A Comic Teaming in 'Our Wedding'

Michael Caldwell and Rachel Winfree celebrate their 10th year as a creative team with "Our Wedding," a satiric yet often poignant glimpse behind the scenes of a small-town Texas wedding at Theatre/Theater.

The authors of the work, Caldwell and Winfree are also its sole performers, tackling the score or so characters in their piece with the practiced ease of long association. Both facile comic performers, the two wisely venture beyond regional caricature in both their performances and their writing, creating an eccentric, wrenchingly real microcosm where dysfunction flourishes but compassion prevails (with certain startling exceptions).

The characters range from an antediluvian geezer--who reminisces exhaustively about every town function in memory--to the acrimoniously divorced parents of the bride. Among the vividly rendered family members and guests we find Frank Howard, the groom's openly homosexual brother. He has traveled from New York to attend the wedding and to sift through a boyhood trauma that has overshadowed his life.

Director Penny Hamilton choreographs the smooth flow of ever-changing characters and keeps the frequently overlapping dialogue crisp and coherent. Although a "surprise" plot twist seems predictable, the reaction of Frank's widowed mother to the "revelation" is shockingly uncompromising--a grim reminder that, in some sad cases, family ties are better left cut and dangling.

* "Our Wedding," Theatre/Theater, 1713 Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood. Saturdays, 3 p.m.; Tuesdays, 8 p.m. Ends Feb. 15. $12. (213) 871-0210. Running time: 1 hour, 50 minutes.

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