Tag Archives: play

‘Wonder of the World’ gets my laugh

Lois Coleman (Christa Weiler) and Cass Harris (Abby Schoenborn) perform a scene from “Wonders of the World” at the Empire Arts Center in Grand Forks. Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend The Empire Theatre Company’s production of “Wonder of the World.” The dark comedy is about a woman who suddenly leaves her husband after discovering a dark (but harmless) secret he’s been hiding. Inspired by the Marilyn Monroe film “Niagara,” she hops on a bus and heads to Niagara Falls, where she hopes to cross off all the items on her bucket list. Along the way, she meets a suicidal alcoholic, who becomes a quick friend. I won’t give away too much, but it’s definitely one to see. The writer David Lindsay-Abaire does an excellent job of weaving real-life messages and questions into the unrealistic happenings of the play.

I have to admit I was a little confused as to whether or not I should laugh at the beginning. The characters are all going through some serious stuff: one is leaving her husband, the other is about to commit suicide. Yet, they are all very over-the-top and dramatic, which makes it hilarious. After all, it’s a farce. So, if you go to the play tonight or tomorrow, don’t be afraid to laugh. And be warned, it only gets funnier as the show progresses.

For more info about “Wonder of the World,” read my story in the Grand Forks Herald. (We have a completely new website!)

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‘Avenue Q’ a crude comedy with a big heart

When I first saw the musical comedy “Avenue Q” earlier this year, I was taken by surprise. The crude comedy and the way the play addressed super sensitive topics threw me off guard. I couldn’t decide whether I should be watching the puppets, the puppeteers or the person signing, so I went from one to the next to the next. I was so exhausted trying to keep up with the play that I didn’t fully enjoy it. However, when I found out the Empire Arts Center would be producing the play in Grand Forks, I knew it would make a great story. I pitched the idea and made plans to attend the media night/last dress rehearsal for the play.

This time, I sat with pen and notepad in hand and took it all in for what it is: a crude comedy with a big heart. The play may address sensitive social issues in a comical in-your-face manner, but the overall play is about understanding one another, accepting your differences and helping each other through struggles. This second time around, I actually stayed through the intermission all the way to the end. It may have gotten a little long, but it was well worth the wait.

If you’re in Grand Forks this week or next, be sure to check out “Avenue Q” at 7:30 p.m. today or Aug. 6 through 10 at the Empire Arts Center. It might take you out of your comfort zone, but, hey, we all need a little push sometimes.

For more information, check out the full story and photos.

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