By Dale Burrows For The Enterprise
They burned down last year. They re-opened this past winter and are concluding a great season. What better way to say thanks than a solid comedy rooted in basic, human values?
“Wedding Belles” isn’t particularly original, unpredictable or insightful. But it feels good. Tap feels good. As the slang goes, “It’s all good.”
The setup is straightforward.
It’s East Texas, 1942. America is mounting the World War II effort, and folks at home are behind it 100 percent.
One of the members of the Eufala Springs Garden Club shows up at the Club meeting with the most pitiful young lady you ever saw. The little gal was supposed to meet her boyfriend at the bus station. She showed. He didn’t.
The ladies of the Eufala Springs Garden Club are going to see to it this little Dickensian waif gets her lemonade, cake, dress, groom and wedding. And into motion goes this merry-go-round of Southern hospitality, mishaps, fractured relationships and frenzied activity.
During all of this, Karen Lund’s directing keeps pedal to the metal but under control.
Charissa Adams, from Brier, does a marvelous, hopeless, helpless overwhelmed by all the fuss. Adams is the do-gooders’ latest, pet project.
Bossy done right is bossy done by Gretchen Douma. Douma’s the sister who barks orders like a top sergeant and wisecracks with bite — a show highlight, to be sure.
Wanna see man-crazy? See Pat Sibley. She’s forever changing husbands and dressing like the cheerleader she was.
You know why some women stay busy all the time, never slowing down? Karen Nelsen’s got denial down pat. Nelsen is the always-there-to-help- others lady with a secret too painful to face.
And Kim Morris’ always complaining, whining, sulking poor-me provides ballast to the cast’s overall optimism. Morris is bossy sister’s punching bag.
Richard Lorig’s scenic design suggests a veranda and backyard garden without overdoing it. Sarah Burch Gordon’s Costume designs say period-researched. Also, Nikki Visel’s dialect coaching’s got the cast speaking authentic Deep South.
This one’s lots of fun; it’s a great way to say the comeback’s over, we’re here to stay and we’re feeling good. Taps is tops.
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