Archikulture Digest

Five Women in the Same Dress

Five Women in the Same Dress

By Alan Ball

Directed by J Lee Vocque

Breakthrough Theatre, Winter Park FL</strong>

Men – you can’t get them to pick up their undies, and you can’t shoot them. That’s the undercurrent of “Five Women in the Same Dress”; a perennial favorite chick plays that has popped up at the always-entertaining Breakthrough Theatre. Outside a high-class Knoxville wedding is rumbling along, and inside Meredith’s (Katie Thayer) room the bridesmaids have holed up to drink, smoke and figure out what to do about men once they’ve bedded them down. When Meredith first comes on stage, even in my fashion unconscious guy mind I thought “Now THAT’S a dress she’ll never wear again.” Meredith is determined to create havoc at her sister’s wedding, and as the story unfolds, we discover each of the women has been involved with the same man. He made a pass at the religious Frances (Alyssa Jane Foley), did it behind a dumpster with the emotionally wrecked Georgeanna (Kim Crandall), and has a frequent flyer card with Trisha (Monica real Rifkin). He’s even had a go with Mindy (Rochelle Wheeler), and she bats for the other team.

For a show with a high whininess potential, this was a very funny production. Along with the physical comedy of the evil bridesmaid gowns, there’s a slow reveal of the individual hell each woman passes though. Each journey had that “laughing past the grave yard” quality that made you just a bit uncomfortable – you might be in the same spot yourself someday. The most grounded woman was Frances: while she excused every lack of vice with “…I’m a Christian”, yet she seemed least likely to get her heart stomped on, or at least deflected the problem with her strong beliefs. Opposite her was the floozy Trish, who hadn’t met a guy she wouldn’t do and had a wing tip shoe fetish. Georgeanna carried the biggest load of woe, yet made the dumpster tryst sound appealing, in a “gratuitous sex in a public place” way. The male element in the story Tripp (Joe Coffee) swept her off her feet, even if his delivery was more Joe Friday that James Bond. But the star was Thayer’s Meredith, she spit real venom before gradually revealing her deep secret, and even when you could guess it, you still wanted to protect it from the world. They say talking about your problem is therapeutic, but of course we never come back and see if there’s a change than matters for these five bridesmaids. “Five Women” offers a peek in to the private world women share when they all go to the bathroom together, and the aftermath of the random encounter men create. It’s heartfelt and funny, besides offering some of the most frightening costumes this side of October.

For more information, please visit http://www.breakthroughtheatre.com


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