Theatre Mirror Reviews "Always A Bridesmaid"


"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

entire contents copyright 2014 by Tony Annicone

"Always A Bridesmaid"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

Renaissance City Theatre Inc. the producing entity at the Granite Theatre's current show is "Always a Bridesmaid" by Jesse Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten, the authors of "The Dixie Swim Club" and "Hallelujah Girls". In this hilarious comic romp, four friends have sworn to keep the promise they made on the night of their Senior Prom:To be in each other's wedding no matter what. More than 30 years later, these Southern friends-for-life are still making the long walk for each other, determined to honor that vow. Hop on this marriage go round for a laugh out loud journey with these beleaguered bridesmaids as they navigate the choppy waters of love and matrimony, committed to the notion that careers, waistlines and even marriages may disappear but real friendships last a lifetime. Director Brian Olsen picks 6 topnotch actresses to fill these roles and infuses them with energy to deliver a madcap performance that audiences can savor.

The characters have similarities to the Golden Girls. There is sexpot, Blanche type, Monette, who takes many trips down the aisle, the air head Rose type, Libby Ruth who has a perfect marriage and the sarcastic Dorothy type, Deedra whose marriage is threatened when she discovers her husband has a wandering eye and hands. One of the funniest characters is the feminist, hippie character, Charlie who balks at ever getting married until an opportunity presents itself. Throw in Sedalia who owns the establishment and Libby's daughter, Kari, who narrates the show and has many funny monologues. The costumes are very funny especially the French costumes.

All the actresses are hilarious in their roles. Veronica Strickland plays Monette, the sex pot excellently. One of her funniest lines is about wanting two men, one to cook and one to clean. Monette gets married three times and in one scene dresses up like Marie Antoinette. Libby is fantastically played by Christine Reynolds. She sings off key at the start of the show but commands every scene she is in. Christine is hilarious dressed up as a can-can girl who cries hysterically in this scene only to be beaten by pillows to snap her out of it. She keeps things running smoothly. Christine and Veronica have a nice camaraderie with each other. Mandy Solis as Deedra has many sarcastic and biting one liners. Beth Jepson is a hoot as Charlie. Some of her funniest moments come when she puts on a maid's outfit, is dressed like a hippie and when she has her wedding dress on. Beth's funniest scene is when she is dressed like the maid. Judy George plays the owner of the wedding mansion. She wears a funny wig and some of Sedalia's laughs come from when she chases Beth with an axe and delivers hard boiled eggs with anchovy mayo to sober up the girls after a night of drinking. Anna Convery delivers a wonderful performance as this young girl who is about to get married herself. Her monologues hit pay dirt, winning her many laughs along the way. So for a look at a brand new comedy that will definitely tickle your funny bone, be sure to catch "Always a Bridesmaid" by Renaissance City Theatre in Westerly.

"Always A Bridesmaid" (20 June - 20 July)
@ Granite Theatre, 1 Granite Street, WESTERLY RI

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