REVIEW: GETTING MARRIED TODAY (Phoenix Artist Club) ★★★★
It is just an hour before Kate and Bill are due to be married and Kate is having second thoughts. It falls to her Maid of Honour and good friend, Alice, to bring her round. So begins a charming two act, funny, musical play.
Kate is having pre-wedding doubts, questioning why she wants to be married at all. She is already in her wedding dress and ready to go with all the guests (the audience) assembled. Alice calmly listens to Kate’s worries, doubts and moans and tries to talk her out of doing something she will regret. I will not spoil the surprising ending but suffice to say that who would have thought that Alice could be so deliciously sneaky.
The cast of the play are three. Kate, the bride to be, Alice, her Maid of Honour and long time best friend, and a pianist who’s interaction with the story is limited to providing the music, obviously, and the occasional scene stealing knowing look.
The songs which accompanied this frantic story were varied but mostly old and sometimes less old show tunes by the likes of Stephen Sondheim, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Cole Porter and Jerome Kern. Interspersed with these are the occasional slightly more up to date individual songs such as Freedom by Kerrigan and Ebb and You Can Be As Loud As The Hell You Want (When You’re Makin’ Love) by Lopez and Marx which proved a showstopper. However, which ever song is used, it is there to make a point and succeeds brilliantly. In particular the song Bill, which, as well as being aptly named, is a truly lovely song that was beautifully sung.
Kate is played by Amy Alexander, a Scottish actress, singer and dancer with a lovely voice and wonderful comic style. Alice is played by Alice Mistroni who also has a truly great voice and a warm humorous personality and is the perfect foil to Kate’s manic pre-marriage persona. If they ever need to cast “Thelma and Luise, The Musical” they need never look farther than these two. And, as if their performing talents were not sufficient, they were also the writers and producers.
The two actresses successfully broke that fourth wall to reach out and touch the hearts of the audience. This is definitely a show to see.
The Phoenix Artist Club is a very nice friendly West End pub with a small cabaret\theatre space attached. It has a large selection of nigh on unknown beers and lagers, a good wine selection and a tasty food menu.
Reviewed by Graham Archer
Photo: Lorenzo Fantini