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Archikulture Digest

by Carl F Gauze

Five Women in The Same Dress

Five Women in The Same Dress
By Alan Ball
Directed by Julia Allardice Gagne
Valencia Character Company, Orlando FL

Weddings ought to be fun, but uncomfortable clothes, bad music and excessive alcohol often turn the celebration into a marathon of misery for everyone involved. We never meet the happy couple Tracy and Scott, but by watching the bridal party we know they’ll be lucky to make it to their Tin Anniversary. None of these 5 young women accompanying her really like her, but someone has to wear the ugly purple dress of Bridesmaidshood. Poor Meredith (Serafina Schiano) is almost out of pot and her mom keeps CALLING her on the cell phone. I sympathize. Cousin Frances (Dorothy Christopher) hides behind pretentious Christianity, condemning the others for their loose morals, alcohol consumption and general disregard for the idealized vision of matrimony. She’s particularly upset by Mindy (Jenny Boyd) who’s proudly lesbian, and only less so by run-around Georgeanne (Penny Middleton) and her infatuation with the unseen but very hunky Tommy Valentine. Actually, Tommy’s the common thread between all these women – if he hasn’t had them all, he will soon.

The set is beautiful, the lighting emotional, but the acting a bit wooden. Only Ms. Middleton seems completely involved in her role, with Schiano and Christopher keeping close seconds. Both Boyd and Trisha (Elise Golgowski) have their lines down, but never make them come alive. The banter between Trisha and Tripp (Daniel Baldock) was particularly stultifying, and you felt that a date between them might be less exciting than C-SPAN reruns. Just like so many weddings – it ought to be fun, but after a while it just gets uncomfortable.

For more information on Valencia Character Company, please visit http://valenciacc.edu/theater/