In the financial world stability doesn’t exist both in personal and business worlds – or can it? Wall Street is collapsing, and as everything Tom (Grant McGowen) has known comes crashing down around him, the idea that love, not money, is the key to the happiness begins to simmer. The fact that his friend Phil (Alex Van) has fallen in love with a girl he met at a bar only casts a shadow over his own spiraling marriage.
All these musings are both thoughtfully and comically explored by McGowen who doubles as leading man and playwright in the world premiere production of Wall Street Wedding at Pinch ‘n’ Ouch Theatre. His scenes with Jackie Costello who plays Tom’s wife Julie are skillfully acted by the pair, and it’s a shame Costello doesn’t have more stage time.
The play opens with an intense monologue from Van who realizes he has lived a wild life and sees the need to sober up but doesn’t yet have the motivation to go through with it. The scene then shifts to Van waiting in a bar to meet Tom, who is planning to cut ties with him at Julie’s insistence due to Van’s egregious behavior.
The bar remains the setting for the remainder of the first act where Tom later meets Becky (Bryn Striepe), a young woman at her bachelorette party. After Tom leaves, Phil returns and meets Becky and her friend Carla, played by the remarkable Christie Vozniak. Her positivity and giddiness are infectious and Vozniak brightens the stage each time she appears.
After a nearly perfect, quick-paced, witty first act, the second act jumps around a little too much and leaves a good bit unanswered about the characters. Scenic Designer Chuck Tedder has used the theater’s space quite well to create the different settings of the play, including a bar, a home and a couple of bathrooms. However, the scene changes take too long, making the act feel even more disjointed.
Nonetheless, McGowen has crafted a deeply entertaining comedy that is worth a look. Director Robby Glade has taken McGowen’s script and guided the talented cast to reveal the inner workings of each complex character while still successfully delivering each hilarious (and sometimes shocking) quip.
Wall Street Wedding plays at Pinch ‘n’ Ouch Theatre through March 1, 2014. For tickets and more information, please visit the theater’s website. The show’s runtime is approximately two and a half hours with an intermission.
– A. Wesley