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May 13 - May 21, 2014

Play Focusing on Hackneyed Falls Stereotypes Onstage in Pittsburg

By Mike Hudson

May 13, 2014

Hollywood's idea of our tourists. Marilyn Monroe, 26, poses alongside the Lower Niag- ara River. She starred in the movie Niagara (1953) where she played a tourist who is a homicidal, sociopathic, adulterous nymphoma- niac who winds up being murdered by her cuckold, paranoid, sexually inadequate hus- band.

Down in the Pittsburgh, Pa., suburb of New Kensington, the local little theater group is putting on a show, not in Dad's barn like Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland did all those years ago, but in some kind of dinner theater.

The play, a comedy entitled "Wonder of the World," follows leading lady Cass to Niagara Falls, where she flees discovering something odd about her husband, Kip. Guided by a list of things she always wanted to do in life, she meets a host of characters who are, to say the least, unique.

And here's where the whole thing starts to fall apart.

According to an article in the Pittsburgh Tribune, none of them try to rob her.

"It's real people doing crazy things, and that always makes people laugh," playwright David Lindsay-Abaire told the Tribune. "It's an assertive comedy. But it's a lot of fun."

The crazy things include Cass's endearing flight from her husband, his attempts to track her down and the comic antics of a self-destructive drunk who aspires to go over the falls in a barrel, the newspaper reports.

"Wonder of the World," originally premiered in New York back in 2001 with "Sex in the City" star Sarah Jessica Parker in the starring role. The playbill synopsis rather says it all:

"It's a wild ride over Niagara Falls in a barrel of laughs as Cass embarks on a journey of self-discovery that has her crossing paths with a blithely suicidal alcoholic, a lonely tour-boat captain, a pair of bickering private detectives, a clown therapist and a strange caper involving a gargantuan jar of peanut butter, all of which pushes her perilously close to the water's edge."

There's a school of thought that says there's no such thing as bad publicity and maybe that's true.

A Pittsburg theater's idea of the good people of Niagara Falls.





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