Arts & Culture
From left, Annie Nelson, Sheila Keating, and Michelle Collier.
Photo by Tracy-Lynn Chernaske
Feel-good theatre at Metro
Published 2:47 PST, Fri January 24, 2020
Last Updated: 12:07 PST, Tue February 11, 2020
After promising to be each other’s bridesmaids as teenagers, four lifelong friends continue to reunite for multiple weddings.
At Always a Bridesmaid, on now at Metro Theatre, audiences get to see the pre-wedding hysterics play out on stage.
The music is calming. The stage is as professionally outfitted as anything you could find on Broadway.
As the lights dim, a string arrangement of Pachelbel’s canon—a wedding favourite—fills the theatre. A young woman in an over-the-top sequined wedding gown grasps a glass of champagne and speaks to the audience as though they were her wedding guests.
She expresses her gratitude that the restraining order on her uncle was relaxed so he could attend. This is the first of many laughs in Always A Bridesmaid, a play by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten.
The script, which combines heart and humour, is flawless. Over a span of seven years, the women attend each other’s weddings, wearing a host of unforgivable bridesmaids’ dresses.
The play’s technical elements were strong overall, particularly the sound effects. When a side door is opened to the busy wedding venue, the guests inside are audible. As the door shuts, the guests’ noise fades out realistically.
One scene change was a little long, and there was one noticeable lighting hiccup where an actress stood on an unlit part of the stage. The show’s run had just begun, so these minor errors will smooth out as its run continues.
As Sedalia, Joan Koebel’s comic timing was phenomenal. The physical comedy was subtle and spot-on thanks to excellent direction by Richmond’s Don Briard.
Unfortunately, a lot of effort seems to have gone into the adoption of Southern accents, as the play is set in the American South. This left some dialogue sounding insincere to Canadian ears.
The Sentinel spoke to a couple in the audience who said they were from Richmond. When asked why they’d chosen to attend this play, they said that they loved live theatre. Metro’s play was close to home and affordable.
The theatre was not full, but there was still snow on the road which made driving challenging.
The play’s main theme is love—in all of its manifestations. It has a feel-good ending with a strong message: not everyone needs to marry to have a fulfilled life.
All audience members the Sentinel spoke to walked away satisfied by an enjoyable evening of community theatre.
Always a Bridesmaid is on at the Metro Theatre, just across the Arthur Laing bridge, through Feb. 23. For tickets, call 604-266-7191 or visit tickets.metrotheatre.com.
—Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, also contributed to this article.
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