side Show) in 2009 FAVORITE PLAYS (that’s more difficult—there have been so many and they are all so different): Angels in American, both on Broadway and off Lettice and Lovage with Dame Maggie Smith and Margaret Tyzack in 1987 Who's Afraid of Virginai Woolf with Tracy Letts and Amy Morton in 2012 Almost everything by Alan Ayckbourn, but especially Woman in Mind with Julia McKenzie in 1986 And to round out the five, maybe Proof with Mary Louise Parker in 2000. But ask me on a different day, and I might give you a different list. These are only ten theatre moments that I will remember for years to come, until I don’t have a memory anymore. There are many more that I didn't or couldn't remember, and I hope a tremendous number more to come. Thanks for reading. And remember: read, like, share, retweet, enjoy. For more go to frontmezzjunkies.com

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