Evaluation | When the guest-zilla is the funniest individual on the wedding ceremony


The factor about weddings is that they flip all people right into a psychic. For Carlo, the guest-zilla of Bryna Turner’s play “On the Marriage ceremony,” it’s sufficient to be on the fringes of her ex’s nuptials in Northern California for her to really feel the oracular urge.

Once we first meet her, she’s traumatizing the youngsters’ desk with tales of “the worst ache you’ll really feel in your life.” She is aware of whereof she speaks. Although her causes for breaking apart with the bride are by no means explicitly said, Carlo (Dina Thomas) has had ample time to stew over her lesbian ex’s marriage to a person and to channel her molten rage right into a rigorously structured cautionary story, filled with rising motion, falling motion and anagnorisis. The children — that’s us, within the viewers — are placed on discover: Beware the “I do”s of March.

Vaping often to settle her nerves, the flame-haired fury in a fire-engine-red swimsuit bumps into visitor after visitor, discovering handy excuses to keep away from speaking to — or confronting — her ex (Yesenia Iglesias). Studio Theatre has assembled a pleasant solid for the play, which premiered two years in the past at Lincoln Middle’s Claire Tow Theater in Manhattan. Among the many attendees are Carly (Emily Kester), a bridesmaid and frenemy of Carlo’s; Leigh (Cameron Silliman), the nonbinary sibling of the groom; Maria (Holly Twyford), the bride’s mom; and Eli (Jamie Smithson, who seems like a draft of the Irish actor Andrew Scott), a highschool English instructor who plans to suggest to his personal companion on the wedding ceremony. “I’ve by no means risked tragedy as soon as in my whole life. It’s not my style; I do know that about myself,” he confides to Carlo.

That is the opposite factor about weddings: They flip everybody into high-risk candidates for grand gestures. Carlo properly dissuades Eli, saying, “That’s thought-about emotionally hijacking an occasion and it’s frowned upon.”

Additionally usually frowned upon is displaying as much as a marriage with out RSVPing, as Carlo has performed on this comedy of dangerous manners. Although initially contemptuous of the occasion (“I’ve seen extra convincing fireplace drills”), as she stealthily makes the rounds, she finds herself flirting with one of many different company. Luciana Stecconi’s barnlike set, perimetered with candles in Mason jars, and Jane Shaw’s irresistibly anthemic playlist creates the right temper for love with a contact of caprice.

Will Carlo and the visitor “danger pleasure” and plight their troth to 1 one other earlier than the play ends? Will they flip their backs on the “aggressively heterosexual” ceremony and lightweight out for a lesbian commune? Will the cynic grow to be a romantic? Have that they had an excessive amount of or too little to drink?

We by no means meet the groom or witness the exchanging of vows. It’s not a sonnet-worthy loss. The side-eyeing of the central occasion opens up area for one thing extra novel: the expertise of a queer particular person being caught in small riptides of affection and hate for her ex.

There are various, many switchblade-sharp traces on this grievously brief play (directed with aptitude by Tom Story), as when Carlo muses: “You already know when they need to offer you presents? Divorce. As a result of that’s once you notice you don’t have any mixing bowls, that’s when you end up out of the blue consuming soup out of a mug and it doesn’t really feel cute.”

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But she isn’t allowed to bogart the apercus; every of the characters will get an opportunity to shine, although some all however cry out for bigger elements, bigger lily pads on which to brood. Twyford (not too long ago seen enjoying a redoubtable Ukrainian mom in a metropolis beneath siege in Woolly Mammoth’s “My Mama & The Full-Scale Invasion”) is given a boutonniere of a task, however with only a few traces she places the “arch” in “matriarch.”

One anecdote she tells is about her personal honeymoon. Whereas skinny-dipping together with her husband, they discover one thing glistering within the water. Her husband believes they’ve struck gold and is about to hike again to camp for tools to dig up the valuable mineral when a stranger walks by, sinks his hand within the river and says, merely: “Pyrite.” In different phrases: idiot’s gold. There’s not a hint of the ersatz substance on this good play, which is value its weight in the true factor.

On the Marriage ceremony, via April 21 at Studio Theatre in Washington. Roughly 70 minutes with no intermission. studiotheatre.org.



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