By BETH HENLEY
ArcLight Theatre, 152 W. 71 St., NYC, March 3 – 12, 2005
Directed by DEANA MORENOFF
Set Designer ANDREW PHELPS
Costume Designer SARAH TAYLOR
Light Designer LUCAS BENJAMINH KRECH
Stage Manager MATTHEW THOMAS
Press Representation KLASFELD PUBLICITY
Sidney Lunt – Neil Potter
Floral Whitman – Wendi Black
Kandall Kingsley – Barbara J. Spence
Jonsey Whitman – Andrew Lincoln
Pandora Kingsley – Oona Flaherty
Reverend Jonathan Larence – Armand Gabriel
Edvard Lunt – Paul Firestone
Of course it is no surprise that Beth Henley’s IMPOSSIBLE MARRIAGE is a comedy full of eccentric characters and smart, snappy dialogue. Her first play, after all, was the award winning CRIMES OF THE HEART. Good material is never a guarantee of a polished production, but Indigo Productions does Ms. Henley proud with their take on her mischievous romp about a wedding gone, not wrong, but very, very strange.
The story of IMPOSSIBLE MARRIAGE is not an unfamiliar one. It is about a May-December romance that is not favored by the families of either of the participants. Enabling this tale to stand out are the ridiculous details and over-the-top characters. Aside from the central couple, Pandora and Edvard, we have Pandora’s mother, pregnant sister and brother-in-law on hand. Add in Edvard’s angry son and a reverend with a secret, and Ms. Henley has all the players she requires to make the audience laugh. In support of the writing, the acting was quite good overall. Only Paul Firestone as the tormented Edvard seemed a bit awkward with his line delivery. Perhaps that was just his interpretation of the character.
The company has worked hard to make the production look elegant. The entirety of the action takes place in a garden, and the set design (Andrew Phelps) captures the essence of that. Even when things do not look quite real, as is the case with some paper toadstools that get stomped on, the incongruity works on comic level, thus enhancing the entirety of the IMPOSSIBLE MARRIAGE experience. The costumes (Sarah Taylor) range from standard to downright hilarious. Imagine, if you will, a bride wearing blue wings. Seriously.
So, while you can, I suggest attending the IMPOSSIBLE MARRIAGE of Miss Pandora Kingsley to Mr. Edvard Lunt as hosted by the ArcLight Theatre and presided over by Indigo Productions. Fun, if not a future, will be had by all.
- Kessa De Santis -