Lovesick Bridesmaids Bare all in Likable ‘Five Women’
Published: Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 16:03
There is nothing wrong with being average. This is the case with Concordia College Theatre’s recent production of “Five Women Wearing the Same Dress,” which was nothing to get too excited over.
Just to clarify, “Five Women” was perfectly fine. It had laughs, it gave its audiences something to smile about, and had a real crackerjack of a plot; overall it was good, and that is about it. Some shows are simply not made to win Tonys, and this was one of them.
With an eye-catching title like “Five Women Wearing the Same Dress,” this show had enough intrigue to reel in any people puzzling over its name. First thoughts after seeing such a title may lead one to believe that it is actually about five women literally wearing the same dress, but no, this show is about bridesmaids. Yep.
Five bold-as-brass bridesmaids with a bone to pick take refuge in the bride’s sister’s bedroom, where the entire show takes place. Meredith (the bride’s rebel sister), Frances (the goody-goody cousin), Georgeanne (the heartsick housewife), Trisha (the sophisticated slut), and Mindy (the groom’s raunchy lesbian sister) bounce the good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of their lives off each other while hiding out from the wedding reception.
Meredith cannot take anymore of her sister and mother’s fussing, while Trisha is simply bored and Georgeanne cannot face a former lover at the reception. Mindy and Frances join them just to hang out, and the laughs start to roll as each bridesmaid brings up some problem or persistence in her life that never seems to go away.
Tommy Valentine, the embodiment of all that is wrong with men, is the guest that all the bridesmaids take issue with. Georgeanne was wrung out, strung out and hung out to dry after a sex romp with him ten years before, after which she aborted a resulting pregnancy. Meredith herself was bedded by him when she was 12 and he was engaged to her sister. These two little tidbits are enough to make Tommy Valentine lower than dirt in the eyes of all the bridesmaids.
Besides the scum that is the men in their lives, the bridesmaids debate love, sex and how they got to where they are today. Pot and liquor make the rounds (except for Frances: “No, thanks, I don’t smoke. I’m a Christian.”), and by the end of the night, each bridesmaid has found something to keep herself going in life. Georgeanne resolves to leave her husband, Meredith makes plans to move far away, and Trisha takes interest in Tripp, an usher who offers two very different sets of late-night plans to her.
Humor abounded, jokes jumped out from the bridesmaids’ eccentric exchanges, but about half of them received the laughs they were looking for. Many lines must have seemed funnier in playwright Alan Ball’s mind than they did to the audience’s ears. However, not everything fell flat, and this show did brighten up a very cold night, if only for two hours.
“Five Women Wearing the Same Dress” ran at Concordia College Theatre’s Lab Theatre from Mar. 14 to 16. A donation drive for the Rape & Abuse Crisis Center was held after the show.