Men’s bonding weekend goes awry
By DANA DUGAN
Express Staff Writer
If you're not one of these guys chances are
you used to date him. What guys?
The Wild Guys, natch, who seem to be
lost in the Sawtooth National Forest but are coming to the nexStage
Theatre in Ketchum, Jan. 25-28.
Produced by the Interplanetary Theatre
Group in association with Bigwood Bread, and directed by Pamela Sue
Martin, The Wild Guys is about "four guys in search of their
souls on a hilarious men’s insensitivity retreat," said
Interplanetary artistic director Jon Kane. It satirizes men’s self-help
encounters, made famous by drum-beating poet Robert Bly during the last
decade of the last century, and the new-age, touchy-feely movement that
Canadian playwrights Andrew Wreggitt and
his wife, Rebecca Shaw, won Canada’s Solange Karsh Award for best play
in the 1992 National [Canadian] Playwriting Competition and has been
widely produced ever since.
"It was originally written as a one
act," said Wreggitt by phone from Manitoba. "It premiered at the
Arts Club Theatre, Vancouver, for a three-week run. It was such a hit it
ran for five months. They brought it back the following summer for another
The characters include a good ole’ boy
grocer, Stewart, played by Larry Kelly, who is under the impression he’s
going on a beer-drinkin’ and lie-swappin’ guys weekend.
His boss, Andy, organizer of the gathering
and men’s movement afficionado, is played by Michael Lanzarone, and the
corporate lawyer, Randall, who only dates 20-year-olds, is played by Laird
Rounding out the mismatched group is Robin,
a blissed-out, new-age, cyrstal gazer played by Joe Marshall.
Other than their gender, the characters
have virtually nothing in common.
"We based it on people we
know--composites," said Wreggitt. "It was clear who would have
fun with whom. Stewart [the grocer] is the local guy in the little town
who’s supposed to know what he’s doing. People think you can hunt
moose and build a cabin just because you live up north in the bush, but
that’s just where you live."
There are lots of different ways to do the
show, Wreggitt said, with "huge elaborate sets and gigantic art
direction. It’s also been done with a cardboard rock and fake tree and
it works just as well either way, because it’s all about the characters’
interaction. It’s not reliant on special effects."
Interplanetary was permitted, by the
playwrights, to change the place names in the play to correspond to more
familiar ones in the Wood River Valley.
"We recommend the locale references
are changed," said Wreggitt. "It makes it more immediate for the
audience. There’s always someplace that someone doesn’t like,
Actress Pamela Sue Martin saw the play
seven years ago, and has kept it in mind to do in the Wood River Valley.
Now, with this production, Martin said, she
wants to focus more on directing than acting.
"It’s a helluva lot of fun. It’s
everything I like in theatre and it works really well for the
They will be putting up the show in only
three and half weeks. "It’s been really, really positive. There is
wisdom in the play. Really good humor is like that. It comes from a place
The production this weekend will employ
several gimmicks to synergize the evening and the play.
For starters, the theater will be open at
6:30 p.m. until midnight so people may linger over their refreshments.
"I want it to be like the old days
when theater at Whiskey’s [Jacques] was out of control," Kane said
The play, he said, will be a "treat
for the locals." There will be champagne, wine, beer and sodas for
sale, as well as foccacia, quiche, and sandwiches from sponsor Bigwood
They intend to "turn it into a club,
where the show is part of the evening," Kane said.
The lobby will have a Polynesian-type
setting which connects to a bit in the play.
Apparently, in order to impress his boss,
Andy, the good-ole boy grocer, Stewart, has over-ordered cases of canned
pineapples and planned, in some desperation, to have a Hawaiian day at the
Opening night, Thursday, will be Ladies
Night. All women will have a bottomless glass of champagne. In other words
buy one, drink all night.
Friday night is billed as Wild Guy Night.
Wear a pair of construction boots or cowboy boots and receive a free beer.
On Sunday, which happens to be the guy-guy
day of the year–Superbowl Sunday--- Kane plans to set up a football
toss. Throw the ball through a tire and win a free drink. And anyone in
any kind of helmet pays a discounted ticket price of only $10.
The Wild Guys will be playing
Thursday through Saturday, at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 5 p.m., at the
nexStage Theatre in Ketchum. Tickets may be purchased at the theater for
any show, or at either Bigwood Bread locations.