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Review by Tim Plant
Rating: (3 out of 5)
Friday, 10/19/2007, 7:00 PM
Feature presentation, $10 at Lincoln Theatre
ONE OF MY mother’s favorite adages is, ”You’ve made your bed, now you have to lie in it.” While I try to steer clear of repeating such phrases, it’s hard not to think of this one while watching Out at the Wedding. Because with all the people that Alex (Andrea Marcellus) is deceiving, her bed is going to be really crowded.
The fun begins when Alex is erroneously outed at her sister’s wedding, but doesn’t tell the truth because, for once, she and her sister are getting along. Alex’s real secret is that she’s engaged to a African American, Jewish man, Dana (Mystro Clark), which is kept under wraps because she doesn’t think he will be accepted by her Southern family. So when her sister Jeannie (Desi Lydic) insists on visiting New York to meet Dana, Alex and her gay BFF enlist the help of random lesbian Risa (Cathy DeBuono) to play the part of Dana. Hilarity ensues. Sorta.
Though it’s a comedy, when one character is so willing to deceive everyone in her life, you don’t really like her. Meanwhile, gay friend Jonathan (Charlie Schlatter) has his new boyfriend on a secret diet, since he’s great in every way but 30 pounds overweight. Alex and Jonathan are perfect for each other! It’s tempting to dismiss them and say, ”You got what you deserve!”
The set up for some of the funnier scenes require leaps (and bounds) of faith, but future in-laws played by Reginald Veljohnson and Mink Stole are wonderfully utilized. The truly exceptional scenes are the ones where the sparks start to fly between Risa and Jeannie, because little sis is visiting New York with more than sightseeing on the agenda.
Playwright Paula Goldberg is a former One in Ten ”Plant-a-Seed” award winner and the organization presented a staged reading of the screenplay years ago. Unfortunately, the transition to film has made the characters more neurotic and less likable (or time has soften my memory). In the end, Out at the Wedding is probably like most weddings: the guests may have a nice time, but it means more to those actually participating in the process. — TP