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Here come the laughs with SRT’s comedy There Goes the Bride

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Here come the laughs with SRT’s  comedy There Goes the Bride

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POSTED July 14, 2012 1:42 a.m.

SONORA - Join Sierra Rep for a fun and frantic wedding day like no other this summer as we present There Goes the Bride, a mad-cap dash to the altar with an unexpected twist.

The comedy by British playwrights Ray Cooney and John Chapman and directed by SRT’s Dennis Jones plays at SRT’s East Sonora theater July 27 through Sept. 2.

The show opens on a frazzled morning at the home of ad man Timothy Westerby and his wife, Ursula. It’s circa 1962, and the Westerby’s only daughter, Judy, will be married in an hour. The church is filling with guests across town as caterers are setting up in the yard. Judy’s in-laws-to-be, arriving from Australia, appear to be lost in transit. Tim’s biggest client keeps calling, demanding to be dazzled by a new ad campaign, or else. His wise-cracking partner would rather hit the liquor cabinet than lift a finger. And Ursula’s parents just manage to make everything more stressful.

Then Tim gets a conk on the head that puts a whole new spin on the day – the vivacious young flapper he dreamed up for his new ad campaign has suddenly come to life in his living room. She’s Polly Perkins – flirty, full of fun and a figment of his imagination.

Tim is smitten by this mischievous young friend, but it’s clear only he (and the audience) can see her. No one wants to disrupt his daughter’s wedding, but Tim’s bizarre behavior soon has everyone reeling. As the clock ticks and nerves fray, the generation gap splits everything wide open.

Jones said audiences will enjoy watching the confusion compound as parents, grandparents and friends all do their best to salvage the day and Polly playfully perplexes everyone.

“This kind of comedy really takes a delicate touch,” Jones said. “There’s a lot going on, but the characters have a rhythm that makes the humor build. Then you add in the audience, their mood blends in and brings it all up another notch. That’s what makes live theater so vibrant – the audience is connected.”

Playwright Cooney, Jones said, is “Britain’s leading farceur,” an expert at putting likeable characters in frantic situations with lots of laughs. Sierra Rep has produced two other Cooney hits – Run for Your Wife and Happy Birthday. Jones said There Goes the Bride is a warm-hearted, old-fashioned comedy that uses a touch of fantasy to set things off kilter.

London critics had high praise as well. The Daily Mirror said it has “pace, precision and wit,” and called it “a fiendishly clever farce that gets madder and funnier as it goes along.” And the Daily Express said the West End show “struck gold.”

Jones has put together a talented ensemble with great comic instincts. Los Angeles artist Jaxon Duff Gwillim is the father of the bride, Sacramento’s Sandra McCord is his wife and New Yorker Chelsea Nenni is his imaginary flapper, Polly. Bay Area artist Katie Rose Krueger is daughter Judy, local favorite Gary Holman is the future father-in-law and SRT company artist Ty Smith is the family’s friend and fellow ad man, Bill Shorter. Veteran actor Don Hart of Illinois is the loveable and slightly confused grandfather, Dr. Drimmond, and Sonora actress Susan Michaels is his wife, Daphne .

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