In Lippa's words


Two separate musical adaptations of Joseph Moncure March's 1928 epic poem, The Wild Party, premiered concurrently in New York City in 2000: Broadway's dark, true-to-the-poem incarnation by Michael John LaChiusa, and the modernized, off-Broadway interpretation by Andrew Lippa. The latter is produced this weekend by a cast and crew of young locals, including 19-year-old actress Michelle Dowdy, who was profiled by the St. Petersburg Times in a six-part series detailing her brisk ascent from high school standout to Broadway understudy for the lead role in Hairspray. The Wild Party takes place during the Prohibition era and focuses on the sultry Queenie and her volatile lover Burrs, vaudeville performers who decide to throw a party in an effort to revitalize their stagnant relationship. What follows is a rowdy celebration that quickly escalates to a violently hedonistic booze bash complete with a steamy love quadrangle set to Lippa's eclectic, genre-crossing score. Jamieson Lindenburg directs, with choreography by Amanda Witt and musical direction by Dylan Glatthorn. Aug. 18-20, 7:30 p.m. Fri., 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., Palladium Theater, 253 Fifth Ave. N., St. Petersburg, $15, 727-822-3590,