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Cumming Attractions Theatre Company1
Average Rating Given : 5.00000
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REVIEWS

Father of the Bride, by Caroline Francke
Plan on Attending This Wedding
Monday, August 16, 2004
5.0
Cumming Attraction Theater Company’s (CATCo) production of “Father of the Bride” is one of the best performances I’ve ever seen. I do not consider myself to be a theater aficionado, and until meeting my arts-loving wife, I had viewed a total of two professional live productions (we are now approaching our fourth anniversary, and that number has gone up to around 25). While my appreciation for the theatre has grown substantially, some shows still tend to test my patience. This was not one of them. There was never a dull moment in the entire two-hour production of “Father of the Bride.” In fact, I barely got the chance to catch my breath between all of the laughs.

Bill Wilson, playing the title role of Stanley Banks, had the audience rolling in the aisles from the very first scene. I have seen Wilson in past CATCo plays “Brigadoon” and “The Sound of Music,” and while he did very well in each of these roles, I must say that he has found his perfect role in this most recent production. Not only are his facial expressions and deliveries hysterical and right on time, but he does an excellent job of epitomizing every father’s reaction to hearing that he’s about to lose his first baby girl to a complete stranger and that he’s fully responsible for bankrolling the blessed union.

The rest of the Banks family seem made for their roles as well. Mary Becker as Ellie Banks strikes the perfect balance between loving mom and exasperated wife. Julie Andrews (yes that’s actually her name) does a wonderful job of playing the very anxious and very emotional bride-to-be, Kay. Katie Fox (playing the youngest daughter, Tammy) and Jack Carpenter (playing Ben, the lovestruck son) did an excellent job of making the entire affair as chaotic as possible, and they clicked in such a way that I would not have been surprised to find out that they were siblings off the stage as well. (I WAS surprised to find out that this was Fox’s first stage performance; you would never know it to see her so at ease on the stage.)

Kay’s fiancé, Buckley, is played by Steve Cook, who serves as the perfect steady and sensible groom to Andrews’ highly emotional bride. The pair epitomizes the “Mars and Venus” man-and-woman relationship, and Cook particularly shines in a comical scene in which his future father-in-law attempts to explain this “Mars and Venus” concept to him.

The show was rounded out by an incredible cast of hilarious supporting characters, such as maid Delilah (Cheryl Rogers), secretary Miss Bellamy (Katy Cook) and “circulation expert” Joe (Adam Levenstein). And I would suggest you bring a box of tissues, as Chris Goldston’s portrayal of flamboyant wedding planner Massoula will have you laughing until you cry. (You’ll need those tissues at the end anyway, after you witness a very tender scene between daddy and daughter.)

All the little details, such as the music, costumes, and set added to the high quality of this production. As a side note, the brand new Cumming Playhouse is gorgeous. The Playhouse, in combination with excellent CATCo productions, is sure to make a huge contribution to the advancement of theater in North Georgia. I loved this play, and I look forward to seeing whatever is next on the CATCo line-up.

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