As we sat down and looked at the set that was excellently executed we knew we were in for an interesting night. From the kitschy candle opera to the many dresses hanging no detail was left out. We sat in our chairs and instantly transported to a very special time in our lives, getting married, while laughing hysterically, the question we kept asking ourselves was “How do they know?”. These young adults from Judson University were playing scenes from relationships as if they had been married for as long as we had. One scene in particular where a newly married couple was fighting about crossing the threshold on their wedding night was so real, you wonder how it was possible they were not married. We were invited for the final dress rehearsal of the upcoming production of ALTAR-ED: SCENES IN A BRIDAL SHOP at Judson Theatre. This show was brilliantly directed and co-created by Kellee Stall. Our first encounter with Kellee was her starring role in Steel Magnolia’s where she played M’Lynn brilliantly. She has previously directed many local shows including Midsummer Night’s Dream at GreenRoom Theater, Spoon River Anthology and Brew-Ha-Ha: Scenes in a Coffee Shop at Judson University and Our Town at McHenry County College. If you have not experienced Ms. Stall’s work, you need to make it a priority!
This extremely creative and entertaining show was written by Ashley Mowers, who also was the assistant director of the show. She also assisted Stall in Brew-Ha-Ha: Scenes in a Coffee Shop last year at Judson. We felt the dialogue from the characters reflected long-standing, developed relationships, which is a credit to the writing.
The leads of the show Richard (Adam Moxness), Ursula (Elisa Parker) and Anna (Kayla Nicosia) each brought their own delightful brand of comedy, dialogue, song and dance. They each had great chemistry with each other and created a perfect picture of the craziness of what happens in a bridal shop.
The rest of the cast including Timmy (Alex Ramirez), Nicolette (Kimmy Blake), Sam (A.J. Taylor), Sue (Tori Buchhoiz), the Maid of Honor (Kahla Jackson), the Bridesmaid (Kitty Anderson), Eric (Patrick Thompson), the Old Man (Alex Ramirez), the Pizza Man (Patrick Thompson) and The Wedding Singer (Tim Rack) brought each of the couples entering the bridal shop’s stories to life. One scene in particular when Sam and Sue met in the counselor’s waiting room had us rolling in our seats.
This show used an amazing combination of storytelling, singing, dancing, comedy, wit, video, piano, guitar and love. The audience is intertwined as another character to this fun story and we even got to dance a little like at a wedding.
It was so great to see these young adults execute this great story in a fantastic setting, Judson Theatre. We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the young boy’s voice (Jayden Stall) and young girl’s voice (Malia Wellwerts) who were part of another scene that had us rolling.
The show begins tonight at 7:00 pm and also tomorrow (October 25th) as well as October 30th and November 1st – for more information - http://www.judsonu.edu/theatre/
This review is being submitted by 2 Dudes and The Duchess. 2 Dudes and The Duchess can be heard M-F at 8:00 PM on Huntley Community Radio – 101.5 FM or huntleyradio.com – please follow us at facebook.com/2dudesandtheduchess