| May 03, 2007


Feature Article - May 3, 2007

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Feature Article - May 3, 2007

Review - Maggie's Getting Married

by Wilma Kenny

Maggie’s Getting Married, a romantic comedy presented last weekend by North Frontenac Little Theatre, looks at marriage and relationships from a variety of angles. It’s a lively romp full of sparkling, witty dialogue, and only slightly marred by a weak ending. It takes place in the Duncan family kitchen the night before Maggie’s wedding: sister Wanda has come home for the event, bringing the last in a long line of boyfriends, and things get complicated when it appears that the groom and his prospective sister-in-law have met before. All is happily resolved in the end with the revelation that the groom has an irresponsible cad of a twin brother. Throughout, the bride’s parents deal with their concerns for their daughters’ happiness, their feelings about the partners the girls have chosen, questions about their own marriage, and the need to keep the party in the living room moving along on a relatively even keel.

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It was a rare treat to watch John Pariselli and Susan Stopford on stage as the parents of the bride: in recent years both have more often been behind the scenes as directors. (John did double duty here, directing the production as well.) Both are excellent actors, giving poignant dimensions to their roles while at the same time never failing to fully deliver the comic effects of the lines.

Danielle Harding sparkled as the worldly older sister, while Barry Harding enthusiastically tackled his role as her most recent boyfriend, a shy actor from the big city who has a few secrets of his own.

It’s particularly demanding to play ‘straight’ roles in a comedy: after a slightly hesitant start, Margaret Sullivan warmed to her role as Maggie, the sweetly serious, idealistic bride-to-be. Kevin Melcher, as the groom, made a convincingly ambiguous entry as a slightly bombastic real estate salesman who might or might not have an ailing grandmother he visits on the weekends. By the end however, neither the bride nor the audience had any trouble believing the sincerity of his intentions.

As advertised, the play is an “adult comedy” and the Sunday afternoon audience, which included a group of Red Hat ladies, enjoyed the production thoroughly, not missing any tidbits of the slightly raunchy dialogue.

And finally, the stage set was a kitchen to die for, fully and beautifully equipped, right down to an espresso machine, and original art by Bonnie McLean.

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