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Fanfare: City Theatre welcomes full house for opening night of 'Wild With Happy'

| Monday, April 17, 2017, 8:03 a.m.
Joanna Obuzon, Opening Night of “Wild With Happy,”
City Theatre, Southside. April 14, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Joanna Obuzon, Opening Night of “Wild With Happy,” City Theatre, Southside. April 14, 2017.
Director Reg Douglas, Opening Night of “Wild With Happy,”
City Theatre, Southside. April 14, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Director Reg Douglas, Opening Night of “Wild With Happy,” City Theatre, Southside. April 14, 2017.
Tacy Byham and Reshma Paranjpe, Opening Night of “Wild With Happy,”
City Theatre, Southside. April 14, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Tacy Byham and Reshma Paranjpe, Opening Night of “Wild With Happy,” City Theatre, Southside. April 14, 2017.
Francis Soane, Opening Night of “Wild With Happy,”
City Theatre, Southside. April 14, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Francis Soane, Opening Night of “Wild With Happy,” City Theatre, Southside. April 14, 2017.
Matt Galando, Opening Night of “Wild With Happy,”
City Theatre, Southside. April 14, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Matt Galando, Opening Night of “Wild With Happy,” City Theatre, Southside. April 14, 2017.
Jonas Cheney and Pam Golden, Opening Night of “Wild With Happy,”
City Theatre, Southside. April 14, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Jonas Cheney and Pam Golden, Opening Night of “Wild With Happy,” City Theatre, Southside. April 14, 2017.
Denise Johnson and Norman Brown, Opening Night of “Wild With Happy,”
City Theatre, Southside. April 14, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Denise Johnson and Norman Brown, Opening Night of “Wild With Happy,” City Theatre, Southside. April 14, 2017.
Theresa Ford and Dr. Valerie Lawrence with John Ford and Ron Lawrence, Opening Night of “Wild With Happy,”
City Theatre, Southside. April 14, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Theresa Ford and Dr. Valerie Lawrence with John Ford and Ron Lawrence, Opening Night of “Wild With Happy,” City Theatre, Southside. April 14, 2017.
Joe and Laura Palmieri, Opening Night of “Wild With Happy,”
City Theatre, Southside. April 14, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Joe and Laura Palmieri, Opening Night of “Wild With Happy,” City Theatre, Southside. April 14, 2017.
Lucille Douglas with her son and director Reg Douglas, Opening Night of “Wild With Happy,”
City Theatre, Southside. April 14, 2017.
John Altdorfer
Lucille Douglas with her son and director Reg Douglas, Opening Night of “Wild With Happy,” City Theatre, Southside. April 14, 2017.

It was promised that there would be dancing in the seats—of which only one remained ahead of opening night for City Theatre's latest comedy, “Wild With Happy,” on April 14.

Which probably wouldn't have sounded too strange… had the show not been inspired by conversations about death. But flipping convention on its head was kind of the point.

“We like to say the play is overflowing with love and laughter,” said director Reginald Douglas. “In this world, we need 90 minutes of fun.”

It's exactly what the full house got for the Pittsburgh debut of the Off-Broadway hit by Colman Domingo. For those 90 minutes, there was no stopping the release of audible delight as actors Monteze Freeland, Corey Jones, Jason Shavers and C. Kelly Wright pulled the room in for an unapologetic poke at the grieving process.

“It's a hot item,” said artistic director Tracy Brigden. “It's everything a play should be. It's hilarious. It's moving. It's up to the minute. It's fierce.”

And while it seemed a fat chance that the idea of carting mother's ashes to Disney World could strike a chord, it wasn't too farfetched for some.

“I did take my great aunt's ashes to prom by mistake,” said managing director James McNeel. “Not as a date, to clarify. They were in the trunk of her sister's car that I borrowed.”

Spied: Tacy Byham, Reshma Paranjpe, Ken and Pam McCrory, Denise Johnson and Norman Brown, Matt Galando, Joe and Laura Palmieri, general manager Natalie Hatcher, stage manager Joanna Obuzor, Theresa and John Ford, Dr. Valerie and Ron Lawrence.

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