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The Best Man
The scene is the sacristy of the church on the day of Patrick’s (Ed Jewett) wedding. Before his arrival, Patrick’s best men – his younger brother John (Dan Domingues) and best friend Ronnie (Tom Tansey) – are dealing with a major issue. John, good looking and trim and with a reputation as a womanizer confesses to Ronnie that has (to use the vernacular) "banged" Doreen, the bride-to-be on the steps leading up to their rooms at the hotel after the rehearsal dinner. John blurts out, “I’m in love with her,” and insists that he has to talk to Doreen and tell his brother before the ceremony. John’s lust for Doreen is somehow connected to her passion for collecting The Wizard of Oz memorabilia. People have been known to connect for less.
The greatest gift this comedy, however, has to offer is Rita (Susan Greenhill), the shrill, bossy and unnerving mother of the groom who expectedly has no love for the bride-to-be for reasons that take up as much stage time as does the boys rehashing of their school days, the girls that did or did not put out, and whether Patrick should finally discard his extensive porno collection. Is John’s indiscretion revealed? What happens if Rita finds out? Will there be a wedding? Amid resolves that some will find tritely expedient, and an ending that some will find grievously unacceptable, the comedy defies rationale responses by the sheer force of its comical crudity.
Under the resourceful direction of Peter Bennett, whose credits include the long-running off-Broadway hit Passion of Dracula, the cast responds explosively to the imploding script, in turn digressive and redundant. As the groom, Jewett’s bulk is no barrier to his endearing performance. Domingues is fine as the irresponsible John, as is Tansey as the exuberantly crass Ronnie. But it is Greenhill, as a hilariously over-bearing Rita, who brings a fresh respect for this traditionally stale stereotype. Set Designer Harry Feiner has impressively researched the décor of a sacristy. For the future, may I respectfully suggest to the playwright that he research how to turn a situation into a play. I suspect that The Best Man may find future refuge in Community Theater.
Easy-on-the budget super gift for yourself and your musical loving friends. Tons of gorgeous pictures.
Retold by Tina Packer of Shakespeare & Co.
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Leonard Maltin's 2005 Movie Guide
6, 500 Comparative Phrases including 800 Shakespearean Metaphors by our editor.
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