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Father of the Bride

a Comedy/Drama
CATEGORY : COMEDY DRAMA
by Caroline Francke, based on the classic novel by Edward Streeter

COMPANY : Kudzu Playhouse [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Kudzu Playhouse [WEBSITE]
ID# 1674

SHOWING : August 11, 2006 - September 16, 2006

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

Mr. Banks learns that his daughter is about to announce her engagement out of nowhere. Mrs. Banks and her sons are happy, but Mr. Banks is in a dither. Trouble begins when the guest list grows larger each day. The Banks household is soon caught in turmoil and growing debt.


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Greg Fitzgerald
Director Wally Hinds
Crew Anna Pages
Emma Emily Baily
Buckley Dunston Ryan Bauer
Ben Banks Mike Cuellar
Red Chip Decker
Tomasin (Tomi) Banks Rachael Deel
Joe Walt Frazier
Peggy ERIN GREER
Kay Banks Ashley Jones
Ellie Banks Pamela Katz
Mr. Massoula Lee Lasseter
Miss Bellamy Barbara McFann
Maria lolita Consuela Juanita de la Fuen Sarah McKaig
Stanley Banks Brink Miller
Mrs. Pulitzki Linda Place
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

[REVIEW THIS PRODUCTION]

Father of the Bride
by playlover
Monday, August 28, 2006
5.0
I thought it was a great play, very funny, kept my attention. The actors were great. My favorite was the father. However, they were all very good,my second favorites were Ellie Banks and the daughter (the bride) were also very good. Hope you have many more productios. Thanks for such quality of entertainment. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Father of the Bride
by namlesave
Monday, August 28, 2006
5.0
What an AWESOME performance!! Characters, storyline, stage setting, etc. was very delightful. This is a "Must See" production for the family. I encourage you to see it now, when it hits Broadway you'll be sorry you missed it! Great job Pam!!

Eva Selman
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“Who’s Your Daddy?”
by line!
Sunday, August 27, 2006
4.0
OK, so sue me! The title has absolutely nothing to do with the theme of this review. It was just too easy and I couldn’t pass it up.

Here’s my Top Ten List of what I expect when I attend any production at any local community theater:
1. I expect to be entertained.
2. I expect to feel welcome at the venue.
3. I expect to see economical sets and costumes.
4. I expect to see non-professional actors.
5. I expect everyone associated with the production to do their best
6. I expect something to go wrong (technically or otherwise).
7. I expect the audience to be kind (and filled with friends and family of the folks associated with the production).
8. I expect to see a show based on time-tested (and sometimes time-worn) material.
9. I expect to know someone associated with the production.
10. I expect to write a review of the show (you knew that one was coming – didn’t you?).

Sometimes you get more than you expect.

If you attend community theater productions expecting to be entertained, you most definitely should see Kudzu’s production of “Father of the Bride”. This production features a relatively balanced cast anchored by the venerable and talented Brink Miller reprising a role that fits him like a glove. Brink’s Stanley Banks sets the tone for this production: solid, steadfast and dependable. He loves his daughter, loves his wife and is an archetype of male parenthood. Meaning he is clueless and helpless when faced with the unknown. Where others might have made this more of a madcap farce with lots of exasperated running around and screaming, Brink keeps Stanley “on the rails” even though he is constantly rattled by the ever escalating events around him. This is a wise choice because it keeps Stanley in balance, performance-wise, with the rest of the cast.

Barbara McFann as Miss Bellamy, Erin Greer as Peggy, Lee Lasseter as Mr. Massoula and Sarah McKaig as Maria were all a delight! Each character was strong, eccentric and fun to watch. And the supporting cast of Emily Bailey as Emma, Walt Frazier as Joe, Linda Place as Mrs. Pulitski, Chip Decker as Red and Wally Hinds as Pete did commendable work too.

Ashley Rebecca Jones as Kay, Rachel Deel as Tomi, Ryan Bauer as Buckley and Pamela Katz as Ellie all gave enjoyable performances, but all had occasional issues with vocal projection and diction. I was sitting in the front row at Kudzu (which is only five rows deep) and I frequently had trouble hearing dialogue due to a lack of volume or the “swallowing” of lines by different actors at different times. In all fairness I must also say that some lines were lost to being covered up by the audience’s laughter (holding for laughs is another thing that could use some work – although I will admit it is impossible to rehearse). I will also admit to getting older and not hearing as well as I used to, but when compared to a number of the folks in the audience, I am a spring chicken!

