Wanderlust has ganred the most polemical reviews I’ve seen recently. Slotkin writes glowingly about every aspect of the show including Panych’s witty dialogue, Coatsworth’s choreography and lead actor Tom Rooney’s impeccable comic timing.
Music, cast and direction are fine says Millman, the weak link is: “The romantic triangle plot feels patched on as a substitute for the missing story, because it doesn’t spring from the central well that should animate this piece, namely: the relationship between writing and living.
Gerard, the chief U.S. drama critic for Bloomberg News, writes about several Stratford productions in this critical round up. He likes Henry V, Cymbeline, Pirates and Hirsch. He’s less fond of 42nd St. and dismisses Wanderlust as “a total misfire.” Read more about Wanderlust’s mixed reviews HERE
“Panych has written one of his wittiest scripts, especially on the subject of finance (“a sensible man earns his money or, preferably, borrows it” says the bank manager), and given it one of his most humane and inventive productions.”
“Too often, you’re cringing at the feeble humour, the lurches between farce and melodrama, the sophomoric double entendres and sexual innuendo, and the incessant shifting of ledger desks as choreographic props. Enough already.”
“Dan Chameroy is persuasively intimidating as Dan McGrew, the assistant bank manager who is both a foil to Service’s fevered imagination and the suitor of the young woman who has captured the poet’s heart…[Wanderlust] surrenders no charm for being sentimental, nostalgic, whimsical and affectionately humorous.”
“The first rate cast for the production is headed by Tom Rooney as Service, the reluctant bookkeeper…Ken James Stewart who plays a pesky novice at the bank named Noah and Lucy Peacock as a tipsy landlady with a past.”
“Panych’s biting sense of humour doesn’t match up with the mushy tunes composed by Marek Norman to accompany the well-known verses. Rooney, in particular, ends up the Service of two masters – a wisecracking slacker in the scenes, a wimpy romantic in the songs.”
“Panych has got one thing right; the reality of Service’s humdrum existence never matched what his mind dreamed up. And when reality did catch up with him, when he was working as a Red Cross man in World War I, his mind reeled.”