Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

'Perfect Wedding' Puts a New Spin on Farces

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

'Perfect Wedding' Puts a New Spin on Farces

Article excerpt

Bruce Jordan has spent a career making audiences and himself laugh.

He chuckles his way through an interview and even casual conversations, a man who clearly enjoys his work.

He is probably best known as the director who has kept "Shear Madness" going as one of the longest-running shows in theater history, with more than 31 years of performances (and still going) in Boston and 25 years in Washington, D.C. He directed it twice at Florida Studio Theatre, where he returns to stage a different kind of comedy, but one that he and the cast think will get audiences laughing just as hard.

Robin Hawden's "The Perfect Wedding" is a farce in the style of classic Restoration comedy and Michael Frayn's farcical spoof "Noises Off."

Graham Stuart Allen plays Bill, a young man who wakes up the day of his wedding with a major hangover from his bachelor party, a bump on the head and a naked woman he doesn't know next to him in bed. Now, all he has to do is figure out a way to keep his fiancee and her mother from discovering what happened. But then there's that unexpected twist of emotions that he discovers with the stranger.

"I really got to thinking about this again watching the royal wedding (between William and Kate), and how perfect a wedding that was," Jordan said. "And here everything falls apart no matter how hard they try to make it perfect. We're trying to put a sort of brand new spin on English farces with this one."

The first time Jordan directed the play, it had yet to be published and he was running the Lake George Dinner Theatre in New York. "It worked very well for us," he said, acknowledging that Hawden, who also wrote the English translation of the hit comedy "Don't Dress for Dinner," altered the script years ago. Where once there were seven characters, there are now six, and the antics initially played by a hotel manager are now given to the chambermaid.

In addition to Allen, who played the best man in an earlier production of the play, the cast includes Faith Sandberg as Rachel; Jenny Strassburg as the bride, Judy; Lisa McMillan (who returns after "Shear Madness" and "The Savannah Disputation") as the mother of the bride; Daryl Embry as the best man, Tom; and Kate Siepert as that all-important chambermaid, Julie. …

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