The Internet Theater Magazine of Reviews, Features, Annotated Listings







Etcetera and
Short Term Listings


NYC Restaurants


New Jersey







Free Updates
A CurtainUp Review
Revisiting Wildfire

Wildfire is not a dumb song. It was divine intervention, a miracle that I stumbled on YouTube one night. The song has changed my life.— Theresa
Revisiting Wildfire
L-R: Lynne Wintersteller andNancy Johnston
Kari Floren’s new play about two women in their early 50s focuses on the themes of friendship, aging and the search for meaning in life. This can be material for great plays. But despite Eve Brandstein’s capable direction and fine performances turned in by Lynne Wintersteller and Nancy Johnson, the play never fulfills its potential.

Revisiting Wildfire opens with Theresa (Wintersteller) listening to Michael Murphey’s rendition of “Wildfire” on her iPod when Pam (Johnston) unexpectedly arrives. After Theresa’s initial shock passes, the next 45 minutes are dedicated to Theresa trying to get rid of Pam and Pam refusing to go. The argument is mostly verbal, except when Theresa attempts shutting the door on Pam, injuring her friend’s foot.

Theresa says she is still recovering from losing an apparently well-paying, prestigious job thanks to a younger rival, and that cannot tolerate company. She needs to spend time listening to “Wildfire,” a song which has given new meaning to her life. Pam insists she has come to celebrate Theresa’s birthday and Theresa has no business turning away her oldest and best friend.

Finally Pam drops her own bombshell, which really isn’t much of a bombshell to anyone who has been listening with even a modicum of care. Nevertheless, as it is the only element of the play with any potential of surprising, it's is better left unrevealed. During the remainder of the play, Pam and Theresa debate whether Pam’s news should make Theresa give up the plans she is now forced to tell Pam about.

Pam and Theresa talk endlessly about their feelings, but there is some activity. Pam appropriates one of Theresa’s dresses, which is the perfect length but a bit too large (even though Theresa is two or three inches taller than Pam and thin as a rail). Theresa alters the dress in less than a minute. The two women drink a good deal of scotch. Food arrives from a local take-out place.

By the next morning nothing is resolved Pam has decided that she’d like to relive old times by snorting coke, which seems to do the trick. At the end of the play, neither of the women has solved her problems, but their friendship has endured.

Jason Sherwood’s totally realistic New York City apartment (chic and a bit claustrophobic) tells the audience all they need to know about these women, their world and their aspirations. Floren would have done well to put more trust in her creative team and her actors.

Johnston and Wintersteller are seasoned performers who know how to keep a scene moving. They also squeeze out as much from Floren’s cliche-ridden dialogue and tired plotting as is humanly possible. At best, Revisiting Wildfire might have made a passable 30-minute one-act. There just is not enough depth here for 90 minutes.

Revisiting Wildfire
By Kari Floren
Directed by Eve Brandstein
Cast: Lynne Wintersteller (Theresa), Nancy Johnston (Pam)
Set Designer: Jason Sherwood
Costume Designer: Anne E. Grosz
Lighting Designer: Nastassia Jimenez
Projection Designer: Daniel Hefferman
Original Music: Roger Murdock
Stage Manager: Emileena Pedigo
Running Time: 90 minutes, no intermission
ArcLight Theatre 152 West 71st Street
From 6/02/12; opening 6/06/12; closing 6/24/12
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday evenings at 7:00pm, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00pm. Matinees are Saturdays at 2:00pm and Sundays at 3:00pm, no Sunday evening performances 6/10 & 6/24 or Saturday matinee 6/16
Tickets: $45 (212) 352-3101 or
Reviewed by Paulanne Simmons June 7, 2012
Highlight one of the responses below and click "copy" or"CTRL+C"
  • I agree with the review of Revisiting Wildfire
  • I disagree with the review of Revisiting Wildfire
  • The review made me eager to see Revisiting Wildfire
Click on the address link E-mail:
Paste the highlighted text into the subject line (CTRL+ V):

Feel free to add detailed comments in the body of the email. . .also the names and emails of any friends to whom you'd like us to forward a copy of this review.

Visit Curtainup's Blog Annex
For a feed to reviews and features as they are posted add to your reader
Curtainup at Facebook . . . Curtainup at Twitter
Subscribe to our FREE email updates: E-mail:
put SUBSCRIBE CURTAINUP EMAIL UPDATE in the subject line and your full name and email address in the body of the message. If you can spare a minute, tell us how you came to CurtainUp and from what part of the country.
Slings & Arrows  cover of  new Blu-Ray cover
Slings & Arrows- view 1st episode free

Anything Goes Cast Recording Anything Goes Cast Recording
Our review of the show

Book Of Mormon MP4 Book of Mormon -CD
Our review of the show

©Copyright 2012, Elyse Sommer.
Information from this site may not be reproduced in print or online without specific permission from