Planning a wedding is a life event that proves you can please some people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.
Of course, the woman’s happiness who matters most is the one who calls it the most important day of her life. And that woman is the Bride—or is it the Mother of the Bride?
Mom, It’s MY Wedding!, the second play from writing team Ilene Beckerman and Michael Disher, explores this question in a comic and heartfelt way that has the audience alternately laughing and tearing up.
Characters are unnamed but their roles are clear: The Brides take a back seat, literally, to the Mothers.
Sometimes there’s a mother-daughter interaction. Other times the Mothers talk with each other—and with the audience—as if over coffee. And then there are the monologues from Bride and Mother alike. Anyone who’s been involved, even tangentially, in wedding planning can understand and find humor in the conflicts that arise.
The rotating cast includes four Brides and four Mothers, plus the Father of the Bride. Tom Gregory, the only permanent cast member during the three-week premiere run at Southampton Cultural Center, plays Duane, the wedding planner whom the Brides swoon over. The Mothers resent Duane for taking their place, and the Father sees Duane as a leech on his checkbook.
The play is loosely based on Beckerman’s book Mother of the Bride, a followup to her popular memoir Love, Loss and What I Wore, which Nora and Delia Ephron adapted for the stage. Disher and Beckerman first worked together when she requested to act in his 2013 production of Love, Loss and What I Wore. They hit it off and became writing partners. A year ago they debuted Sex: What She’s Really Thinking, a collection of comic one-liners and vignettes concerning women’s views on sexual relationships throughout their lives, from teenage years to the latter years.
These three plays that have Beckerman in common are similar in that they touch on universal themes in women’s lives.
Mom, It’s MY Wedding! examines the mother-daughter dynamic in wedding planning, and in general. For the Bride, a wedding is a day to feel like a princess. For the Mother of the Bride, the wedding is like her report card after 20-plus years of raising a daughter.
The title of the play could give the false impression that Mom, It’s MY Wedding! is just about whiny brides and overbearing mothers. In reality, the relationships are much more complicated than that, the Brides and the Mothers aren’t always at odds, the humor is thoughtful and the drama is sincere.
Final performances of Mom, It’s My Wedding! are Thursday, at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. General admission is $22. Click here to purchase tickets, or pay at the door. Southampton Cultural Center is located at 25 Pond Lane, Southampton Village.