Review: The Wedding Consultant

By Wendy Rosenfield

This year marks the second Fringe Festival appearance for Eric Singel’s The Wedding Consultant. Singel’s comic solo show visits same-sex marriage and the notion that “one wedding is just like another.” Since the piece premiered in 2007, the number of states recognizing gay marriage went from one to six, and no doubt the number of wedding planners surely surged accordingly.

However, the production, directed with an eye for forward movement by Jose Aviles, is less about Singel’s drag character Iris Holcombe, a down-to-business party planner with innumerable personal prejudices, than about the impending moment when a platter of assorted clashing personalities gets served up at the church.

Those personalities--party boy groom Lance, classy groom Leslie, nice-guy best man Mike, Leslie’s lesbian mom Rhonda, and Lance’s Texan mom Bobbi Sue (who thinks her son’s soon-to-be-bride Leslie must be a real catch)--all take turns offering up slices of their lives.  

Just as at any get-together, some conversation time is better spent than others. Watching Singel’s Lance pretend to be wasted is about as interesting as watching anyone pretend to be wasted. It’s only after 10 minutes of slurring and pill-popping, when he backbites the very friends who planned his bachelor party, that we gain insight into his character.

But Mike, a third-generation cop and first-generation gay cop, anchors the production with a surprising (and I’ll admit it, surprisingly butch) depth. The others? Well, they’re colorful, and Singel, while celebrating marriage equality, adds another maxim to Holcombe’s assessment of nuptial sameness: Be careful what you wish for, because you might get it.

$20, Sept. 9, 10, 14-18 at 8PM, Sept. 11, 18, at 2PM, Walnut Street Theatre, Studio 3, 825 Walnut St.