‘Laughing Wild’ while questioning social mores

Engel, Jessica

On May 3 and 4, Meara Levezow and Nick Endres will perform their senior project, a production of Christopher Durang’s “Laughing Wild.” The play will showcase the direction of Zach Johnson and the set design of Devin Scheef. Hilarious ’80s costumes, deemed “gloriously ugly” by Endres, cheesy elevator music amidst scenes of violence, and skilled comedic acting are just a few of the reasons to come see this zany theatrical romp. The play, written by the controversial-yet-comical Durang, raises questions about modern morality, politics, and pop-culture, while still managing to keep the audience laughing. The play humorously examines sexuality, religion, contraception, and the electoral vote, among many other serious topics.
Levezow plays a mentally ill woman who comes into conflict with Endres’ unnamed character, a neurotic man who often attends New Age gatherings. Levezow and Endres perform monologues that climax in several shared dream sequences. Both play their eccentric roles convincingly, with satirical humor that nevertheless elicits sympathy. They present their characters as larger than life, but ingeniously create the illusion of reality.
Both actors portray their overwrought characters with surprising ease. They sweep us away into their dream world, not once reminding us that they are acting. Even after the show ends, one cannot help but reflect upon the talent that Levezow and Endres possess as actors. Levezow possesses a great penchant for physical comedy reminiscent of Carol Burnett, and Endres’ possesses a unique stage presence which immediately charms the audience. Both actors do the writer’s work much justice.
Also noteworthy is the impressively versatile, adaptable set created by Scheef. In addition, Johnson’s directing efforts let the play comes together as a cohesive whole. This satirical success is not to be missed. The production dates are set for April 29 and 30, at 8 p.m. There will also be a preview of the show on April 28. Admittance is free.