Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Father of the Bride—Battle Ground High School—Battle Ground, WA

Whose Wedding Is It, Anyway?

This comedy is written by Caroline Francke and directed by Stephan “Cash” Henry.  The Battle Ground Drama Club is presenting it in The Lair at the high school, 300 W. Main St. in Battle Ground, through May 13th at 7 pm.  For more information, go to their site at

The above statement is a question asked many times during wedding preparations.  Since it is about the couple in love, you would think the look of the ceremony should have their stamp on it.  But, since it is usually the parents that are forking out the monies for it, they feel they should have the deciding vote.  And there you have, as mentioned in the play, “A House Divided…” (And to finish the quote, “...against itself, cannot stand”).  And such is the premise of this story.

There were two movies made of this, one in the early 50’s with Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor playing the title characters, and one more recent with Steve Martin and Kimberley Williams.  In this stage incarnation, the time is the mid-80’s.  Remember that period, with boom boxes, floppy disks, MTV and “Dallas,” and the sadly missed, Michael Jackson’s ”Thriller” and Prince’s “Purple Rain?”  It could be called a “simpler” time compared to nowadays with the almighty social media, bullying, school shootings and the Internet, the “god” who has all the answers.

But, I digress, in this situation, the parents, Stanley (Reagan Joner), a fastidious planner and his wife, Ellie (MacKenna Davis), a bundle of nerves, have a lovely daughter named, Kay (Sabrina Scribner), who is about to get married to Buckley (Justin Kunkel), who none of them know very much about.  They also have two sons, Ben (Cody Bronkhorst), a fun-loving guy, who has a girlfriend, Peggy (Jessie Akerley), who is also just dying to get married.  The other son, Tommy (Justin Bronkhorst), loves a good time, too, but seems a little dense when it comes to common sense.  His best friend is Buzz (Noah Plummer).

This family also has a maid, Delilah (Bailey Baxter), who pretty well speaks her mind.  Stanley has a secretary, Miss Bellamy (Cassidy MacAdam), who is very efficient and has been charged with keeping the list of invitees straight, that is until a couple of prying hands decide to mix things up a bit.  Massoula (Ceili O’Donnell) is the eccentric caterer, who insists on re-arranging their entire house and yard for this event.  And Joe (Skyler Denfeld), her mouthy assistant, is a “circulation expert,” trained to do her grunt work.  He has a couple of able, but noisy, aides, Red (Jack Harvison) and Pete (Andre Roy).

And, of course, we have to have the meticulous flower arranger (Ben Howard) and the bride’s dedicated dress-maker, Miss Pulitzki (Caroline Witherspoon).  Together, these chosen few, will congregate on the battlefield of the Banks’ home to present us with an all-too-familiar scene of organized chaos and loving mayhem that seems rampant in many similar situations.  The author doth know from whence she speaks, as it is a tale of woe and mirth, trials and tribulations and, ultimately, true love, as they ride, “hopefully,” into the sunset.

Henry always does an amazing job with his charges!  And Mrs. Henry always has impressive sets for their shows, as in this one, where there is plenty of room to expound and has the look of an 80’s home as well.  I do wonder what the Youth involved with this show are thinking, though.  With all the impediments and roadblocks imposed on today’s Youth, I wonder what they think of the era they just stepped back into.  Are there lessons to be learned…changes that could be made…to make Life more “agreeable” to these talented young folks?  They’ve stepped through a time machine of sorts to experience things from another age.  So now, what’s the take-back for them?  Something to ponder…

The talent all play their roles well, especially as they have to convince us that they understand these characters from a by-gone age…and they do.  The brothers were pretty typical siblings from that period and the parents pretty identifiable with the age.  Even the engaged couple reacted in like-fashion to the many couples even now going through these events.

Schribner is a pretty young lady and looks very lovely in her wedding gown, as both were a knock-out (thanks, also, to Mrs. Henry).  Wonder what she was thinking, as that might be her lot in the future.  And O’Donnell was a hoot as the caterer, both in dress and manners.  There did seem to be some trouble with the miking at this Dress Rehearsal but I’m sure that will be straightened out by opening.  In my opinion, when the mikes were not working, I could hear them fine, so may not be needed but, of course, an audience absorbs sound, so might be a different story then.

There is some important, good news coming up for this talented troop but can reveal it, as it’s still pending.  But check their Facebook page within the next few days and I’m sure they will fill you in.  I recommend this show.  If you do see it, please tell them Dennis sent you.

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