Six Grooms a Bride and a Gun by David Blue

Dates and Venue 28 May 28 – 14 June 2009, Wed - Sat 8pm, Sun 5pm | Studio 16, 1555 West 7th Avenue, Vancouver

Reviewer Ed Farolan

What a zany show! Black comedy indeed. This isn't the kind of show you'd be laughing and rolling down the aisles. You'd softly snicker, or laugh quietly, just like the couple in front of me who were quietly laughing throughout the whole show. There were two or three others in an audience of around 15 during opening night, who laughed almost hysterically, to my surprise, at some scenes, but this was the exception to the rule. After all, this is black comedy and you don't laugh hysterically.

Raving Theatre generally focuses on works by and/or about gay men and lesbians. But in this play, we see a departure from the company's original mandate. David Blue only touches on one gay couple in this play, the bride's two best friends who back up the main character with comic relief and emotional support. Indeed, the main focus is on Grace McPherson (Sica Leroux) who, after five unsuccessful attempts at marriage, finally comes out triumphant with the sixth. Leroux fit her role to the T: the pretty, almost dumb blonde, the hopeless romantic falling for every jerk and con artist (except the last one, the cop). Good job, Sica. You played your part perfectly.

I found the other actors energetic, well-prepared, and the pacing was just right. They gave their all, and their physique and character lent a comedic mood to the play. But what caught my eye the most were the exuberant costumes and costume changes. You'd think you were watching a wedding gown show as Leroux shows off six different wedding dresses! Congratulations to Wardrobe Mistress Laura Clairmount and Dresser Christine Chaniotakis. Ma McPherson/Janice (Kathleen Driscoll) had her share of costume changes. Every time she shows up for a new wedding, a new wardrobe. Same with Mary Spence/Rebecca/bertha (Tara Webster), playing different roles and wearing different outfits. Both actresses performed extremely well.

I wasn't too happy about the tech aspects. The lights weren't on cue and the music was too loud at times, drowning the actors' dialogues.The set, though, was well designed.

Hopefully, there'll be more people filling in the seats in the next performances. This is the kind of comedy where laughter becomes contagious, but you need people there to get that energy going. But if you only have two or three people giggling, there'll always be that looming vacuum in the theatre, and the whole comedic mood is lost.

© 2009 Ed Farolan