Theater Review: Colman Domingo charms in new play ‘Wild With Happy’

Wild WIth HappyTony nominee Colman Domingo‘s energetic play, Wild With Happy, opened last night at the newly-renovated Public Theater in New York City.

Domingo plays Gil, a gay man struggling to come to terms with the unexpected death of his mother. Gil is smart, quick witted, and never fails to bite his tongue. Gil is also a man going through emotional turmoil as he mourns the death of his mother in a very unorthodox way.

When Gil has his mother cremated instead of opting for a traditional burial and funeral service, family tensions grow and set up for a hilarious feel-good dramedy that will make you laugh out loud. Gil wants to take his mother’s remains to Disney Land.

From the moment Domingo hit the stage it was clear he was born to be in showbiz.

Other members of the cast also held their own. Public Theater vet Sharon Washington captured the audience with her razor sharp comedic timing and carried most of the show as Gil’s hilarious aunt, Glo. She also plays his mother in a second role. Maurice McRae, who plays Gil’s gender bending best friend, also stole a scene or two with his raw (and sometimes vulgar) sense of humor. Actor Korey Jackson added some much needed sense of calm in a chaotic storm of over-the-top theatrical performance with his turn as the funeral director.

Highlights include Domingo’s Gil flipping off a pastor, hilarious banter with Aunt Glo, and endearing flashback scenes between Gil and his mother.

Based on the crowds reaction last night, you’re more than likely going to enjoy this complex play if you love to laugh and/or if you’ve ever lost someone you’ve loved.

For tickets, please call (212) 967-7555 or visit publictheater.org. The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette St.