Splendid acting and a sprightly script peppered with sharp dialogue are a perfect pairing for another Beef & Boards highlight.
While the premise is the same - getting to the wedding ceremony is fraught with drama - the twists and turns of Caroline Francke's stage play are quite different from the movie by the same name. Based on the novel by Edward Streeter, each heightens fairly recognizable alternative events leading to the altar. Eddie Curry directs with an eye toward human frailties writ large for a fast-paced, almost frenetic depiction of a household turned topsy-turvey as "small" turns into huge and "intimate" morphs into lavish.
It's a laugh-a-minute with on-the-mark ensemble acting as eight characters take turns skewering the plan for "a simple wedding." Tailoring the script to be set in Indiana with allusions the audience enjoys - "I just drove around and around 465," laments the lovably 'do-the-right-thing' Ben Tebbe as Buckley after a spat with Lisa Ermel as the 'caught-between pleasing everyone bride-to-be' Kay. Those on the stage and in the seats are equally anxious about the outcome - will these two lovebirds patch it up and make a go of it?
Kristin Lennox is the determined Mother of the Bride - "This is what every girl dreams of" - or is it what every mother of the girl dreams of? Joseph Mervis is impeccably in-your-face as the kid brother; Deb Wims as the impervious secretary of 22-years pits efficiency against padding the invitation list. Ivory McKay and Sandra Belles pair off as the suave and sturdy counterparts of wedding planner. Jeff Stockberger is at the center of the storm as Stanley, "The Father," who runs the gamut from ballistic over the idea of his baby girl marrying a complete stranger to - oops, that's a spoiler. Come see for yourself.