Vienna Theatre Company Father of the BrideBy Laura & Mike Clark • Apr 19th, 2008 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of Vienna Theatre Company’s production of Father of the Bride [MP3 4:36 2.1MB].
Vienna Theatre Company
Vienna Community Center, Vienna, VA
$9/$8 Seniors and Students
Through May 3rd
Mike: Father of the Bride is a comedy by Caroline Francke based on the novel by Edward Streeter. It tells the story of a man trying to cope with all the disasters that happen along the way after their daughter announces she is engaged until the wedding actually occurs. The show is set in Springfield, Illinois during the Spring and Summer of 1957.
Laura: This was not Vienna Theatre Company’s best show. There were some real timing issues. The cast was times was talking so fast they were almost stumbling over each other’s lines. Then there were the lines that were said with a really long pause while the actor waited for the laugh that never happened. Then the next line would be said. I felt the timing was really uneven. I also had a hard time connecting with the actors.
Mike: I also did not feel the actors were quite ready. Their timing was a little off, sometimes slow, sometimes fast. They never quite hit the right pacing. It felt kind of draggy overall. I also felt that the father, Stanley Banks, played by Jay Reiner, did not have the right feel to me as a 1950’s father. Very authoritarian, very in control, is what I was expecting. He should have started out that way, but I don’t think he did. This is one of the points in the show, he isn’t in control. He can’t reign in his wife and daughter with the wedding gone crazy.
Laura: I will say that Kay, the fiancee of Buckley, played by Jess Milewicz, was very expressive. She wore her emotions on her sleeve and was also rather physical at times.
Mike: I did not like her too much. She had some good scenes, but over all she came across as a little too whiny.
Laura: One thing I thought was interesting. I didn’t know if it was the writing or an oops. Peggy, the girlfriend of Ben, was played by Megan Graves. At the end of the show she went upstairs to talk to Kay and she never came back down. She did not come back down until the curtain call. I did not know if she was supposed to stay upstairs or they forgot about her or what, but I thought that was kind of interesting.
Mike: She did not go to the wedding. Did they forget about her? That was a little distracting because it made me wonder, “Hey, we lost a character.”
The set was an appropriate 1950’s household. We saw the living room and a little bit of the dining area. There was a simple chandelier and an assortment of odds and ends on the bookshelf, a small desk that held a phone. That was one of the things that pegged it as the 1950’s. When the phone would ring people would casually stroll over to the phone. The set was designed and constructed by John Vasko.
One thing that I did not agree with was a plot point made by Joe, the circulation expert, played by Bill Mullins, about the room needing no furniture and the door to the kitchen needing to be removed. In the third act when they were taking out the furniture, no one worked on the door. However there was a big deal made about you have to get this tent up in the back yard. There were some sound effects that represented construction going on in the back yard to make the tent. I think having someone work on the door would have been an excuse to have some real noise being made while trying get the doors off the hinges. At the end of the show, the door was still there. Maybe they were going to do it during the wedding, but it just did not sit right that the door stayed.
I did not get the feeling that the five members of the Banks family were a family. They felt like five individuals who were just stuck together, there wasn’t a sense of camaraderie. Near the end of the show, Stanley and Kay have a touching moment together. It felt very forced and stiff. I did not have a sense that he really loved his daughter.
Laura: I don’t think Mr. Banks was strong enough. He was just trying to get through his lines. The touching moment was not there.
Mike: Father of the Bride ran two hours and twenty minutes with two intermissions and one pause. It is playing through May 3rd at the Vienna Community Center in Vienna, Virginia. Friday and Saturdays at 8 and Sunday the 20th and 27th at 2 pm.
Laura: If you’ve seen this production, we’d like to hear your thoughts. Simply leave a comment at ShowBizRadio.net.
Mike: And now, on with the show.
- Stanley: Jay Reiner
- Ellie: Carole Preston
- Kay: Jess Milewicz
- Tommy Billy Puschel
- Buckley: Neil Holloway
- Peggy: Megan Graves
- Delilah: LaTashia Byrd
- Mr. Massoula: Thomas Epps
- Miss Bellamy: Karen Green
- Buzz: Will Mullins
- Ben Dakota Ferriman
- Red: David Blake
- Mrs. Pulitski: Mary Yee
- Joe: Bill Mullins
- Pete: Ben Webb
- Tim’s Assistant: Tafanie Gregory
- Director: Bruce Follmer
- Producers: Suzanne Maloney, Barbara Chaudet, Adrian Steel
- Stage Manager: Miranda Welch
- Assistant stage Manager: Adrian Steel
- Set Design and Construction: John Vasko
- Building Crew: David Blake, Nick Brown, Tom Epps, Megan Graves, Karen Green, Jess Milewicz, Bill Mullins, Carole Preston, David Preston, Mike Smith, Adrian Steel, Mary Yee
- Sound Design: Stan Harris
- Lighting Design: Al Fetske
- Lighting Assistants: Micheal O’Connor, Tom Epps
- Costume Design: Patricia Tinder
- Props and Set Dressing: Mike Smith
- Makeup and Hair: Amber Maria Dyer
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/2244.
Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.