Wonder of the World (January 11 – Feb 9, 2019). We’ll never look at Barbies the same way again.
Some memories from the team:
It was such a weird show. It was so kooky and hilarious, but also tragic. I loved the challenge of walking that line, and figuring out which side to dip my toe into at which moment. I’ll never forget the magnificent wine smell in that barrel when we first got it. I couldn’t get enough of it! I loved doing the soft shoe with Dan Morrison. It was such a privilege to get to work with Patrick and Linda for the first time. I loved Jill giving me such a hard time, all the time. I LOVED getting spun around in that chair during close to you. It was like an amusement park ride, scary and thrilling. I looked forward to it every night. And seriously, looking up at that disco ball and seeing all the lights as I spun around was nothing short of magical. Mandy broke me so many times during that restaurant scene, with her scream, her hysterical tongue choices. There was also the moment before the game show where I would scream out this list of things I didn’t like. When it came to staring at Mandy and shouting “And I don’t like clowns,” or something, her whole face would just drop into this frown. It was one of my favorite things to see. – Richard Payton, Kip
My favorite part was swinging Richard around in the chair. I was convinced one of the two of us was going to crash into the audience every night. Reyna’s costume design in general was stellar. But, that Puritain Red dress I wore at the top of Act II was perfect. It perfectly fit all three characters. I broke myself the night I made the fart noise with my chin…I loved that scene. I was so stressed about that scene from day one. Another part that cracked me up was Pat’s stuff on the boat. So dark, so hysterical…evey night I would laugh backstage. And Connie would go from bewilderment to sass so quickly. It was hard not to chuckle onstage. – Mandy Logsdon, Woman
Hands down, the sweetest, funniest stuff in this show was Krista and Linda and their peculiar journey to self-discovery. Dan Morrison as my bumbling idiot husband was perfection, as well as our ridiculous matching track outfits. Richard Payton holding a tray of jello shaped like a fish and looking pained: enough said. Patrick Loos and his sincere portrayal of the Captain, the only really nice person in the story, and he dies!! All of my friends who saw the show agreed with me that Mandy Logsdon in her multiple roles was comedy gold. And the dancing, oh, the dancing. Anytime I hear “Close to You”, I break into a sweat. – Connie Cowper, Carla
The cast for this show was insanely talented. Michigan comedy geniuses. I was just trying to keep up. Getting the helicopter scene to work was a challenge, but I think it ended up being an audience favorite. The barrell! Pulling it around, trying to keep it moist so the wood wooden shrink, trying to keep my legs from cramping in it during that last scene… I was more than happy to let that thing move on to its next home. I remember laughing so hard I was crying in the green with with the cast before the shows. There was the day the circuit tripped and the lights went out during the penultimate scene… Jill flipped the work lights on and we kept going until Danielle was able to run to the back and get the stage lights back on just in time for the final sunrise. The show must go on! One of my proudest moments as a performer was never breaking on stage when Richard was weeping into my stomach. It took LOTS of rehearsals before I could get to that point. – Krista Schafer Ewbank, Cass
This show was so much fun. The transitions were a blast, and Richard’s facial expressions were priceless. Mandy’s characters were so ridiculous and fun. #JusticeForCaptainMike – Harley Miah, Lighting Designer
So much hot glue, sandpaper, stick pins and jello. Like the nightmare date you can’t wake up from! Really, though.. the props were fun to make as crazy as possible. Costuming Mandy was a trip and the photo album, caricatures, helicopter and menus were a lot of fun. I made aspic. So much aspic. Viva Vivian! – Reyna Desilva, Costumes and Props Designer
My final set at Open Book (for now). This was another one where I got to have a lot of fun with paint and flex my creative muscles. I LOVED how the whirlpool floor treatment turned out (even though that dang barrel kept scuffing it) and making the rock benches and stools was a lot of fun. Because the build was during my normal job’s Christmas break, I was able to bring one of my student workers in to help. It was great to have a sort of melding of two of my worlds for this set. This weird, fun show was quite a trip to design and work on, but I am overall very happy with the finished product (even the barrel). – Eric Niece, Scenic Designer
This show was so chock-full of fabulous people — who also happened to be fucking good actors – that it was always a little bittersweet to have to leave the dressing room and interrupt the great, hilarious conversations. But doing the play in that company was definitely not too shabby. This was the show that clarified for me that there is no skill of any kind at which Reyna does not excel. This had long been the case, of course. Sometimes it’s the umpteenth sunset that really hits you. – Linda Rabin Hammell, Lois
What I remember about Wonder of the World is working with so many incredible long time southeastern MI talents for the first time, I think Krista was the only person I had worked with prior, and that cast was a who’s who. I can say everyone of them deserved their reputation after working with them. That script was crazy. The cast was crazier. Other memorable moments include pushing Linda out in the barrel in the dark at lightning speeds, the dance to “close to you,” and trying not to laugh when Richard was staring me down in the final scene. It was a weird, wild ride and the whole team embraced that fully. – Patrick Loos
Loved working with Sarah and this cast. Transitions ended up being amazing and it had to be a well oiled machine by the time we opened. Loved the dancing we got to do and everyone nailed them every night! The show had some challenges while we were rehearsing but it turned out to be amazing. Very tech heavy in certain areas and I always felt every accomplishment by the end of the show! – Jillian Joie Dahl, Stage Manager
By David Lindsay-Abaire. Directed by Sarah Hawkins Rusk. Featuring Krista Schafer Ewbank, Linda Rabin Hammell, Richard Payton, Pat Loos, Connie Cowper, Dan Morrison, and Mandy Logsdon. Lighting design by Harley Miah, Scenic Design by Eric Niece, Costume and Props Design by Reyna DeSilva, Choreography by Geri Conner, Stage Managed by Jillian Joie Dahl.