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Sunday, 16 January 2011 01:30

Perfect Wedding? Well, one rose short of a bouquet

Written by Laura Kyro
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The Details

The good news is, the Kirkwood Theatre Guild's current production of Perfect Wedding is evidence that British Farce (a theatrical force all its own, which is why I put it in caps) is alive. And a fairly new British Farce, mind you, not your usual, reliable blockbusters of Noises Off, Lend Me a Tenor, Run for your Wife, Don't Dress for Dinner, etc. The bad news is, the script for this new incarnation of multiple doors, mistaken identities, absurd and improbable situations, physical pratfalls, British accents, scanty clothing, and sexual hanky panky, isn't as solid as it might be.

English author Robin Hawdon (also author of Don't Dress for Dinner ) wrote Perfect Wedding in 2001. Wedding is the story of Bill (Jeff Kargus) who wakes in a hotel's bridal suite the morning of his wedding to Rachel (Amber Muschelli). Unfortunately, he wakes with a woman he doesn't know (Judy, played by Nisrine Omri) in the bed with him. His best man shows up (Tom, played by Lance Begnaud), as does the hotel's chambermaid (Sally Lister), Rachel, and Rachel's mother (Janet Robey-Schwartz) and silliness ensues as Bill attempts to find out with whom he had been sleeping, Tom tries to locate his missing girlfriend, Rachel's mother hems the wedding dress while inexplicably getting inebriated, Rachel just tries to get married, and the chambermaid triumphantly wields the primary prop of the show, a toilet bowl brush. You had to be there.

Director Robert Thibaut (assisted by Judy Lewis) chose a comely and diverse cast who all do a passable British accent. A little more projection on voices, however, would have been appreciated. Despite the deficiencies of the script, all cast members were entertaining and fully committed to their parts.

In general, the first act was a good setup, but the second act devolved into silliness and a much too tidy and improbable ending as the author appeared to lose his way. But the audience were laughing throughout, and loudly demonstrated their appreciation.

Technically, the set (Set Designer Merrick Mohler) was a nice two-room arrangement with nicely solid doors and walls--important when the doors were slammed shut, as they often were. Lights (Lighting Designer Lee Meyer) were responsive to the action. Costumes (Cherol Bowman Thibaut) were nicely appropriate to a modern setting.

Perfect Wedding runs approximately two hours with a 15-minute intermission. It will be on stage at the Kirkwood Community Center on Geyer Road through January 22, 2011.

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