The cast of “Always a Bridesmaid” says the new comedy by the Vagabond Players is kind of like “Steel Magnolias” — except funnier.
Susan Dolan plays the token Yankee, who is a Washington, D.C., judge named Deedra Wingate. She said the show is about friendship, love and “crazy people getting together.” It is also about weddings — a lot of them.
Four lifelong friends made pacts in high school to always be each other’s bridesmaid. But they did not expect so many husbands would be in their futures.
“Bridesmaid” follows in the footsteps of Vagadon’s “The Dixie Swim Club” (also penned by the same playwrighting trio). That earlier show was a standing-room-only hit, Director Lou Smith said.
With “Bridesmaid,” the audience will watch the four women support one another — and square off. They are plainspoken Deedra; the “slightly trashy, slightly flashy” Monette Gentry, played by Patti Landreau; earthy Charlie Collins, played by Connie Kelly; and hopeless romantic Libby Ruth Ames, played by Elaine Murphy Lupo.
Sedalia Ellicott — “old money” who owns the events center that hosts each wedding, played by Jullie Massey — and Libby Ruth’s daughter Kari, played by Kristen Thomas, round out the cast.
“Always a Bridesmaid” stars four strong-willed women and takes a lot of its comedy from watching them spark off one another. It takes a lot of heart from that, too.
“We can say these mean things like really good friends and still hug each other at the end of the day,” Landreau said.
Subsequent scenes see every character’s life upended in some fashion. The only constants are friends and family.
“Whenever I come off the stage after we’ve done a show, people say how refreshing it is to see something that is just plain-old fun,” Dolan said. “And yet these plays, like ‘Dixie Swim Club’ and this one, have a heart.”