To start, an apology: I missed opening weekend for this show. When I say 'missed' - you'll note this show isn't on the Calendar. It wasn't on my radar AT ALL. For me personally, it's completely unacceptable. I need to do better, and I will.
Living Drama Theatre put the past six months of COVID-induced down time to good use, renovating the theater itself and changing out the tiny movie theater seats for some with better leg room and a bit more hip space. It looks great, honestly.
With that said, it pains me to provide the faint praise and say the production was better than not going to theater at all. The costumes were well done, the set fine, audio and lighting coordination a bit off for mostly ok; but only one actor brought the right kind of energy, and script is just awful on top. Pacing is very uneven, characters getting to two-dimensional a bonus, and the poor Rev. Mountain (Luke Bane) being written with a fear of the dark (because of being abused as child) and this is used for (nominal) comic effect. This is completely tone deaf in current society.
The source of nearly all the energy in the production is Kenyatta Edwards, playing Mrs. Wilcox - the 'monster-in-law' no wife would want to deal with. The stage comes alive when she's on, and that's not the Playwright's effort, that's Edwards herself. Abbigail "Abby" Wade plays Addison, the daughter-in-law-to-be, and her highlights occur when playing against Edwards, and in singing little snippets of tunes onstage; she seems to have quite a pleasant voice. But without Edwards, the rest of cast suddenly go to sleep - tones drop lower, lines and pickups are slower and less nuanced, it drags. Ridge Patterson plays three roles, the main being 'Raul', whose energy tries to be high, but it comes off as a poor man's version of Larry Miller's "Paolo" from 'The Princess Dairies" 1 & 2. In theory, Austen Stanley's James is the male lead, but Stanley has no energy at all onstage, and that's probably down to the script again. Once the major players are on, James becomes background noise and doesn't do much except try to keep his mother and fiancee from fighting.
Pet Peeves: bottles and glasses are empty of liquid, cast is masked but I saw only three members of the audience remain masked when seated. WEAR YOUR MASKS!
This is the closing weekend (darn it), so see it if you can, if only to support local community theater and watch Ms. Edwards give nasty looks and sharpen her claws on Addison!