How’s this for a disclaimer? Happy Double Wedding is presented by an organization—Dangerous Productions—that my girlfriend has served as a board member. After the August 3 performance, we went out for drinks with one cast member; another cast member audited my sociology class at Macalester last fall. So I won’t review—I’ll just describe.
The show is the latest in Tyler Olsen’s series of goofy productions about the hapless Happy family. In this case, a Happy (Alana Horton) is unhappily betrothed to a multi-billion-dollar man (Chris Rowe) at the behest of her money-hungry mother (Shannon Mae Leach). When she flees, a lookalike (Horton again) is drafted to take her place, while the groom is intermittently replaced by the bride’s escaped-con lover (Rachael Davies) in disguise (Rowe). As the wedding plans deteriorate, more identities are switched and the whole event devolves into chaos.
It sounds like a send-up of Shakespeare or rom-coms—and it is, but only implicitly. Mostly it’s just antic fun, distinguished by broad caricature and cleverly low-tech stagecraft. Things get meta about halfway through, when the characters start checking the script to figure out what the heck is going on. MVPs are Leach and the reliably funny Vollmer, whose talent for finding comedy in unexpected places came up at our post-show happy hour with Rowe.
“I just can’t get over Garrett eating that sandwich,” laughed Chis.
“Was he not supposed to eat the sandwich?” I asked.
“No,” clarified Chris, “he was. He just did it in…a way.”
Correction: When first published, this post misidentified the actress playing the bride’s escaped-con lover as Michelle Makie. In fact, that role is played by Rachael Davies.
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