The Wild Party was one of two musicals of the same name to open in the 2000 Broadway season. Whereas LaChiusa’s production opened on Broadway, the Andrew Lippa version opened off Broadway. Both use the same source content of the 1928 Joseph Moncure March narrative poem. The show is told in vaudeville style comprising a small number of vignettes which come together to tell an overall story. Each thread slowly comes together and develops into an orgy followed by a tragedy. The original Broadway production had an all star cast which saw Eartha Kitt return to the stage. The music is set within the 1920s style, using the typical conventions of musical theatre. Despite the show’s lack of popular appeal it is regularly performed by regional, stock and amateur companies in both the UK and USA.

The Wild Party La Chiusa Original Playbill

Michael John LaChiusa

Michael John LaChiusa

Michael John LaChiusa and George C. Wolfe

the poem by Joseph Moncure March

The Joseph Papp Public Theater / New York Shakespeare Festival

George C. Wolfe

Joey McKneely

The Wild Party Original Broadway

Original Broadway Production

Virginia Theatre - Opened 13 Apr 2000, closed 11 Jun 2000, 68 performances

Cast: Toni Collette, Mandy Patinkin, Yancey Arias, Eartha Kitt, Marc Kudisch, Tonya Pinkins, Norm Lewis

What was your favourite production? Add your thoughts in the comments box


In 1920’s Manhattan, Vaudevillian star Queenie plans to host a party, in part so she can humiliate her abusive lover, Burrs. She invites a long list of their eccentric friends, including ageing star Dolores, a bisexual playboy named Jackie, black boxer Eddie and his white wife Mae, Mae’s underaged siste, Nadine, Oscar and Phil D’Armano, gay brothers who are also a couple, lesbian stripper Madelaine and her morphine-addict girlfriend Sally.

Queenie’s rival Kate arrives with her boyfriend Black. Kate has her eye on Burrs and tries to seduce him before the night is through. Meanwhile, Queenie sets her sights on Black and plans to bed him before the night is through. Burrs notices Queenie’s wandering eye and becomes enraged. Amidst cocaine and cocktails, the party descends into a hedonistic orgy before Burrs confronts Queenie and Bank with a loaded gun. Queenie realises that she actually loves Burrs and they are briefly reunited, before Bank grabs the gun and shoots Burrs dead.

  • Queenie was a Blonde/Marie is Tricky/Wild Party – Queenie, Burrs, Company
  • Dry – Burrs, Jackie, Madelaine, Sally, Eddie, Mae, Nadine, Brothers D’Armano, Dolores
  • My Beautiful Blonde – Brothers D’Armano
  • Welcome to my Party – Queenie
  • Like Sally – Madelaine
  • Breezin’ Through Another Day – Jackie
  • Uptown – Brothers D’Armano
  • Eddie & Mae – Eddie, Mae
  • Gold & Goldberg – Gold, Goldberg
  • Moving Uptown – Dolores
  • Black Bottom – Queenie, Company
  • Best Friend – Queenie, Kate
  • A Little M-M-M – Brothers D’Armano
  • Tabu/Taking Care of the Ladies – Oscar, Black, Company
  • Wouldn’t It Be Nice? – Burrs
  • Lowdown-Down – Queenie
  • Gin – Burrs, Company
  • Wild – Company
  • Need – Madelaine, Company
  • Black Is a Moocher – Kate
  • People Like Us – Queenie, Black
  • After Midnight Dies – Sally
  • Golden Boy – Eddie, Brothers D’Armano
  • The Movin’ Uptown Blues – Gold, Goldberg
  • The Lights of Broadway – Nadine
  • More – Jackie
  • Love Ain’t Nothin’/Welcome to Her Party/What I Need – Kate, Burrs, Queenie
  • How Many Women in the World? – Burrs
  • When It Ends – Dolores
  • This is What It Is – Queenie
  • Finale – Queenie, Burrs, Company

UK: Josef Weinberger

USA: R & H Theatricals