Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Five Women Wearing The Same Dress"

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note: entire contents copyright 2005 by Beverly Creasey

Wild Wedding Party
at Hovey

Reviewed by Beverly Creasey

If you’ve ever been to a wedding, you’ll recognize the gawdawful gowns. You know, those monstrosities with puffed sleeves and flowers positioned directly over the rump that brides make their girlfriends wear as penance. Just like the rumor about the Christmas fruitcake (that there is only one which is re-gifted ad nauseam), I suspect that there are only five of these dresses in the world, which keep being re-sold by conspiring bridal shops.

The Hovey Players have a hit on their hands with Alan Ball’s deliciously naughty FIVE WOMEN WEARING THE SAME DRESS. Ball, of “Six Feet Under” fame, has a wicked sense of propriety, or rather its absence. Director Gordon Ellis doesn’t pull his punches. He lets the fur fly---but just to the top, not over.

What a cast to get tipsy, talkative and downright bellicose in the wee interruption between the service and the reception. If the mother-of-the-bride only knew what insurrection was brewing right under her nose. For one thing, the bride’s devoutly “Christian” cousin (Rachel Carney with butter melting away in her mouth) is about to be corrupted by four much more worldly women. Mary Kate Rod as the bride’s disapproving sister would like nothing better than to ruin her sister’s day and Gail Bishop Nessman as the one bridesmaid who is married, has come without her husband, on purpose.

Sara Jones gives a wry, off-center portrayal of the groom’s beauty pageant loving/lesbian sister and lucky Ted Batch is the only guy in the play, in a clever reversal of sexual politics. Melissa Sine gives a luminous, bravura performance as the eminently liberated woman every other woman goes to for advice…and the woman men are drawn to like bees to honey.

Treat yourself to an outrageous slice of wedding comedy: This is what really goes on behind the scenes when the other, unsuspecting guests are sampling the fruit cup.

"Five Women Wearing The Same Dress" (14 - 29 January)
Abbott Theatre, 9 Spring Street, WALTHAM, MA
1 (781)893-9171

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