Damn those weddingbells playing at Leonardo da Vinci Centre
Weddings at the best of times are stressful, bringing out the emotional turmoil that seems to surface in every family at such gatherings. It seems that the word ‘wedding’ is a green light for things to be said and things to be done that wouldn’t be said or done under normal, every day circumstances.
At the worst of times weddings are the full monty of shenanigans on stage at the Leonardo da Vinci Centre. Damn Those Wedding Bells, a comedy by Tony Calabretta, is outrageously funny yet, also, very, very touching. A play just isn’t a play without conflict and there’s a lot of conflict on stage in this prenuptial romp.
Connie (Christina Filippidis) is about to be married and mama (Mary Long) wants everything to be just right. And I am not referring to the flowers, invitations and table settings, but rather to her eldest son, Anthony’s (Tony Calabretta), love life. From the get-go, when he enters stage left with a loud belch in baggy pants and dirty t-shirt, she is on to him. He has no love life because he doesn’t try, he doesn’t dress properly and go out with friends. His mother is beside herself and does not let up for one minute when he is near her. Much of her time is spent on the phone trying to arrange blind dates for him with her friends’ daughters – and this results in one outrageously funny scene with Ariane Castellanos as Rosa.
However funny this play may be, there is a very touching side to it as well and Calebretta latches on to that side of his character beautifully. While a bit of a slob…he is at once a caring, sensitive and needy, Anthony. Calabretta plays the role with many different colours, demanding of different feelings from the audience. He is simply wonderful to watch.
The acting in the show is good all round – Dawn Ford as Lily, has excellent comedic timing – she also has some of the best lines but it’s all in the delivery. And she delivers well. Sean Campbell is brilliant as David – he is one of those characters you can’t wait to see again. Guido Cocomello as Frank, Anthony’s brother, also puts in a solid performance. Add to that, a lovely performance by Eleanore Noble as Angela, who brings some calm and reason to the group, and you have a well rounded cast working beautifully off each other.
Damn Those Wedding Bells is on at the Leonardo da Vinci Centre until September 25.
For more information 514-955-8370 or www.centreleonardodavinci.com
By: Sharman Yarnell – mtltimes.ca