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Wedding day farce a piece of cake for Waukesha Civic Theatre

Simple set, fine acting in 'Perfect Wedding'

Waukesha Civic Theatre presents "Perfect Wedding" through Feb. 23 at the theater in downtown Waukesha.

Waukesha Civic Theatre presents "Perfect Wedding" through Feb. 23 at the theater in downtown Waukesha.

Feb. 12, 2014

Lots can go wrong on a wedding day, from fashion malfunctions to reception rowdiness.

But when the groom wakes up on his wedding day in the honeymoon suite with a strange, pretty, naked woman in bed beside him, a domino effect of disasters ensues in the farce "Perfect Wedding."

The show, Waukesha Civic Theatre's latest, features a small ensemble cast that really has to manage the fast-paced repartee and double talk as the groom and his best man weave an incredible web of deception in order to keep the wedding on track.

Like all good romps, there are people popping in and out of rooms, hiding behind doors and pretending to be someone else. The pace is frenetic. You could miss a sight gag if you blink or a great line if you cough.

The show runs pretty much in real time, some two hours before the couple is about to be married.

Ian Curtis as Bill, the groom, starts the first domino as he tries to explain to his best man, Tom (James Boylan), about the stag party the night before and his inability to remember how this woman turned up in his bed the next morning. Only the woman (Allison Chicorel) can really say what happened that night, and she's not telling … at least not until 100 minutes or so of the show have passed.

Lies and deception abound as fantastic tales are devised on the spot to placate all involved. Even the maid (Tanya Tranberg) gets sucked into the plot, while the bride (Katlin Drew) becomes increasingly frustrated with the bizarre tales that produce tension not only in the honeymoon suite, but throughout the hotel.

Curtis gets the comedy off on the right foot as the totally flustered Bill, who has lots of explaining to do when the mystery woman pops up on his wedding day. He fusses and fumes, hems and haws, pulls his hair and gestures nervously as he tells one tall tale after another. Curtis and Boylan are marvelous as they carry the load of the comedy with impeccable timing and walk a tightrope to disaster.

Chicorel works especially well with Boylan, displaying a real ease and lightness in their scenes as well as in those with Curtis. Tranberg as the maid keeps an even keel as she is pushed and pulled by the main characters to help their cause. Yet, like a pesky child, she sometimes says too much.

Maureen Chobanoff bursts on the scene at the end of the first act as the bride's mother and makes the most of a small role, throwing more fuel on the raging fire of the prenuptial confusion.

As the bride, Drew probably could have reached a boiling point long before the lies stacked up higher than a wedding cake. Her over-the-top meltdown is well done.

After several WCT shows involving complicated sets, this show was basically one-dimensional. The simple, functional set had virtually no moving parts and let the audience clearly view the two rooms of the honeymoon suite and the doors into both, as well as the door to the bathroom.

Director Kelly Krause did a fine job of getting her ensemble cast up to speed for this fast and furious farce.

IF YOU GO

Who: Waukesha Civic Theatre

What: "Perfect Wedding"

When: Through Feb. 23

Where: 264 W. Main St.

Tickets: (262) 547-0708; wwwwaukeshacivictheatre.org

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