The Wild Party by Joseph Moncure March
The Lost Classic

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Synopsis

When first published in 1928, this story of one night of debauchery in the life of a vaudeville dancer became a "scandalous" success. The Wild Party is now given new life and expression, with March's text accompanied by more than 75 remarkable drawings by Art Spiegelman.
 

About Joseph Moncure March

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Joseph Moncure March was a poet, journalist and screenwriter best known for his two verse narratives, The Wild Party and The Set-Up, the story of a washed-up black boxer. An editor for The New Yorker in the 1920s, he died in 1977. Art Spiegelman is the author of Maus, A Survivor's Tale, for which he received a special Pulitzer Prize in 1992. He was co-founder and editor of Raw, the acclaimed magazine of avant-garde comics, and is currently a staff artist for The New Yorker and comix editor at Details magazine. He is currently working on Crime Doesn't Pay, an opera libretto about the history of comics. He lives in New York City with his wife, Françoise Mouly, and their two children, Nadja and Dashiell.
 
Published January 1, 1994 by Pantheon Books. 120 pages
Genres: Comics & Graphic Novels, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Wild Party

Publishers Weekly

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What Spiegelman, in his introduction, calls his ``fetishistic'' pleasure in the poem, penned by the New Yorker's inaugural managing editor, is borne out by March's dither of hard-edged rhythms recounting the boozing, brawling and fractious lovemaking of an all-night party ending in a murder.

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Examiner

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Nov 24 2012 | Read Full Review of The Wild Party: The Lost Classic

London Review of Books

’ Louis Untermeyer, in an enthusiastic letter written in 1926, when The Wild Party was just a naughty manuscript frightening publishers with its sex and violence, to say nothing of its bad rhymes, declared: ‘I haven’t the faintest idea whether it is good poetry or bad poetry.

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Project MUSE

Both the Manhattan Theatre Club and The Joseph Papp Public Theatre/New York Shakespeare Festival presented musicals based on Joseph Moncure March's 1928 poem "The Wild Party," a scandalous verse narrative about a debauched party thrown by a volatile vaudeville couple during Prohibition.

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Variety

Wolfe and LaChiusa have allowed the emotional pivot of the poem --- Queenie's infidelity --- to spread like a virus among the characters, creating a unifying theme for the show.

Apr 13 2000 | Read Full Review of The Wild Party: The Lost Classic

Variety

Based on a 1928 poem by New Yorker editor John Moncure March, Andrew Lippa's dark musical about a wild party that spins fatally out of control could have wallowed in sordid sensationalism.

Feb 20 2003 | Read Full Review of The Wild Party: The Lost Classic

TheaterMania

SpeakEasy Stage Company, best known for presenting the Boston premieres of new musicals, is currently offering the first production of Michael John LaChiusa's The Wild Party since the show closed on Broadway in June 2000.

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