Perfect Wedding at Theatre Palisades
by Sue Hardie
If you’re looking for a lighthearted escape with a few good belly laughs I suggest you see Perfect Wedding at Theatre Palisades. A riotous farce and sweet love story, Perfect Wedding is staged on a visually pleasing, well-appointed set of a two-room hotel suite, complete with a luscious cloud-like bed and five sturdy
doors that open and slam in perfect synchrony thanks to the actors’ impeccable timing and expert direction by the multi-talented Sherman Wayne who also designed the set and lighting.
It is an appalling situation. The bridegroom, Bill, wakes on his wedding morning in his own bridal suite, with his bride-to-be about to arrive any moment, and finds an attractive, strange girl in bed beside him. In the depths of his post stag-night hangover, he can’t remember meeting her or even what they apparently enjoyed together. During the ensuing panic to get the stranger dressed and out of the way, the bride-to-be arrives and the girl is trapped in the bathroom. Bill confides in his best man Tom, who takes on the brunt of the deception, along with the chambermaid, who shows up exactly at the wrong moment. The crisis escalates and becomes more complicated as lies lead to more lies. Friendships and loyalties are tested to the breaking point, and it looks like the wedding will be called off.
Playwright Robin Hawdon’s script is not particularly sharp or witty, and certainly not deep. However, it hits lots of traditional farcical buttons thanks to the faces pulled, perfectly timed gestures and physical gags by the strong and energetic cast.
The big moments include just about every scene with Maria O’Connor as the maid, who tries to tell the bride about what she’s getting into, but even she can’t keep up with the shifting twists and turns of deception.
Nick Thompson is hilarious as the highly anxious Tom who tries to help his friend only to be duped – and when he finally ‘gets it,’ all hell breaks loose, much to the audience’s delight.
As the bossy bride obsessed about details to ensure her perfect wedding day, Marisa Van Den Borre plays Rachel, trying to stay regally calm as everything and everybody fall apart around her.
Rachel is a sharp contrast to the hapless, goofy and charming Bill played by Nicholas Dostal.
Holly Sidell conveys an attractive innocent charm as Judy, the woman who wound up in bed with Bill in the drunken hours after his stag party.
Martha Hunter as Daphne is the desperately optimistic mother-of-the-bride one always imagines.
A little bit naughty and titillating without being dirty, Perfect Wedding is a funny and charming romp. Enjoy!
Perfect Wedding, written by Robin Hawdon; directed by Sherman Wayne; produced by Martha Hunter and Sylvia Grieb. Performances continue through May 17, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 2pm at Theatre Palisades Pierson Playhouse, 941 Temescal Canyon Road, Pacific Palisades 90272 TICKETS: Adult $20, Seniors & Students $18, Box Office (310) 454-1970. www.theatrepalisades.com Free Parking