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Theater Review: 'Wild With Happy' -- 3 stars

Colman Domingo and Maurice McRae in Wild With

Colman Domingo and Maurice McRae in Wild With Happy, Credit: Colman Domingo and Maurice McRae in "Wild With Happy."

Wild With Happy
3 stars

"Wild With Happy," a freewheeling, witty and heartfelt new play written by and starring Colman Domingo, could have easily been subtitled "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Disney World."

Domingo, who has stood out for his dynamic performances in "Passing Strange" and "The Scottsboro Boys," plays Gil, a black, middle-aged, Yale-educated, gay, out-of-work actor.

Since the play concerns Gil's uncomfortable attempt to lay his mother (Sharon Washington) to rest, the set is made up primarily of four caskets, which are originally part of a funeral home and later contorted to suggest other locations.

After impetuously sleeping with the young manager of the funeral home (Korey Jackson), Gil is hunted down by his emphatic and argumentative aunt (also played by Washington), who objects to Gil's decision to cremate his mother.

Once Gil re-connects with his flamboyant friend (Maurice McRae), they embark on a cross-country trip to Disney World, where Gil's mother claimed that she felt the presence of god.

The cast eventually converges in the suite inside of Cinderella's Castle in the Magic Kingdom, where Gil finally comes to terms with his mother's death.

Wild With Happy," which runs nearly two hours without an intermission, would benefit from judicious editing.

But as directed by Robert O'Hara, the play makes for a highly theatrical, very entertaining piece.


If you go: "Wild With Happy" plays at the Public Theater through Nov. 11. 425 Lafayette St., 212-967-7555, publictheater.org.

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