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I Do, I Do, I Do
a Comedy
by Robin Hawdon

COMPANY : Stage Door Players [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Stage Door Players [WEBSITE]
ID# 4639

SHOWING : September 19, 2014 - October 12, 2014



Diana is beautiful, intelligent, and sweet natured. The three men in her life are Jamie, the much envied man to whom she is officially engaged; Tom, the attractive boyfriend of Jamie’s sister; and Geoff, the oldest friend who is to be best man. Diana’s insurmountable problem is that, during the course of the longest weekend of her life, she finds herself having promised marriage to all three! Will she make up her mind in time for the big society wedding arranged in a month’s time?

Director Robert Egizio
Jamie Matthew Bass
Holly Alana Cheshire
Diana Sarah Halicks
Tom Brian Hatch
Ann Holly Stevenson
Geoff Benjamyn Toler
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I Came, I Saw, I Slumbered
by playgoer
Sunday, October 12, 2014
"I Do, I Do, I Do" is an odd misfire for Stage Door Players. The cast can’t seem to agree on the tone of the piece, which concerns a woman with three romantic entanglements on the same day, when her wedding to the first is being planned. Brian Hatch plays his role (Tom) as if he’s in a stylized farce, while the others generally play their roles as if they’re in a sophisticated English drawing room comedy. The differing approaches don’t mesh, although they might have been intentional. Perhaps the director’s intention was to make Matthew Bass’s character (Jamie) dull and stiff-upper-lipped, but having him as the centerpiece of the first scene gets things off to a bad start. Benjamyn Toler plays the third suitor (Geoff), who is supposed to be a red-blooded contrast to Jamie and yet his best friend and best man, which doesn’t really work in terms of the script or casting. Holly Stevenson plays Jamie’s mother Ann with about an eighth of the flighty kookiness that would make the role really come to life. Alana Cheshire comes across well in the relatively small role of Jamie’s sister (Holly), and poor Sarah Newby Halicks, as the much-admired Diana, has to try to play against the very different approaches of her three suitors, which can’t possibly work in the production. Director Robert Egizio really seems to have let his cast down in this one, perhaps abetted by assistant director Jacob York.

Unsurprisingly, Chuck Welcome has designed an elegant set, with a chandelier, large tree stencils on the walls, arched openings, columns (with splotchy gold highlighting, or was it supposed to be a faux effect?), and etched glass in the French doors leading to the garden. A sofa and a couple of chairs provide seating. There’s a highlighted small statue of Rodin’s "The Thinker" on the wall inside an empty gold frame, which gives John David Williams’ lighting its only notable effect, aside from daylight and nighttime lighting in different scenes. Unfortunately, the script treats the statue as sort of an eight-ball predictor, a conceit that falls flat.

Jane Kroessig’s costumes are good and Kathy Ellsworth’s props are fine, but Rial Ellsworth’s sound design seems a little off, with a Jeopardy theme playing a little loud and long, while a telephone ring was so low that I couldn’t tell at first whether it was an intentional effect or from an audience member’s cellphone. George Deavours’ wig for Ms. Halicks was the worse for wear by the end of the run.

Robin Hawdon’s script is not particularly strong, with a lot of repeated ground covered in dealing with each of Diana’s suitors. The final scene prolongs the "which will she choose?" conundrum a bit too long, consciously misleading the audience. It could all work, though, if a consistent tone were used throughout, ideally that of a wacky farce. Mr. Hatch’s performance is the only one that comes close to catching fire, and he plays things more broadly than anyone else. I couldn’t catch all his comic shtick, though, since blocking prevented me from seeing through a stationary foreground actor when he was doing something that convulsed the other half of the audience.

I’m at a loss to understand why Stage Door Players, which has staged a number of hilarious farces, would fail so miserably at staging this one, unless it’s due to the inclusion of an assistant director in the program credits. Jacob York often makes non-stereotypical choices in his acting, which can be effective for a single role, but a director needs to play more consistently to audience preconceptions in a comedy to make a satisfying evening of entertainment. "I Do, I Do, I Do" at Stage Door Players is emphatically NOT a satisfying production.


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