Anyone that’s been to a wedding before knows that sometimes there’s more going on than meets the eye. Sure, a couple is getting married and devoting their lives to one another, but dozens of other people are behind the scenes [and sometimes not so behind the scenes] jockeying for position for everything for phone numbers to nightcaps.
Because of this, sometimes it’s more fun to people-watch at weddings than watch the actual engagement itself.
Put a play in the center of all this drama and ultimately, you have an engaging performance that never stops delivering the laughs.
Hilarious, insightful and intelligent, J.C. Svec’s “A Cordial Invitation” is one of the best-written productions at the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity this year. Breaking the action into three parts, this performance, feels inspired by films and shows such as “In Living Color,” “Clerks” and “Bridesmaids.”
At first, there may be a bit of disconnect, as all three scenes are at different times, but ultimately the production is a fine example of what a solid sketch comedy performance should be- fast-paced, catchy and fun.
It’s a show that shouldn’t be missed.
That has a lot to do with the performers on stage.
While Edward Rosini and Lauren Friezo are only in two of the three scenes, their versatility is undeniable. From his Jim Carrey dance moves to David Hyde-Pierce mannerisms, Rosini is able to play everyone from the good guy to the con man. Beautiful and witty, Friezo is able to play a variety of roles as well and is simply entertaining. When together, they are a dynamic combination.
Nadia Brown and Rob Gelberg have a similar chemistry in their scene together too. However, the timbre of the scene feels taken from the reels of the film “Clerks” with Gelberg going on several enjoyable Kevin Smith-esque rants on “Casablanca.” At times gorgeous, and daring, at other times ditzy and lost, Brown is just as multi-faceted as her cast mates.
Even though Sarah Cuneo doesn’t star in any of the skits, her ability to deliver laughs is unquestionable. One scene has her as the weird and naïve Lisa Loeb-looking bridesmaid who tries to score a late-night rendezvous with a good-looking stranger. In another, she plays a cute waitress who wants to provide more than dinner. Like her cast mates, Cuneo’s ability to play diverse characters allows the performance to make the most of a group of actors and limited set.
With a charming script and talented actors that pull it off to near perfection, “A Cordial Invitation” doesn’t break any molds and for good reason- it doesn’t have to.
Solid sketch comedy is hard to find on the Off-Off Broadway scene, but this production, in spite of not breaking any rules along the way, is able to keep you smirking throughout.