By Adam Collier
Traveling to see Perfect Wedding, I was struck by the realization, again and again, that there is a vast area of Toronto I know nothing about. Or, to be more specific: Etobicoke.
Breaking-out of my comfort zone brought with it an unexpected sense of suspense.
Assembly Hall has an understated grace that felt welcoming. Almost like the building was saying, “Come in; look around.” The theatre gives off the same “Make yourself comfortable” vibe. And felt particularly spacious with its Cathedral-like ceiling.
The set, a honeymoon suite, features a wall running down the middle, and lots of furniture, including a big bed.
It seems the set designers (Paul Louie, Bernard Pointer, and Shannon Solet) have tried to make these set demands as un-encumbering as possible. For example, instead of using a full height wall down the middle, it was suggested with a ridge along the floor. They also kept the color scheme light.
Still, I got a creeping sense of claustrophobia while watching. This sensation became acute in the second act, when all six actors were on the stage (a modest proscenium thrust)
But, my feelings seemed to be in the minority. Perfect Wedding is a farce. The audience was laughing continuously. It seemed like they were having a good time.
They were especially delighted by performances by Stevie Thomas (as Julie), Crystal Joy Hall (as Judy), and Oliver Ward (as Bill).
I had this bizarre feeling, where I knew what I was watching was playful – the director (Bernard Pointer) seems to achieve an effervescent mood – I felt so tense from the set, the laughs didn’t come.
After the show, I talked to the man sitting beside me. He mentioned that the last show Theatre Etobicoke produced was by Noel Coward. Coincidentally, the playwright behind Perfect Wedding, Robin Hawdon, is also British. In my opinion, the plot construction and light humor of Perfect Wedding are in the same vein as Mr. Coward’s.
– For more information, please see www.theatre-etobicoke.com