The Glendale College Theater Arts Department formally invites students to attend the wedding of Tracy Marlowe and Scott McClure. Wait a second, it’s not a real wedding, but, in fact, a play. Yes, the play takes place during a wedding, but the only people in the spotlight are five women. This wedding gives life to the production of “Five Women Wearing the Same Dress,” a play by Alan Ball and directed by Mare Sullivan.
The stage opens to a well-decorated bedroom, as the first bridesmaid, Frances (Robin Silvera), slowly peeks her tiny face through the staged bedroom door. The bedroom, which belongs to Meredith (Pamela Eberhardt), Tracy’s sister, is empty.
A curious Frances searches through a jewelry box, and comes across a diamond bracelet that she decides to try on. As Frances begins to admire the bracelet, a loud and obnoxious Meredith makes an entrance. Meredith is frantic and ill tempered. She begins ranting about her mother, the wedding, and her lack of interest in the event, as she searches through the jewelry box for the joint she wants to smoke.
Thinking that Meredith is searching for the diamond, Frances begins to panic, but quickly slips the bracelet back into the box in time for Trisha (Elisa Hoyos), the third bridesmaid, to enter the room.
This is all taking place while the wedding reception is being held upstairs. Trisha gives Meredith a lighter, as they gather to gossip about Meredith’s lack of interest in the wedding. The audience can tell by Meredith’s reactions that not only is she appalled by her sister, but she is also not very fond of the company of her mother. Her sister, Tracy, a well-known girl who works for Pepsi, dated a guy named Tommy Valentine, who is a popular conversation item among the three girls. Among the many other topics discussed are men, one of which is Tripp, Scott’s cousin who may be seeking an interest in Trisha.
With the topic of men still in the picture, in walks a hysterical Georgeanne, the fourth bridesmaid, as she kneels down against the door and continues to sob. What Georgeanne does not realize is that she is sobbing in the company of the bridesmaids. She stumbles across the room with a bottle of alcohol in hand, trying to hold back tears. After everyone shows concern for Georgeanne, the two bridesmaids, Meredith and Frances, leave the room, as Georgeanne vents her feelings for Tommy, revealing their past love affair. She talks about her failed marriage to Chuck Derby, and continues to remain emotional.
As the girls make several trips up and down the stairs, they eventually all gather in the bedroom together, along with the fifth bridesmaid, Mindy (Crystal Vaitkus), who happens to be Scott’s lesbian sister. Mindy is loud, obnoxious, and is constantly eating. They have many conversations, as a hidden secret from Meredith’s childhood surfaces about her love affair with Tommy at the age of 12. Her story shatteres Tommy’s perfect image, creating a dramatic scene.
Eventually, everything is settled in time for Tripp to enter the room. As he begins conversating, the bridesmaid’s motion toward the door, leaving Trisha and Tripp alone together. An awkward scene is created, as both look at one another and try sparking conversation. Eventually, the conversation begins to get more comfortable, as the two begin to trust one another. As Trisha begins to warm up to the idea, the two kiss as the bridesmaids barge in, interrupting the scene. The girls eventually decide to take a picture for memory sake, as Frances wears Meredith’s diamond bracelet, which Meredith mentions cost a measly $6. She gives the diamond bracelet to Frances, as she happily accepts it. The play ends there as Tripp takes the picture, and the lights dim.
The acting in this play is remarkable. The actresses blend in very well with each other, creating a very natural feel to the production. They all work so well together that one may even have a hard time believing that they are acting. The actresses are all naturals, beyond belief. The stage design is perfect, as a cozy bedroom outside of Knoxville, Texas is brought to life in the small auditorium. The stage is literally at arms reach, giving a personal tone to the production.
Eberhardt does an excellent portrayal of Meredith, with her tomboyish ways, loud screams, and bitter attitude. Silvera is a natural at Frances’ character with her innocent glares and strong character. Hoyos’ calm tone and mature acting skills gives meaning to her character, as Peterson, the only male in the play takes on his role with a charming and humorous manner. Parks also plays the role of Georgeanne incredibly and humorously, as she gives life to her hysterical character. Vaitkus’ performance was not only excellent, but also gutsy and loud, as she portrayed a confident Mindy.
For the most part, this play is a comedy, as there is more than enough humor involved. Although the audience was kept laughing much of the production, there were times where the storyline took on a deeper meaning, giving it a dramatic feel.
The theme of the play was based largely on the different experiences the bridesmaids were faced with throughout their lives. In the majority of the play, the writer also made an effort to emphasize the idea of dysfunctional relationships such as the one between Meredith and her family members.
The costumes, which are made to look ridiculous, give it just that feel. The purple dress with gold trimming and bows, along with the head piece give a humorous look to the characters, and add to their personalities.The music in the background was played faintly, but loud enough to remind the audience of the wedding reception being held upstairs.
This production is definitely one of the best at GCC. Not only would I highly recommend it, but I’d see it again in a heart beat.