Greene County News Report
YELLOW SPRINGS – Jonathan Crocker and Douglas Mumaw talked many years ago about writing and performing comedy at Renaissance Festivals together. The big problem they faced was that they were each already successfully writing and performing comedy with separate Renaissance Festival acts. Mumaw is a founding member of The Swordsmen, portraying the dashing Dirk Perfect, and Crocker started Theatre in the Ground Mudde Shows where he plays the zany Jake the Wild Man. Both acts are performed at the Ohio Renaissance Festival.
As luck would have it, a chance for these two to work together did arise. Mumaw and Crocker were able to team up at the Arizona Renaissance Festival to form yet another popular act: The Wyld Men.
For 20 years now, Arizona fans have enjoyed following the evolution of the show they have created there. In 2008 their luck redoubled, when percussionist Jimi Torrey joined the act. Locals may know Torrey from his days with the Minstrels of Mayhem, a popular Ohio Renaissance Festival act some years back.
For years, these performers have lived their double lives; Ohio audiences knowing them one way, and Arizona audiences getting an entirely different view of their talents – until now, that is.
The Ohio audience will now have a chance to see The Wyld Men on (and in) their own turf. Taking place 12:30 and 7 p.m. Wednesday Oct. 7, The Wyld Men will give two outdoor performances of their show, Meet the Wyld Man, at the Miles Budd Goodman Amphitheater at Antioch College. The performance will begin with a comedy-and-music opening act featuring the Wyld Men and local guest artists, followed by the main feature.
Audience members are welcomed to join the Adventurers’ Club of the Wyld, as they meet eccentric odd-ball Dr. Cranius Lunch (Crocker), his cheerfully nutty side-kick, Seth Sethstherton (Mumaw) and percussionist and general master of the sound-scape, Captain Jimi (Torrey). Today’s mission: To create the theatrical conditions necessary to go back in time to “Meet the Wyld Man”
In style, “Meet the Wyld Man!” is akin to a live cartoon. Entirely appropriate and fun for all ages, it is fast-paced and packed with high-energy high-jinks, special effects, gags and stunts and audience participation. The live rhythmic score enhances all the action, and includes a rich smattering of wacky sound-effects.
When the “slow-motion bell” rings, the the speed of the action drops down several notches, allowing the heroes of the story to showcase their movement skills and facial elasticity, while giving the audience’s funny bone plenty of time to catch up to its eyes and ears. The set depicts the jumbled ruins of an ill-fated ancient stone circle. The massive rocks of the henge have collapsed into the aquifer below, causing a marshy pool to form in their midst. The threat of muddy oblivion lurks silently in the midst of all the action.
“Meet the Wyld Man!” will be performed 12:30 and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 7 at the Miles Budd Goodman Amphitheater, Antioch College. The 12:30 p.m. offers matinee prices. The show lasts 70 to 80 minutes. Tickets and more information can be found at www.wyldman.com. Food trucks will be available at the evening performance; individuals can watch the trailer by visiting www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXeiv2lYJ1I.
Greene County News Report compiled by Whitney Vickers