The Proscenium Players' production of "Wonder of the World" by David Lindsay-Abaire could well wind up as the weirdest, zaniest, wackiest comedy of this year and next.
It's the story (more or less) of wife, Cass Harris, finding out that her husband, Kip, is hiding a very dirty little secret.
That should be enough to bring you to the Donald W. Reynolds Theatre at the Brewery Arts Center between Friday and Nov. 18, with shows playing at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday the next three weekends with 2 p.m. Sunday matinees.
Doug Mishler, director of "Wonder of the World," is hoping for a large crowd seeing his quirky comedy/farce. After all, he' commuted from Reno for all the rehearsals.
"This is a sort of William Saroyan sidewise look at life," says director Misher. "It's also so damn true to life - a fractured look at our lives. I've got a wonderful cast - I know, all directors say that - but it's certainly true here."
The story goes that Cass finds Kip's secret and runs off to Niagara Falls in an effort to do all those things she has always meant to do, such as learning Swedish and having sex with a complete stranger. She's on a journey of self-discovery, crossing paths with a unworldly suicidal alcoholic, a lonely tour-boat captain and a strange caper involving a gargantuan jar of peanut butter, which pushes her close to taking a header over the Falls.
Cass has a quickie affair with the Maid of the Mist captain, becoming more than an affair. Kip's mystery is revealed in the first act, but there's a full act to go, happily funnier and more robust than the first.
"Wonder" confirms the author Lindsay-Abaire as a real talent with a madcap imagination and a gift for snappy dialogue.
Susan Lingelbach, a senior drama student at the University of Nevada, Reno, is Cass, and she sparkles in the role with a deft sense of timing and a lot of clever mugging. When she's on stage, things happen.
Jeremy Zutter is her faulty husband, from whom she flees and tries to pretend doesn't exist. He's sufficiently hangdog to fit the role neatly.
Coleen Katen is, the pilot, Jane, Barb and three waitresses. She's also a clown in a eye-shattering jump suit with fright wig.
Lois is Lisa Bommarito, who does a fine scene with Cass in a barrel teetering on the edge of Niagara Falls; Florence Phillips as retiree Karla contributes some very funny lines. Veteran Dave Josten, also a retiree, is Glen (we didn't get to see him in action), and Jeff Whitt, another Players standby, is the captain of Maid of the Mist and the object of Cass' affections. His scenes with Cass are loaded with double-entendre.
This is an adult show, not that it's lurid or profane, just that some of the language might lead to children picking it up and having mouths washed. We wouldn't want that.
But if you want a belly of laughs and some clever acting (Lingelbach shows real talent for comedy here) catch "Wonder" - for a wonderful show.
• Sam Bauman is a Nevada Appeal Staff Writer. Contact Bauman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1236.
If you go
What: "Wonder of the World" by the Proscenium Players
When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and Nov. 9-10 and 16-17 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11 and 18
Where: Donald W. Reynolds Theatre at the Brewery Arts Center, 449 W. King St.
TICKETS: $12 general, $3 off for PPI & BAC members, seniors, & students