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Wedding-filled “Always a Bridesmaid at the Dio (review) July 5, 2015

Posted by ronannarbor in Michigan, Theatre.
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Watching a Jones Hope Wooten comedy is a bit like sitting back and binge watching four episodes of your favorite new television sitcom.

Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten, collectively know as Jones Hope Wooten, have written many comedies, including the Dio’s current offering “Always a Bridesmaid” (one of their most performed shows, after “The Dixie Swim Club”, which the Dio has also presented in the past). Coming from the rich world of television comedies (including The Golden Girls), their writing is always crisp, easily relatable, and truly funny.

And when its presented as well as the Dio’s current production, there is nothing better than sitting back and letting everything just entertain you for a few hours. Here, we follow a group of women over 7 years and their weddings — they have made a vow it appears that they will always appear in each others weddings as bridesmaids. It is instantly recognizable material, from the reluctant no-longer-a-debutante to the drunk bride’s speech at a wedding. And there are more weddings over the years than there are characters.

Steve DeBruyne directs this swiftly-paced comedy and the one-liners fly fast and furious. Anne Dilworth gets things started as the tipsy bride and ties together each segment with a short introduction that becomes increasingly boozy as it goes along. Her Mother is played by Nancy Penvose who is quick becoming one of my favorite local actors. She doesn’t miss a beat as the shenanigans of four separate weddings ensue – each the subject of subsequent scenes of the play . The entire ensemble cast is terrific, including Fran Potasnik, Sonja Marquis, Wendy Hedstrom, and Amy Morrisey.

The simple but appropriate set is designed by Matthew Tomich, as is the lighting design. Norma Polk does her usual excellent work with costumes — and wait till you see what she has in store when “elegant French dresses” are called for in Episode 3, I mean Scene 3.

Chef Jarod has prepared a wonderful dinner to start things off on the right foot — of his delicious chicken, vegetable lasagna, mixed vegetables, and an excellent salad bar (you could stuff yourself on the salad alone, with its mixed meats, cheeses, and other toppings). Dessert is served during intermission. (Don’t forget to tip your waiter/performer!).

The Dio continues its string of excellent productions and tasty (filling) dinners with “Always a Bridesmaid”, and you will have a great time. The production continues through August 2nd. Tickets online at diotheatre.com or by phone at 517-672-6009  177 E. Main Street, Pinckney, MI.

Recommended.

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