Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Port City Playhouse Wonder of the World

By • Feb 1st, 2008 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of the Port City Playhouse’s production of Wonder of the World [MP3 5:14 2.4MB].

Wonder of the World
Port City Playhouse
Lee Center for the Performing Arts, Alexandria, VA
$15/$13 Seniors and Juniors
Through February 2nd

Laura: This is the review of Wonder of the World, performed by the Port City Playhouse in Alexandria, Virginia. Mike and I saw the performance on Tuesday evening January 29th, 2008.

Mike: This was a very nice show to see especially after our weekend of seeing four deep shows. It was a comedy and I enjoyed it.

Laura: It was funny. There was lots of overacting, but I thought it was appropriate. I really liked Cass and her exuberance with life as well as her running away to try to gain happiness and leave some of her responsibilities at home.

Mike: Wonder of the World is a play by David Lindsay-Abaire. Nothing will prepare you for the dirty little secret Cass discovers in her husband’s sweater drawer. 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 and a strange caper involving a gargantuan jar of peanut butter, all of which pushes her perilously close to the water’s edge.

Laura: Cass has discovered some unsettling things in her husband’s sweater drawer and leaves him to go out and do some things she has never been able to do. Cass was played by Annette Kalicki. I enjoyed watching her broad actions. I couldn’t tell if that was they way she interpreted the character or the way the character was written. It was very well done.

Mike: The very opening scene set the stage for the entire show, and was extremely overacted. At first I was kind of turned off by that until I realized the whole show was over the top comedy. It worked really well for the character. It was also a strong contrast to the character of Cass’s husband Kipp, played by Andy Wright. He was such a strong contrast to Cass’ character. He was very calm. He was kind of freaking out, but he even did that calmly. Everything that Cass did was over the top. You could not see why the two of them were together, but as we get to know the two of them better we see that he did love her and she might have loved him although she wasn’t quite sure and had to find that out by exploring the world.

Laura: Lois, the suicidal drunk, was played by Margaret Bush. She gave a good performance in this role. She also did a lot of overacting and maintained the belief that she was going to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel. She just kept maintaining that for three days before something actually happened with that. I liked the believability of her performance.

Mike: Bush’s interpretation of Lois was so spot on. She was frustrated because her husband left her all things had conspired against her causing her to come up with this great plan. It worked so well. She did a great job as Lois.

Laura: Karen Lange played six different characters including a Helicopter Pilot and three waitresses. Those were great parts. She had them nailed down really well and was hysterical to watch.

Mike: When she was playing the waitresses she would leave the stage to change costumes to be a waitress at a different restaurant. When she came in she was different and it worked very well. It was kind of a Greater Tuna type effect. Her closing scene, which was an extended scene, she played a counselor helping all the couples with their relationships. It was hilarious. I especially liked when she broke out of the scene so that she could share in an aside to the audience a deep personal experience she had had earlier in her life. That was another hilarious scene.

Laura: I liked the set for Wonder of the World. Set Designer was John Downing. It was multi level and they had good lighting.

Mike: The overall design and use of the performance space was very nicely done. The set having multiple levels so that you could easily focus on different sections depending on what scene they were doing. It was not distracting like it could have been. The lights definitely helped with that. The lights were designed by Chris Hardy. They were very effective. I liked especially the scene earlier as I said with Janie sharing a story from her past. There were some other lighting effects at the restaurant where the three couples were having meals. The scene in the helicopters was also nice.

Laura: Wonder of the World is playing for one more weekend. Friday and Saturday at 8 at the Lee Center for the Performing Arts in Alexandria, Virginia. I recommend you go see this show as it will make you laugh.

Mike: There was one part of the show that really wasn’t funny. It was Kipp’s closing scene. I didn’t like how that scene ended, it didn’t seem appropriate. If it hadn’t ended that way and if the playwright had added in a few more characters coming in, it would have been a really funny scene with Kipp explaining what had gone on in the hotel room. That was disappointing. The show runs two and half hours with one intermission.

Laura: And now, on with the show.


  • Cass: Annette Kalicki
  • Kipp: Any Wright
  • Lois: Margaret Bush
  • Karla: Lori Muhlstein
  • Glen: Ray Converse
  • Captain Mike: Tom Flatt
  • Barbara, Helicopter Pilot, Waitresses, and Janie: Karen Lange


  • Producer: Richard Schwab
  • Director: Chuck Dluhy
  • Stage Manager: Carlyn Lightfoot
  • Set Design: John Downing
  • Set Construction and Painting: John Downing
  • Assisted by: Jan Baker, Alexandra Brownfeld, Yiu Wing Chan, Mia Coffman, Noah Cook, John Costandi, Ed DiMonda, Ron Field, Jeanna Finamore, Bill Glikbarg, Orron Kee, Miho Kikujo, Jen Koch, Robert Kraus, Mary Beth O’Donnell, Leigh Anne Olson, Kandre Pierce, Kristen Ruch, Dich Schwab, Chris Tooley, Cal Whitehurst
  • Scenic Artist: Joe Schubert
  • Set Dressing: Pat Jannell
  • Properties: Donna Reynolds
  • Lighting Design: Chris Hardy
  • Assisted by: Doug Olmsted, Bob Timmerman
  • Sound Design: Kevin Harney
  • Assisted by: Chuck Dhuly
  • Costume Design: Eileen Farrell, Barbara J. Helsing
  • Make-up and Hair Design: Kendel Taylor
  • Running Crew: Martha Mickens, Dinna Reynolds
  • Sound Operator: Carlyn Lightfoot
  • Light Board Operator: Richard Schwab
  • Graphic Design: Eleni Aldridge
  • Playbill: Jennifer Lyman
  • Photographer: Douglas Olmsted
  • Publicity: Cal Whitehurst
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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

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