Bad Dress Productions’ #WeddingMusical is a not-so-original musical at the Toronto Fringe Festival about all the things that can go wrong at a wedding. The show feels sort of like a sitcom or Family Channel show, with some groaners and a predictable, but solid structure.
Abby and Ebby are getting married, and everything that could go wrong at their wedding goes very wrong. The show does not quite feel ready for an audience, but I think it has potential, especially as a situational comedy.
The opening number of the musical has a catchy tune, but I found it difficult to hear the actors singing or talking throughout the number. This is partially due to the feedback that was squeaking through the microphones, which is no fault of their own.
I did find audibility to be a problem throughout the show, even with fully operating mikes, especially towards the beginning. It was hard to understand what was going on, and the non-verbal elements did not bring sufficient clarity to make up for it. A lot of the staging is turned sideways, and many of the directorial choices didn’t make sense to me.
Even when I could hear what was going on, however, I still sometimes found it difficult to see how one plot point led to the next. Many character choices are explained with logic that doesn’t hold together. I didn’t believe the characters were “real people”.
That being said, Bad Dress Company’s goal was not necessarily to have a believable script. A situational comedy, which is how I’ll loosely categorize this show, does not seek to imitate real life. The situations are often absurd and a bit contrived. If sitcoms are your favourite thing, you may like this show.
The music for the show, which was written by Greg McLeod, is catchy, though not the most original, or exciting. There is one song, however, that soars above the rest. The song touched a chord in me, and I would buy it off of iTunes if I could. I wish I could tell you its name, but there is no song list in the programme – so look out for the second last song of the show.
The lyrics, as a whole, do not serve the show. I didn’t learn or feel anything new from the lyrics that wasn’t already accomplished in the dialogue. But again, that second last song! The lyrics for that exceptional song are clever, fulfilling, and play with creative rhyme schemes. I wish the rest of the musical could be at this same level.
The actors are each strong performers in their own ways. Michael Wisniowski is an especially talented force on stage. He has a strong voice, makes clear character choices, and has a good sense of comedic timing.
Behind the comedic exterior, this show is trying to deliver a message about our society’s obsession with social media, and its intrusive effects on relationships. I wish they would have spent more time developing this theme, because it felt very topical.
#WeddingMusical did not meet my expectations in theme, plot, or humour. But it had its musical moments that make it a worthwhile show to check out.
#WeddingMusical is playing at Al Green Theatre (750 Spadina Ave.)
July 03 at 6:30pm
July 05 at 9:15pm
July 07 at 6:45pm
July 09 at 4:00pm
July 10 at 11:00pm
July 11 at 2:15pm
July 12 at 5:45pm
Tickets for all mainstage productions are $10 at the door, cash only. Advance tickets are $12, and can be purchased online , by phone (416-966-1062), or from the festival box office at the Fringe Club. (Rear of Honest Ed’s, 581 Bloor St. West). Money-saving value packs are also available if you are going to at least five shows; see website for details.
LATECOMERS ARE NEVER ADMITTED TO FRINGE SHOWS. To avoid disappointment, be sure to arrive a few minutes before curtain.
Photo provided by the company