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Stage Raw

Stage Raw: Bridezilla Strikes Back

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Fri, Feb 20, 2009 at 2:16 PM


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BRIDEZILLA STRIKES BACK!

click to enlarge ED KRIEGER
  • Ed Krieger

NEW REVIEW In August of 2002, Cynthia Silver, a struggling actress, was informed by her wedding "event designer" that a British film company, September Films was creating a "documentary series" called "Manhattan Brides," that followed couples through the preparation of their nuptials. Her fiancé, Matt Silver (who still works as a production stage manager on Broadway), was less than impressed and, according to Cynthia's confession, said he didn't like the silky tone of the British producers, and didn't trust them. "It's a reality TV show," he told her. "No, hon," she replied, "It's a documentary series. It's like Nova, but about weddings." Similarly confusing "exposure" with "acting," she also believed that the experience might jump start her performing career.

Silver performed her show in the 2005 New York International Fringe Festival; she's now visibly pregnant, and has regained the 15 pounds she says she lost after the "documentary" was aired. Much of the Bridezilla is pedestrian, as Silver regales us - on and around Giulio Perrone's wedding cake set piece - about her filmed hysterics while trying to find a wedding dress that would disguise her weight; and her spunky on-film ruminations about the cruel, exploitive ambitions of the wedding industry. (She says Matt cautioned her ever so subtly that he found her on-film performance to be overacted; she countered that she was building a fan base.)

Then comes the section that's irrefutably absorbing, when Silver finally realizes the betrayal that we've suspected all along. Months after filming has been completed comes the email from Britain that the "documentary" has been sold to Fox, which is turning it into a reality show.

Then arrives the news that Fox has been re-editing the "reality" of her wedding to loop scenes of her emotional breakdowns so that they play over and over. The series is now called "Bridezillas." Her segment goes by the title, "Life's a Bitch, and Then You Marry One."

After the humiliating broadcast, she reads excoriating online comments by viewers. It only gets worse when, trying to reason with the mob, she posts lucid explanations of how she was misled, while acknowledging her many mistakes. This only triggers more waves of written abuse online, frustrating her efforts to "set the record straight." The core of her identity crisis is her obsession with what others think of her. As her husband aptly puts it, "Why do you care? They're idiots!" But she does care, and her endearing confession of the profound insight she's learned rings ever so slightly hollow through her tears. She is, after all, still doing this show, still confessing in front of strangers in a film and TV industry town. (Steven Leigh Morris)

ON THE ROAD AGAIN

Road Theatre Company is hosting a fundraising Indoor Yard Sale (props, furniture etc.) at its theater's loation, 5108 Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood (818) 761-8838, tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 21, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Then from 4 p.m.- 8 p.m. and on Sunday at noon to 2 p.m. wearable items (costumes, jewelry, purses, etc) will be on sale in the theater's Gallery. Call (818) 761-8838


Check back here after noon on Monday for the coming weekend's NEW THEATER REVIEWS of Vaclav Havel' The Increased Difficulty of Concentration at the Lounge Theatre; Raymond King Shurtz's new play, Bohemian Cowboy at the Elephant Performance Space; Alive Theatre's Cherry Poppin' Festival of new works; Tartuffe at Theater @ Boston Court; Daniel Berrigan's The Trial of the Catonsville Nine at Actors' Gang; Black Women - State of the Union at Company of Angels; The Taming of the Shrew presented by Circus Theatricals at the Odyssey Theatre; Nick Mills' new romantic thriller, American Guilt at Theatre Unlimited; and Phil Olson's musical, A Don't Hug Me County Fair at Lonny Chapman Group Repertory Theatre

Please note: the Theater Awards Nominee RSVP line will be up and running again by tomorrow morning (Saturday) at the latest.

At your fingertips: This week's THEATER FEATURE on Donald Margulies' Time Stands Still at the Geffen Playhouse; the 30th annual L.A. Weekly Theater Awards NOMINEES; and where to PURCHASE tickets.


The weekend's NEW THEATER REVIEWS are all embedded within the coming week's COMPREHENSIVE THEATER LISTINGS

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