The unexpected surprise for me in this show was Mike Cueller as Ben. His portrayal of the teenage son was so “on target” that I was shocked after the show to learn he is actually 26 years old! He was so full of “teenage boy” on stage that I felt embarrassed for him. But he wasn’t hamming it up, upstaging, mugging or trying to steal the focus from others. He just made some very strong, subtle and accurate choices for his character. Bravo Mike!

The technical aspects of the show ran flawlessly. All of the many sound and light cues were smooth and timely. Kudos to the Kudzu booth! The scene changes were also done well. The set was “in tune” with the story and was decorated nicely with just the right touches to make it read like “home” (even though I’m not sure how many people have purple walls and a column in their living room – but they made it work).

The show was directed by the team of Wally Hinds and Greg Fitzgerald. I am not sure how two people can direct one show, but apparently, in this case, they did. The blocking and staging was clean and functional and made good use of the space. The various bits of business added a nice touch to many scenes and the show flowed smoothly. I enjoyed the re-writing of the locales in the script to be more familiar to Atlanta residents, and the updating of the “maid” character added some fun stuff too. The use of a cordless phone made the story relate to current times, however the fact that everybody returned the phone to its base after every call was not logical and caused some unrealistic behavior as regards the use of the phone. It’s a small thing though.

Now for the paragraphs where I get to vent! The show ran too long. I feel this was due mostly to the steady (but sometimes plodding) pace of the dialogue and staging. I expected scenes to become frantic at times, but they never really seemed to accelerate. I think the run time could have been trimmed by as much as 10 to 15 minutes without cutting anything by simply speeding things up (picking up lines quicker, replacing dramatic pauses with dialogue and action, etc.). Even though the show ran long, it kept my attention. I was never bored, nor was I checking my watch. It was just way past my bedtime by the time I got home.

Some patrons arrived about 10 minutes after the show started for this nearly sold out Saturday night performance and were allowed to be seated while there were actors on stage. The actors did a great job of not letting that disrupt them, but… Kudzu is a very small venue and there is no subtle way to sneak into the theater without disturbing everyone in the audience and on stage. A less disruptive choice could have been made (seating them during a scene change blackout, intermission or having them come another night for example)

After seeing “Father of the Bride”, I left the theatre feeling refreshed and entertained. Should I have expected more? Should I have expected to witness some historical theatrical event with Olympian acting, opulent sets and intricate staging?

That is not what community theater is about in my opinion. I got a good story about a father who loves his daughter, produced and presented by a cast, crew, directorial team and venue that really love theater. It showed in their performance. Ain’t that what it’s really all about?

-Rial

Disclaimer: I have performed at Kudzu (as well as other local community theaters) and am on a first name basis of friendship with several members of this production. If that bothers you, please get over it. I welcome any and all discussion.

[POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Re: Daddy by Cavendish
Great review, Rial. You hit the pro's and the con's evenly. It is your review that now wants me to see this show even though I had no plans to do so. I liked your top ten because I agree with you. Now, I hope you will live up to them in all your future reviews. Interesting how you also managed to express your feelings toward comments posted in reviews of other shows. Subtle, but effective.
i heart cavendish by feather
caven is the reviewer of reviewers, the critic of critics. ah im in love!
..
rial good review. i need to add more detail to mine. you are right about the pace. one thing i have to say about kudzu is the shows get more bounce during run. they always start slow but pace irmroves week after week. nor sure why. maybe its the reharsals. not getting motivated utnil the end. well see what cavens debuet does.
yeh kudzu
by feather
Monday, August 21, 2006
4.0
i sawe this show with my frinds. its a nice olde fashon story. i must say brink miller is my fav atlanta actor and he makes this show so joyable for me. the rest of cast top to bottom is good and has niced energy. i really think their conmdy all around is top notch. the set was nice and wally did a good job but atcors stand around too much and staging could be more intersting. but overall good job kudzu. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Great Show!
by JenniferB
Thursday, August 17, 2006
5.0
I just saw Father of the Bride at the Kudzu theater and it was fabulous! I was expecting something enjoyable but amateur-ish, (the tickets are pretty cheap)but I was completely wrong. This show was as professional as a broadway production. The cast was just perfect. The father, Mr. Banks, is obviously a seasoned, classically trained, actor and the mother, Mrs. Banks is Hys-terical!
All the other charachters are very believable as well. Just like at my own wedding some of the same silly....well I'm not going to give the story away, but let's just say that my husband laughed more than I did. I am going back with our oldest daughter to see it again. Not one curse word, can you believe it?! Let's just say that if you have ever been married or plan to be some day, you will love this play!

Jennifer

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