Houssaynatou @ 'Happy Birthday, Wanda June' - I thought something WAS on fire

What’s it about?

A father who abandoned his family for eight years to look for diamonds in the Amazon returns to a whole new world.

My experience.

When the elevator doors opened up on the floor of the theatre, I thought something was on fire.

Smoke was everywhere and I was choking. Turns out it was the kind of smoke produced by a smoke machine... apparently, it was supposed to give a you’re-in-the-Amazon vibe. Then I looked around the room and realized there were plants everywhere, tropical colors and pictures of animals plastered all over the walls. All this did not correlate with what I had read online about the show, so I was excited to see what this play had in store for me.

I had a front-row seat and I was so ready to for the show to start — but it didn't.

Well, not on time at least.

After several minutes of sitting in a dim room, the cast finally came out once the stage went pitch black. They were making what I can only describe as animal noises. They were giving us monkey, owl, lion and things I can't even describe. And, oh yeah, something funny happened.

I got chosen out of the audience. Though flattered, I did not know what I was supposed to do. One of the characters had decided to talk directly to one special audience member — me! As soon as we made eye contact, he pointed and I smiled — smiled until my cheeks were sore.

I do not remember what he said but I know it was funny. There was no movement on my part except staying in my seat and Harold stood in one spot for two whole minutes just talking to me!! I just smiled and laughed. I think the laughing was enough for him. Cause, let's be honest, who would want an audience that is not responsive?

After that, unfortunately, I got lost. One of the main characters, Harold, had the personality of an egoistic maniac and that was such a turnoff for me that I just cringed for most of his stage time. He was constantly slurring his words because he was a "drunk." Even though he may have been drunk, it would have helped if I could at least understand what he was saying. Unfortunately, his “jokes” did not keep me interested for long enough to see this 'til the end. I left during intermission. The play was just all over the place in terms of its story line. I'm guessing the play ended in Harold returning back from his adventures after they all thought he had died. The family was probably not too responsive to his return, as he basically left them without any notice. Then, realistically, he died from liver cancer. I mean the amount of alcohol he drank...

Can I just also say, I didn't see how the character Wanda June had anything to do with this story line. From what I saw she was a little girl that is in some sort of heaven-like limbo and, from time to time, she'd appear. That's it. Not to be rude or anything, but this little girl also kept on stumbling over her words so badly I cringed a little for her. The jokes she delivered did not get any response from the audience — AWKWARD!!! I could tell by the expression of the person next to me and just the overall vibe from the audience that it just did not make any sense to anyone.


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