Tung's Reviews > Wonder of the World: Trade Edition

Wonder of the World by David Lindsay-Abaire
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's review
Jan 01, 12

bookshelves: drama
Read in January, 2012

I am a massive fan of Lindsay-Abaire's Pulitzer-winning play "Rabbit Hole", and was looking forward to reading his earlier works. Wonder of the World was written 5 years before "Rabbit Hole" and received some acclaim, even opening in Manhattan with Sarah Jessica Parker and Amy Sedaris in the cast. Wonder of the World derives its name from Niagara Falls, where the majority of the play takes place. A woman named Cass discovers a dark secret about her husband Kip that causes her to leave him and flee to Niagara Falls -- a place she had been scheduled to visit with her family years earlier, but where she didn't go because Kip had proposed to her; she now believes she should never have married Kip, and instead should have gone to Niagara Falls where fate would have delivered to her a soul-mate, and this trip to the Falls now might provide her some delayed redemption. On the way, she meets a suicidal drunk named Lois, and the two of them head to the Falls to see what destiny has in store for them. There, they meet a couple (Glen and Karla) who pose as tourists, but who are in reality amateur sleuths; they also meet Captain Mike, the widowed guide of a Niagara Falls tour boat. The plot then unfolds as we see Cass's relationship with Lois mix with Cass's relationship with Captain Mike and her relationship with Kip and Karla's and Glen's relationship with each other. What Lindsay-Abaire did great in Rabbit Hole, he also does well here: he writes superbly crisp lines of dialogue that express emotions realistically, and he handles relationship tensions well. He is also darkly funny, and there were lines in here I read out loud to my spouse, I liked them so much. There is a scene in here I found too over-the-top silly (a Newlyweds game take-off), and I found Cass's character too manic and too flighty for someone embarking on a new, more take-charge life. But overall, there was much to like in this play. Recommended read.

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