What starts out as the familiar battle of the sexes turns into an all-out transgender brawl in this delightful twist on the father-of-the bride brand of comedy.
The play opens as a middle-aged couple from the Bronx, N.Y., enters an overly decorated, pink hotel room (which turns out to have been designed by the groom). Mary and Angelo LoPresto have arrived to attend their son’s wedding. Marina Re and Paul D’Amato, who are married in real life, play them to perfection.
A tightly written script by Donna de Matteo bounces its way along with witty dialogue infused with an Italian-American flavor. The pair begins bickering immediately while the wife unpacks her suitcase full of Saran-wrapped clothing. Their lively argument centers on the wedding arrangements but eventually escalates to reveal past issues, all central to the current situation. This results, after many hilarious moments, in an affirmation of the importance of awareness, acceptance, love and marriage.
Angelo LoPresto is the stereotypical male who doesn’t want to have anything to do with psychological or emotional mumbo jumbo, and D’Amato presents him with gusto. Re represents the emotional, feminine side of the marital equation with vigorous strength and appeal. In a pivotal scene, she admonishes her son, Michael LoPresto, played by Michael Kevin Baldwin, to stand up for himself and assert his own feelings in his relationship.
The second act emphasizes that this play isn’t all talk. Some physical antics expose raw, repressed emotion and underscore the changes these characters are undergoing. The ante rises for Angelo when he learns he’s not the father of the groom but of the “bride.” He receives a visit from his son’s fiancé, Dr. David Schwartz, played by Gil Brady. “At least he’s a doctor,” Mary LoPresto remarks, because the other parents are upset because the bride’s not Jewish.
The play is not just about same-sex marriage but also about the nature of love. The script, the directing by Janet Mitchko, and all four actors’ performances combine for a complex and funny take on the kind of growth that sometimes comes when we face a big event, such as a wedding.
IF YOU GO
“Our Son’s Wedding” runs through Aug. 7, at Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 N. Palm Ave.
For ticket information, call 366-9000.