BWW Review: See WILD HORSES at NJ Rep for a Charming and Compelling Show

"We weren't freedom fighters, we were freedom takers."

by Woman in Wild Horses

New Jersey Repertory Company is now presenting the National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere of Allison Gregory's Wild Horses through March 25. This stunning, original one-woman show stars Estelle Bajou and is directed by NJ Rep's Artistic Director, Suzanne Barabas. There are so many reasons why theatergoers, young and old alike, will enjoy this production. Wonderfully performed and cleverly staged, it is a spirited coming of age story that is relatable, entertaining, yet very touching.

Wild Horses is set in a Tastee-Freeze turned karaoke bar that could be anywhere in the United States. The preshow is not to be missed. It sets the mood with an authentic bar scene as patrons step up to the mike and perform popular songs like "Desperado," "Yesterday" and "I Can't Help Falling in Love With You." Into this setting steps Woman, ready to share her memories of being thirteen years old. To portray numerous vignettes, she brings to life her friends Skinny Linny and Gabby, her sister, Carrie Ann dubbed "the favorite," along with locals that include Gabby's brothers Dono and Mean Dean. These characters and many more make the stories about adolescent adventures and misadventures stirring. Woman recounts with humor and verve her first big crush, family conflicts, and a daring feat to save horses on a ranch.

Estelle Bajou is outstanding in her role as Woman. She is the ideal actor to star in Allison Gregory's insightful, keenly crafted play. Bajou displays her diverse talents as she transitions to portray different parts seamlessly and captures the personality of each character.

Wild Horses also features the fine talents of local actors that include Alli Angelou, Jim Benner, Debbie Bernstein, Jessica Freeland, Danielle Grosso, Velda Harris, Carl Hoffman, A.J. Melnick, Chris Price, Amelia Vitale, and Heather Welsh who appear as patrons of the bar.

NJ Rep's Production Staff has excelled by creating the ideal setting for Wild Horses. They include scenic design by Jessica Parks; lighting design by Jill Nagle; sound design by Merek Royce Press; costume design by Patricia E. Doherty; properties design by Marisa Procopio. The Technical Director is Brian P. Snyder; Stage Manager is Kristin Pfeifer; Assistant Stage Manager is Adam von Pier; Assistant Director is Janey Huber.

Experience a charming, compelling story of youth with its pain and promise and see Wild Horses. It is a show that is sure to please. We applaud Executor Producer, Gabor Barabas and Artistic Director, Suzanne Barabas for continuing to bring new, relevant, and entertaining theatre to metro area audiences.

Performances are Thursdays, Fridays at 8pm (pre-show 7:40pm); Saturdays 3pm & 8pm (pre-show 2:40pm & 7:40pm); Sundays 2pm (pre-show 1:40pm). Reservations by phone: 732-229-3166 or online at NJ Rep presents shows year-round. Be sure to check out their annual subscription program. Follow the theatre on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Photo Credit: Suzanne Barabas

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From This Author Marina Kennedy

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