Play depicts life’s dark side

hilarity, despair captured in riveting portrayal of love, reality


Christian Urrutia / The Advocate

(Left) Malea Reeves (Cass) explains why she wants to visit Niagara Falls to Kaitlyn McCoy (Lois) and tries to convince her to come along during the “Wonder of the World” performance at the Knox Center on Friday.

By Mike Thomas, Scene Editor

Fear and desperation were on display in the play “Wonder of the World” at the Knox Center Friday as Contra Costa College students gave a stellar performance throughout this hilarious tale.

The cast included eight characters, each  with unique personalities and dark backgrounds before they crossed paths with each other.

The play is set in contemporary times in Niagara Falls, New York.

During changes in scenery on stage, the stage blacked out and crew members, dressed in black, moved props.

While setting up for the next scene, the audience got a nice preview of what was going to happen next.

David Lindsay-Abaire’s dark comedy is about a woman named Cass Harris, who leaves her husband after discovering his shameful secret fetish.

Upon making the discovery, she decides to go on a random adventure to find out what she has been missing in life.

Before marrying her husband she had created a list of the things she always wanted to do and try in life.

“Cass is an older woman who typically fits under the housewife stereotype. But she eventually becomes liberated,” Middle College High School student Milea Reeves, who played Cass in the play, said. “She’s fed up with her husband with his creepy and disgusting habits.”

Cass’ personality could be interpreted as selfish. Her commitment to the list helped the audience see her as a self-centered person, but really she is a woman trying to enjoy her new single life. 

Reeves said she believes Cass is misunderstood and not a selfish person. It is just a way she is able to worry about herself and being single.

“She even said so herself. She never did anything without considering someone else first,” Cass said. 

“So I really think her selfishness wasn’t from herself, but it was from a fact that someone disappointed her in unspeakable ways,” she said.

During her journey, she finds a sidekick, a new lover and a strange married couple.

Her unintentional sidekick Lois Coleman is an alcoholic carrying around a barrel.

She was played by drama major Kaitlyn McCoy.

Coleman plans to commit suicide by jumping off  Niagara Falls in the barrel, but her random friendship with Cass makes her re-think a lot about her miserable life.

“She’s a super alcoholic. She goes to Niagara Falls to get revenge on her husband for leaving her,” McCoy said.

McCoy said, “So (Lois) is going to kill herself in a pickle barrel because he loves pickles and she meets Cass on the way, but she ends up changing her life.”

Darian Espinoza, undecided major, played Cass’ new love Captain Mike.

He is very shy, but is also the voice of reason in the play.

The captain is the sanest out of all the characters in the story.

He lost his wife due to an enormous jar of peanut butter falling on her head.

After that tragedy, he tries to kill himself by jumping off the waterfall.

“He’s really strong actually. He attempted suicide, but got over his wife by trying to move on with Cass,” Espinoza said, “He believes God help him build up his strong personality.”

Desperation is a key part in this play, and students revealed it really well. The dialogue was mediocre, but it was the acting that kept this show alive.