The Kansas City Fringe Festival encourages local writers, artists and performers to display their creations to a vast array of audiences during the 10-day festival from July 17-27 at over a dozen mostly midtown venues, with Madeline McCrae’s newest play, “Where the Hell's The Bridesmaid?????” set to compete for best of venue honors.
“Where the Hell's The Bridesmaid?????”, a murder mystery comedy with a soap opera bent, enjoys six performances as part of the KC Fringe Festival 2014. The premiere performance occured, at 9 p.m., Saturday, July 19, in The Heartland Forum, in Crown Center (formerly American Heartland Theater), to an average size audience, in the large venue.
All brides expect a perfect wedding. But, how can it be perfect when a bridesmaid is missing - shortly followed by the minister? Did Bridesmaid have one too many? Did someone give Bridesmaid one too many - with a "twist"? Is Bridesmaid really dead? A guest list full of amateur sleuths surely guarantees a confession - or something close to it. One murderer? Two murderers? No murderer? Coincidence? Connection? Chaos ensues as each sets out to prove who done it while digging up some deeply buried secrets. As more questions are raised than are answered, each guest sets out to prove they couldn't have done it all the while keeping Bridesmaid "alive" so as to not ruin Bride's perfect day. But what are they to do when the mansions master keels over - right in front of the bride?
A cast of fourteen brings this zany play to life as part of the KC Fringe Festival. “Where the Hell's The Bridesmaid?????” cast includes: Daisy Bucket, Chioma Anyanwu, Ted Collins, Larry Goodman, Bruce Michael Hall, Peter Leondedis, Kelsey Matthias, Justin McCoy, Patricia McLaughlin, Andy Penn, Elissa Schrader, Cindy Siefers, Edward Turner, and Kevin Wells. It is written and directed by Madeline McCrae. Stage manager is Laura Geisel.
Strap on your seat belts and be ready for the craziness of the piece to keep you confused throughout as the large cast of insane characters just keep adding to the insanity and mayhem. The show opens as guests enter a reception area after the wedding in a stately mansion, known to host murder mystery events.
Well-known as a venue for audience participation murder mystery evenings, where the audience actually serves as sleuths to decipher the clues and solve a murder, the mansion takes on a whole new significance when a bridesmaid is discovered, dead, as the guests leave the wedding. But this is no murder mystery evening, it’s the reception of a wedding. Sound crazy, well it is. And things only get crazier and crazier, as each guest, waiter, bride, and groom enter the scene.
The cast of zanies each brings his or her own twist to the story. With 14 characters, expect 14 twists and turns in a farce that’s guaranteed to keep the audience engaged and laughing. Hint: don’t go into tired, because you have to pay attention to keep track of all of the characters, the wine, the appetizers, and possible scenarios.
Expect large crowds, as word-of-mouth spreads for this farcical comedy. A work in progress, “Where the Hell’s the Bridesmaid?????,” already expects development into a 90 minute piece. Playwright, Madeline McCrae, said she has already been approached to flush out the piece to a full production for the future where several holes will fill in where gaps appear.
Still the piece is funny, entertaining, and full of continuous laughs. It’s a good and entertaining piece for the KC Fringe Festival and illustrates the Fringe concept of new works under development.
Just when the audience thinks they may have a solution, expect a twist and a change. Also, expect really solid performances from several of the talented cast members.
The Heartland Forum is located at 2450 Grand Blvd. (in Crown Center). Performance dates and times are: Saturday, July 19 at 9 p.m.; Sunday, July 20 at 4:30 p.m.; Monday, July 21 at 6 p.m.; Wednesday, July 23 at 9 p.m.; Friday, July 25 at 6 p.m.; and Saturday, July 26 at 30 p.m.
Tickets are $10 with a Fringe button. Fringe buttons, cost a one-time $5 fee that goes to the KC Fringe Festival to underwrite the cost of running the festival. Tickets and buttons can be purchased at Heartland Forum or any other hosting venue as well as online at www.kcfringe.org.