Russian romance runs amok in “Wild Honey”

“What fools men are! A flutter of the eyelashes, and their back’s broken.”

It’s been a long, hard winter, the kind that leaves men aching for the company of women… even if they’re already married.

Misha Platonov, the local intellectual, makes an entrance at Anna Petrovna’s welcome-home party. He had flirted with the noble widow all last summer, and time apart has brought their attraction to full boil.

Over a drunken evening, Platonov chases four women through the forest, including his ever-patient wife, Sasha. His affairs lead to comic, tragic and deadly consequences.

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Director Kevin Landis keeps the pace at a frolic. The actors fire quips and expertly trade focus from one liaison to the next. Even if you’re not a big fan of Russian comedy, the show offers plenty of drunk humor, untimely arrivals and romantic abandon.

While the entire cast delivers, Caitlin Wise is particularly fun as the fiery idealist (and newly married) Sofya. “Is it ruin? Or is it happiness?” she wonders as the madness builds. Andrew Sturt also shines as Osip, the town vagrant who’s equal parts lovable puppy and overprotective brute.

As Platonov’s dalliances come crashing down around him, several characters threaten to kill themselves—or him. It almost becomes a macabre parlor game, guessing which actor won’t make it to final curtain.

As long as you have the stomach for scoundrels and suicide, “Wild Honey” is a sticky treat.

Additional Notes:
Prentiss Benjamin brings her dance expertise to a seduction scene that surely exceeds the bounds of Chekhov’s imagination. The audience died laughing.

Struggling to keep the characters straight? We’ve developed a flowchart of the various loves, bloodlines and debts. Click here.

“Wild Honey” contains sexual situations, comedic straddling, and violence offstage. We’d rate it PG-13.

Theatreworks at Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theater
3955 Regent Cir
Box Office: (719) 255-3232

Playing October 19 – November 5, 2017
Admission: $42 general; $35 Thursdays
Running Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

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