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Review: Mary's Wedding

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3.5 stars

Indiana Repertory Theatre, Upperstage; directed by James Still. In Mary's Wedding, Canadian playwright Stephen Massicotte portrays first love with such sweetness and war with such sadness, I started to wonder if one could could without the other, if life's sweet must be contrasted with bitter or else it might seem bland. On the eve of her wedding, Mary dreams of the day she met Charlie, a farm boy whose wild horseback rides were a new, good kind of scary. With a chair standing in for their horse and wedding lace hauled in bundles like sand bags, her dream recreates their courtship in rural Canada and Charlie's later life in the trenches of France during World War I. The back-and-forth between the two worlds is easy to follow, even with the perky Mary acting out the part of a friendly sergeant in her nightgown. In fact, I would rather have been a little confused than to have everything spelled out in Mary's running narration. Zach Kenney, in his IRT debut, and Gwendolyn Whiteside (Rabbit Hole, Our Town) play the two lovers with the wide-eyed wonder of Hollywood musicals. We accept this, because they are young and, literally, in a dream, with a rude awakening forecasted. While I admired Betsy Cooprider-Bernstein's dreamy lighting, moody live cello by Brian Grimm, and Gordon R. Strain's surrealistic set, I felt the futility of their efforts heavily — of war and anti-war stories that never impede the existence of the other. Through Dec. 4; 635-5252, www.irtlive.com.

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