The story of a war veteran and big game hunter who returns home after almost a decade, a play that offers a searing and darkly comic look at American culture, capitalism, and toxic masculinity.
From the producers: "Happy Birthday, Wanda June" takes a searing and darkly comedic look at American culture through the brilliantly perverse lens of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. Harold Ryan, a widely respected war veteran and big game hunter, returns home after being missing and presumed dead for 8 years. Harold brings with him an old way of thinking, one that celebrates a chauvinist machismo and American exceptionalism. But Harold soon discovers that the society he returns to has made attempts to progress into a more modern and enlightened cultural narrative. What follows is a dynamic and often hilarious meditation on toxic masculinity and an American capitalist society’s failed attempts at progress cloaked in “honor” and “morality”, and how the two are deeply connected. But simply put, and as the first few lines of the play state, “this is a play about men who enjoy killing, and those who don’t.”
Author Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. is considered one of the most influential American novelists of the 20th Century and is best known for the novels "Cat's Cradle," "Slaughterhouse-Five," and "Breakfast of Champions." His first play, "Happy Birthday, Wanda June" originally premiered Off-Broadway at the Theater de Lys (now the Lucille Lortel) in 1970, before transferring to Broadway's Edison Theatre that same year. The current Off-Broadway transfer follows a critically acclaimed spring 2018 production in the Gene Frankel Theater that extended its run by five weeks.
Jeffrey Wise directs a cast that includes Craig Wesley Divino, Finn Faulconer, Matt Harrington, Kareem Lucas, Kate MacCluggage, Jason O’Connell, and Charlotte Wise.