Cygnet Radio Hour’s new production, The Wild Party, by Joseph Moncure March premieres this month and it’s a jazz-age, book-length narrative poem bursting with passionate rhythms and excess. Characters of all sorts commit colorful debauchery as the leads, Queenie and Burr, circle each other in a cynical, dangerous game of sexual power.
March wrote the poem in 1926 after leaving The New Yorker, where he was the first managing editor. Deemed too racy to publish at the time, in 1928 Pascal Covici took the risk. It was promptly banned in Boston, thus making it a succès de scandale, a scandalous success.
Cygnet presents the entire original text of the poem verbatim, not the bowdlerized version published in 1968. The Theatre produced The Wild Party as a stage reading in 1994 and it is directed again by Louanne Moldovan. This production features some of those same actors and the cast includes Don Alder, Gavin Hoffman, Michael Mendelson, Olivia Shimkus, Marilyn Stacey and Andrea White.
Stream The Wild Party at CygnetProductions.com. Subscribe to Cygnet Radio Hour via Spotify, Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.
Image: The original frontplate of March’s book.