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Always a Bridesmaid
a Comedy
CATEGORY : COMEDY
by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten

COMPANY : The Magari Theatre Company [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Red Clay Theatre
ID# 5079

SHOWING : May 19, 2017 - May 28, 2017

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

In this hilarious comedy, four friends have sworn to keep the promise they made on the night of their Senior Prom: to be in each other’s weddings…no matter what. More than thirty years later, these Southern friends-for-life are still making "the long walk" for each other, determined to honor that vow. Libby Ruth, the hopeful romantic with the perfect marriage, believes—in spite of all evidence to the contrary—that her friends can find the very same happiness. Headstrong Deedra’s "rock-solid" union hangs by a thread when she discovers her husband not only has a wandering eye, but the hands to match. Monette, flashy and self-involved, continues to test her friends’ love and patience with all-too-frequent trips down the aisle. And salt-of-the-earth Charlie discovers that marital bliss is not the end of her rainbow and panics when the opportunity presents itself. Hop on this marriage-go-round for a laugh-out-loud journey with these beleaguered bridesmaids as they navigate the choppy waters of love and matrimony.

ALWAYS A BRIDESMAID is the rollicking tale of four loyal and determined women who definitively answer the question, "Just how far are you willing to go to keep a promise to a friend?" If you’ve ever elbowed a stranger out of the way to catch a bride’s bouquet, seriously questioned the mental stability of the duo saying "I do" or been forced to wear the world’s ugliest bridesmaid dress, this deliriously funny JONES HOPE WOOTEN COMEDY is definitely for you…and your dearly beloved!


CAST & CREW LIST
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REVIEWS

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Often a Bride
by playgoer
Friday, June 2, 2017
3.5
"Always a Bridesmaid" tells the story of four friends who vowed in childhood to be a part of one another’s weddings, and who have held to that promise over many years and several marriages. The play takes place in a wedding venue run by Sedalia Ellicot (Caroline King). In addition to her and the four friends, we also have Kari (Halley Tiefert), the younger sister of happily married Libby Ruth (Meg Biddle). Kari starts the show with a wedding toast monologue spoken to the side of the proscenium, and her increasingly drunken monologue continues between the other scenes to set them up, with Kari taking the stage proper only in the final scene.

Aside from the ever-romantic Libby Ruth, we have never-married Charlie (Ashley Powers), hastily and frequently married Monette (Malikah McHerrin-Cobb), and caustic judge Deedra (Jessica Wise), whose marriage runs into trouble during the course of the play. The bride varies from scene to scene, and having matching bridesmaid outfits seems an unattainable dream up until the final scene. Costumes (not credited in the program) make the show, and they are appropriately elegant or inventively comic.

The set works well, with two dressing room alcoves up left and right, a main entrance stage right, and an oval full-length mirror on a platform stage left. A sofa center serves for seating, but the blocking by director Amanda Jewell keeps things moving so fast that no one stays seated for long. Lights (Corey Giessen) and sound (Shalom Aberle) don’t have a lot to accomplish, but nicely convey a thunderstorm and offstage party activity.

Lines are not a problem with any of the cast; the words come out speedily and with appropriate inflection. This type of comedy requires a broadness that not all the actresses accomplish, however. Ms. Biddle is perfection as Libby Ruth, injecting tons of energy, vim, and verve into her portrayal. Ms. McHerrin-Cobb, on the other hand, is understated as Monette and doesn’t seem to have much of an innate comic sense. Ms. King and Ms. Wise do the fine comic bits the director has created for them, but have timing that’s a little off. Ms. Tiefert and Ms. Powers do fine jobs with their roles, balancing the acting demands and the comedy demands nicely.

The ages of the actresses don’t mesh particularly well with the requirements of the script; the script, which spans several years, suggests that the four friends should be at least approaching middle age, since it’s established that they’re 39 in the first scene. Instead, they all look younger than the 29 one of the characters claims as her age. Kari, who is supposedly Libby Ruth’s younger sister (young enough to have been a flower girl at one of the friends’ weddings), is played by an actress who appears to be far older than the one playing Libby Ruth. That’s not much of a problem, though, when the comedy starts flying fast and furiously.

Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten are known for their mass-produced comedies featuring women in near-farcical situations. "Always a Bridesmaid" is another in the series, and an entertaining one. It’s not high art and makes no pretense to be so. It’s entertainment, pure and simple, and the Magari Theatre Company’s production lets that entertainment soar. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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