Five Women Wearing the Same Dress | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Five Women Wearing the Same Dress 

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Five Women Wearing the Same Dress, Artistic Home. The bride is a pampered belle, the groom is a rich wimp, and the best man has slept with half the girls in the county. The five bridesmaids at this Knoxville wedding have retreated from the lawn to the house, where they observe the reception from an upstairs window. Here the virgin, the adulteress, the good-time girl, the lesbian, and the curiously hostile sister of the bride swap confidences and commentary.

In his popular 1993 play Alan Ball explores female-bonding rites in all their ludicrous frivolity, enduring strength, and incisive candor. Director Patrick Thornton and his cast likewise understand the nobility of these damsels: they reject the hypocrisy that dominates the tribal ceremonies, most vividly symbolized by the despised Easter-candy gowns imposed on them.

The Artistic Home ensemble deliver uniformly intelligent, vividly etched portrayals of characters who might easily have become stereotypes: Laura Coleman as the sullen Meredith, Sabrina Lloyd as the ungainly Mindy, Kate Tummelson as the pristine Frances, D. Jenna Wasmuth as the matronly Georgeanne, Tasha Anne James as the mentorly Trisha, and John Mossman as the only male in this dystopian universe sufficiently pure of heart to be worthy of the company of the fair.

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