On Saturday, November 26, 2011, I attended MCC's production of Thomas Higgins' New York debut with "Wild Animals You Should Know" at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in NYC.
This well put together production used the backdrop of the Boyscouts to raise a lot of good points about family, coming out, self-acceptance, and careers, especially why someone might go into their selected field as opposed to the perception of why someone might go into their selected field.
The talented cast assembled to bring "Wild Animals You Should Know" to life is John Behlmann, Patrick Breen, Gideon Glick, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Daniel Stewart Sherman, and Tony Award Winner Alice Ripley! They all did a terrific job. From their comedic moments to their more serious moments, everyone had their moment to shine! John was wonderfully cast as "Rodney," the Scout Master. John's multi-dimensional acting skills suited him well for this role, especially when he jumped from his leadership skills to his vunlerability. Jay and Gideon were perfect as best friends "Matthew" and "Jacob," each playing well off of each other. Their chemistry, bond, and growth made me feel as though they had been best friends for a long time. Patrick Breen's portrayal of "Walter," "Matthew's" father, was very relatable as he depicted a majority of suburban fathers. Patrick's real spotlight moment came towards the end when he unleashed his inner animal. Daniel Stewart did a great job as family friend "Larry," who's great at giving advice, but has a hard time following the advice he's given about his own life. As "Marsha," the mother of "Matthew," Alice delightfully depicted a mother who's trying to keep her family afloat, but is growing tired of doing it all herself.
I think this show delved into a lot of relevant topics, some of which aren't always easy to talk about. I left the theatre thinking a lot about friendship, family, responsibility, taking a stand, and what motivates one in life. I'm looking forward as to what is in store for Thomas' next show!