FATHER OF THE BRIDEby Caroline Frackle
Granbury Theatre Company
Director - Mia Cree Washington
Scenic Designer - Kerri Pavelick
Costume Designer - Stevie Simmons
Prop Mistress - Gaylene Carpenter
Light Designers - David Broberg
Stage Manager/Light Board - Nolan Moralez
Assistant Stage Manager/Stage Running Crew - Whitney Shearon, Rachel Mastick, Levi Casler
Additional Staff: Costumers – Devon Kleine, Drenda Lewis, Colton Lively
Set Construction Crew – David Broberg, Haden Capps, Nathan Early, Kyle Hoffman, Brian Lawson
Mr. Banks – Nikolai Braswell
Mrs. Banks – Kathy Lemons
Kay Banks – Jade Emerson Hebbert
Ben Banks – Tyler Ivie
Tommy Banks – Michael Mccrary
Buckley Dunstan – Chris Cook
Buzz Taylor – Kendrick Booth
Peggy Swift – Niamh O’Neal
Delilah - Michele Mastick
Miss Bellamy - Micaiah Armstrong
Mr. Massoula - Miles Emerson
Joe - Dillon Caudill
Mrs. Pulitzki/ Miss Bellamy Understudy - Baylee Arledge
Red – Doug Long
Tim’s Man – Tyler Krumm
Reviewed Performance: 1/31/2020
Reviewed by Cat Jimenez, Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN
Before I start this review, let me explain that the kind of humor that Father of the Bride uses is not the kind that I typically find funny. However, this show kept my interest and most definitely filled the theatre with laughs.
The set for this show took us into the home of an early 50’s family and created the perfect setting for an upcoming coming to cause turmoil in. The set design was done by Kerri Pavelick, a seasoned set designer who has worked on ‘The Addams Family’, ‘Guys and Dolls’, ‘Beauty And The Beast’, Almost, Maine’, ‘Steel Magnolias’, ‘Hands On A Hardbody’, ‘A Christmas Carol’, and more. The incredibly detailed set tells me that Kerri must put a lot of thought into her sets. Both she and the construction crew surely put a lot of time, sweat, and love into the set for Father of the Bride, and if I were her, I’d be proud of the intricate finished product.
Something else that stood out to me other than the detailed set was the amazing costumes. The costumes throughout the play were spot on, but what called my attention was the last scene, where Kay, the bride to be, comes out in a stunning wedding gown. That moment was easily one of my favorite moments of the entire show, and I could not take my eyes off from the dress and the beautiful girl in it. It fit wonderfully and I thought about how much work must have had to go into just that look alone, with all the fittings and whatnot. After the show, the actors were all standing near the exit for pictures and greetings and I got a closer look at the wonderful gown. I told the young actress play Kay (Jade Emerson Banks) that she looked stunning before making a quick exit, but how I wish I could have told the costume designer as well.
This play requires dynamic actors because a lot of the comedy is reliant on expressive acting styles. Nikolai Braswell, who plays Mr. Banks, does an amazing job of portraying a stressed father who is constantly on edge. His angry scenes had everyone’s attention because his stage presence was so strong. Nikolai’s rage was so believable and you could tell he was experienced with portraying a range of emotions. He has been performing since the late 1980s but not as an actor, instead of as a musician. He stepped onto the theatre stage in 2003 and now is a seasoned actor.
Kathy Lemons plays Mrs. Banks, the mother of the soon to be bride. Like Nikolai, she is an experienced actress and has been in plenty of shows. In this role, she plays a loving wife and mother and brings plenty of life to the stage. Often Mrs. Banks has to keep her husband from losing his mind at every twist and turn of the wedding planning process. I liked Kathy in this role as she embodied a typical housewife quite well without making her character boring. Though I did thank that Kathy brought a lot to the stage, I found myself less interested in Mrs. Banks and more interested in Delilah, the made, played by Michele Mastick. Michele was a great addition to the cast, a great actress for a comedy play. Delilah isn’t the most interesting character in this play as it’s written, but the way she was played made her funnier than expected. Michele did a great job of making Delilah a quirky, fun character.
Another actor who caught my eye was Miles Emerson, playing Mr. Massoula. Though around the age of the previously mentioned actors, he is a bit less experienced. He only started pursuing his interest in theatre last year! You couldn’t tell, however. He was a natural up on stage with his fellow actors and nailed the dramatic French accent of his character. It makes me happy to people make their interest a priority in their life, no doubt something that must be difficult for a father of three daughters like Miles. But it’s obvious he’s passionate about theatre and that makes him seem right at home on stage.
Now that we have discussed some of the older members of the cast, let us take a look at some of the younger actors and actresses in this play. I mentioned Jade Emerson Banks earlier when discussing the great costume designing, but now I want to focus on the great acting instead of the stunning work of the costume designer. Jade is no stranger to star roles, playing Anne in Anne of Green Gables at Theatre Off the Square, but Father of the Bride is her Granbury Theatre Company debut! She truly shines on stage but her love of theatre does not stop there. She has directed and even designed costumes before. She was a wonderful choice to play Kay and I hope to see more of her at Granbury Theatre Company in the future
Playing the bride’s older brother Ben was Tyler Ivie, who had a natural charisma on stage. This is not Tyler’s first show with this theatre, and he seemed to feel at home performing when I saw him as Ben in this show. He is a natural, and that brings me to another natural on stage, Chris Cook. He plays the bride’s groom, Buckley Dunstan. His chemistry with Jade Emerson Hibbert was great and truly embodied the innocent and wholesome romance of a 1950’s engaged couple.
Michael Mccrary was playing Tommy Banks, the younger brother of the bride. Michael did a great job at harnessing a childish, adolescent energy to play a kid who is just kind of done with all the talk of love and weddings. He did an especially great job considering this is his first play ever with Granbury Theatre company. Overall, I would say that the entire cast worked great together and everyone brought liveliness to their characters. Mia Cree Washington, director, did a great job at casting this show.
For anybody who might be looking for a funny show to bring the whole family to, I would recommend Father of the Bride. This show has everything that one might need to feel entertained and to have a few laughs. I brought someone who doesn’t have as much of an appreciation for theatre as I do to view this show, and they were constantly laughing along with the rest of the audience. This show brought a smile to my face purely because it’s a light-hearted show that anyone can enjoy.
Showing through Feb 9
Granbury Theatre Company, 133 East Pearl Street, Granbury TX
Box office hours:
12:00 – 5:00 Monday – Thursday
12:00 – 7:30 Friday
10:00 – 7:30 Saturday
12:00 – 2:30 Sunday