Nominations for the 31st Annual Lucille Lortel Awards have been announced. One of the year’s favorite new productions has been gloriously mentioned for Outstanding Musical by the Off-Broadway LeagueThe Wildness: Sky-Pony’s Rock Fairy Tale presented by Ars Nova in collaboration with The Play Company recently completed its world premiere run in Manhattan, and audiences are already eagerly awaiting its next run. The outstanding book by Obie Award Winner Kyle Jarrow and Lauren Worsham, who is the Tony nominated and Drama Desk winner for A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, leaves the audience absorbing thrilling moments and with much to ponder on over time. Thrilling music by Jarrow, amazing direction by Sam Buntrock, and phenomenal set design by Kris Stone made it one of the must see shows of season.
The musical tells the story of a band that gets together for a yearly ritual called The Wildness. The gathering is a way for the group to purge their self-doubt and anxiety in one collective moment. But, this year is different as the creator of the program (Michael) is missing. His absence leaves the group replacing his lead position with his sister Lilli (Lilli Cooper). In real life, Lilli was very aware of the makings of the fable on the stage, which was the same story her sibling Michael shared with her as a child in order to cope with the loss of their beloved mother.
This rite of passage follows a princess (once played by Michael, now played by Lilli), as she seeks a cure for her village’s drying up source of water. Truly wild adventures take place with her dedicated handmaiden Zira (Worsham), who follows the princess’ every move into the forbidden forest, called “The Wildness.”
Having been told by her father that the woods are filled with evil dragons, the heroine is shocked to find rather only a single abandoned cabin filled with relics left behind by The Creator. Needless to say nothing in this world is what it appears to be. The journey leads to the characters facing extreme doubts and a sense of worrisome abandonment.
But, the story leaves the audience with a sense of hope in the midst of disparity. The lesson told is that we are not alone in this world no matter what path we are taken down. Whether it is a feeling of isolation or a shock of rejection, the message told is that there is always some one you can find in life to turn to during desperate times.
The brilliancy of the theme of the show will appeal to all ages. The rock-n-roll choreography and stimulating songs greatly blend into a fantastic world of imagination. From start to finish it is no wonder why the show has taken off with fans and has created a well-deserved bang during awards season.