MONROE, Ga. – On Stage Walton presents “Father of the Bride,” the timeless comedy about the stresses of putting on a Christmas wedding that keeps getting bigger and funnier as the nuptial draws near, in eight performances from Nov. 30 to Dec. 16.
Based on the 1949 novel by Edward Streeter and adapted for the stage by Caroline Francke, the story inspired hit movies in 1950, starring Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor, and 1991, with Steve Martin and Diane Keaton.
The family-friendly On Stage production, with a cast of 16, is directed by veteran Atlanta actor and director Laura Griffin and stars first-time lead actors Chrisie Woodard as bride-to-be Kay Banks and Cameron Snell as her fiancé, Buckley Dunstan.
Shane Hankinson portrays the beleaguered father, Mr. Banks, who is surprised to learn that Buckley is about to become his son-in-law. Buckley and Kay say they don’t want a “big” Christmas wedding – just a simple affair with a few friends. The audience soon learns that the “few” friends idea is out. Then the trouble begins.
This Christmas season is the perfect time for such a comedy, said Griffin, who directed the first act of On Stage’s production of “Plaza Suite” and played Mother Superior in “Nunsense” at On Stage. She performed in Atlanta’s historic play “Peachtree Battle” for several years.
“I think we are in the middle of a cultural crisis: people are divided on so many issues and it’s getting harder to find common ground,” Griffin said. “Now more than ever, we need the arts. We need stories about love. We need to laugh. More importantly, we need to laugh together in the same room – sitting next to strangers. That’s what I hope will happen when people come to see this show.”
Woodard is excited about her first lead role after getting involved with the theater last year. “The sense of community, chaos and creativity made me fall in love with theater,” she said. Snell is a member of the On Stage board of directors and co-founder of On Stage’s increasingly successful Improvisation troupe. “This organization changed my life,” he said. “It has ushered in a whole new social group, experiences and memories that will last me a lifetime.”
Evening performances are Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 7, 8, 14 and 15 at 8 p.m. Matinees are Dec. 9 and 16 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 and are available beginning Nov. 16 online at www.onstagewalton.org or at Carmichael’s Drug, 150 M.L.K. Jr. Blvd., Monroe, Georgia.
About On Stage Walton: Organized in 1971 “to bring a little culture to our town,” the theater moved in 1975 to the current On Stage Playhouse in the old Monroe Primitive Baptist Church, built in 1910, at 215 High School Road in Monroe. On Stage holds summer workshops for adults and youths, and sponsors an improvisation troupe. The theater helps support a 501c3 organization. For more information: www.onstagewalton.org.