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Wedding dysfunction coming to Bremerton Community Theater
The Bremerton Community Theater’s latest production, which hit the boards this weekend, makes clear that it’s often best to leave work at the office.
Especially when it’s the morning of your daughter’s wedding day and your “work” just happens to take the form of a sexily dressed, kinky little flapper girl who’s invisible to everyone else, but only has eyes for you, so to speak. Thus is the complicated situation that a successful British advertising agent named Timothy Westerby (played by the well apt Charlie Birdsell) finds himself in after bumping his head in the Ray Cooney farce “There Goes the Bride.” It will play through June 29 at BCT, under the Warren Avenue Bridge in Bremerton, directed by the Cooney-seasoned, Kitsap theater veteran Linda Jensen.
The BCT press release parenthesized that Jensen “has probably directed more of Cooney’s plays than any other director.” More than any director on the planet? In town? In the universe?
Jensen’s actually directed more than a dozen Cooney productions in the past 15 years, including “Move Over, Mrs. Markham” and “Run for your Wife” at BCT.
She said one of this show’s eventual cast members — Donna Barland who plays Timothy’s wife Ursula Westerby — gave her the script for “There Goes the Bride,” and it was one of those shows she knew she’d want to direct, right from the first read.
She was traveling to Canada by ferry at the time.
“We were up on the deck, sort of sunning ourselves on the way to Victoria, and I was laying on one of the chairs, reading the script and just laughing out loud,” Jensen recounted. “People were staring at me, but there’s something about Cooney’s writing that just tickles me.”
The playwright, one of Britain’s most successful, is well known for his “sex farces” which tend to lug a hefty lot of innuendo combined with a traditional British bawdiness and structural complications that lead to hilarious situations for his characters.
While “There Goes the Bride” is a typical sex farce, Jensen noted it is markedly one of Cooney’s works.
In a Cooney farce, she said, one can usually expect at least one male character with his pants around his ankles, characters caught in compromising situations and plenty of on-stage embarrassment.
But aren’t we forgetting about the bride?
“There Goes the Bride,” a Ray Cooney farce directed by Linda Jensen, starring Charlie Birdsell, Donna Barland and Mandi Laxson, will play through June 29 at the Bremerton Community Theatre, 599 Lebo Blvd., in Bremerton. Curtains are set for 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $10 general, $9 seniors/students, $7 for kids under 12 (but kids under 12 probably won’t quite comprehend this one). Info: www.bremertoncommunitytheatre.org or call (360) 373-5152.