Where toasting the nuptials warps into roasting the bride
|Profiles Theatre presents|
Review by Katy Walsh
I have been Maid of Honor – 4 times. I have been a bridesmaid – 3 times. I have been overweight – all the time.
Profiles Theatre presents the Midwest premiere of Bachelorette. Becky is getting married. Her Maid of Honor decides to throw a wedding eve bash in Becky’s suite. She invites Katie and Gena to join her. Champagne, drugs, sex: uncork the pity party! Their toasting the nuptials warps into their roasting the bride. The celebration turns into a commiseration as the girls vent their anger about Becky. And she is not even in the room. She’s spending the night with her good looking, rich fiance. And worst of all to these old high school chums is that Becky is fat. Why aren’t they getting married? They’re beautiful…to look at. Bachelorette is “Mean Girls” grown up, coked up and f*cked up!
Playwright Leslye Headland penned this dark comedy as part of her “Seven Deadly Sins” play series. Recently released as a movie at the Sundance Film Festival, Bachelorette is all about gluttony. It’s the ugly side of pretty girls. Self-absorption, self-loathing, self-indulgence – with no self-awareness. Headland places these skinny bitches into their worst nightmare; someone else’s wedding. And to kick up their displeasure, a fat ‘someone’ that they deem inferior. Under the direction of Darrell W. Cox, these girls trash the stage and each other. It’s girls-gone-wild! But not in the bubbly Spring Break way. It’s instead the I-was-a-teenage-beauty-queen-now-I’m-a-Lindsay-Lohan-hag curse. The leader of the girl gang is the beguiling Hillary Marren (Regan). Marren plays it deliciously vivacious and despicable. (She is the one you’ll love to hate.) Linda Augusta Orr (Katie) is perfectly pathetic. A majority of time, Orr is dragged around stage like a rag doll. Her limp physicality is pretty impressive. A red-nosed Amanda Powell (Gena) parties with authenticity. She’s loud and tough until she’s not. Powell displays surprising humanity underneath her hard core. It’s certainly ladies night and these gals are black-out bound.
Scenic Designer Scott Davis created a glitz and glam suite. It’s a stunner! First, in stylish elegance and then in frenzied devastation. (A big nod out to Stage Manager Maryann Carlson for unpleasant housekeeping duties.) The set serves as a strong metaphor to the characters. These women are gorgeous on the outside and unattractive messes on the inside. Bachelorette is a tightly-paced whirlwind of destruction. The dark absurdity disturbs. This isn’t the sequel to the movie “Bridesmaids.” But for me, the fat girl getting the guy has a satisfying fairytale-like quality.
Bachelorette continues through March 11th at Profiles Theatre, 4147 N. Broadway (map), with performances Thursdays and Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 5pm/8pm, Sundays at 7pm. Tickets are $35-$40, and are available by phone (773-549-1815) or online at ticketweb.com (check for half-price tickets at Goldstar.com). More information at ProfilesBachelorette.org. (Running time: 85 minutes with no intermission)
behind the scenes
Darrell W. Cox (director); Elise Spoerlein (asst. director); Scott Davis (set); Bekki Lambrecht (lighting); Jeffrey Levin (sound, original music); Erica Griese (costumes); Maryann Carlson (stage manager); Kristin Barnett (asst. stage manager); Shawn Cagle (photos)
3words: A man sensitive to all women, Tom describes it with ‘loud, acidic, energetic.’