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Previews
The Lebanese/Redneck Wedding

Review of The Lebanese/Redneck Wedding

Peoria Cabaret Theatre
by Douglas E. Love

I was shaking hands with a fine looking gentleman in a tuxedo when he said to me, “The bride’s a stripper.”

I looked to his wife, I was a bit confused, as if begging for an explanation when she laid her hand on my arm and said, “And her parents, can you believe it, they aren’t even here yet.”

This was my introduction to The Lebanese/Redneck Wedding: an interactive improv theatre event.  I hasten to call it a show, because no two people are going to experience it the same way.

You see, the play is set up like an actual wedding — with you, the audience, playing the part of the guests.

The man I had met upon my arrival at the Peoria Cabaret Theatre, I would later find out, was the groom’s father with his lovely wife.  And the information I had just been given were “clues” to discovering who was who, and what was what.

Oh, if it sounds confusing, don’t worry it is.

You can’t be quite sure if the people you meet on your way from the front door to your table are characters in the play or just patrons like yourself.

In fact, when I finally found my table and got seated, I found myself sitting next to Betty Lou, Renita Rambo, Maddie Rubie, Bunny, Juicy J., and Hilda.  They told me they were cousins of the bride, so I just took that at face value.  They were an interesting bunch, Maddie maybe more so than the others, as she was missing half of her teeth, nine months pregnant and pouring down the beers.

After I met the people at my table, the wedding began — more or less like a real wedding, with bridesmaids and groomsmen entering first, followed by the bride and her … and her, well, some guy that looked a bit like Larry the Cable Guy.

At this point, you’re guessing what’s going on?  There’s no program to look at, no idea what the scenes are, nothing resembling a traditional theatre experience.  So to get the most out of it, you are going to have to ask the people around you clever questions like, “Bob, who invited you to the wedding?”

Remember, to make the most of it, you have to participate in it, and again, it’s a comedy-improv loosely held together by the structure of the wedding, and by that I mean, the wedding, the reception, cutting the cake, eating the cake, dancing, and leaving the building to wish the bride and groom farewell as they drove off.

On opening night, there was a lot of laughing going on as the audience was whooping it up, clapping and dancing in the isles.

The Lebanese/Redneck Wedding is a localized version on an Off-Broadway hit called Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding.  In this version, the show pokes fun of local Lebanese stereotypes — including that the family is wealthy and involved in politics.  On the flip side of that coin, the show targets the rednecks as gun toting, NASCAR loving, drunken fools from somewhere on the other side of the Illinois river.

The Lebanese/Redneck Wedding will continue its run this Friday and Saturday; doors open at 6 p.m.; ceremony at 6:30 p.m.; and a two entrĂ©e buffet dinner at 7:30 p.m.  The Menu will be a mixture between traditional Lebanese dishes and American foods.  The Peoria Cabaret Theatre is located on the second floor of the Waterhouse Building in downtown Peoria. Tickets may be purchased online at peoriacabarettheatre.com.  For more information call 309-494-9100.

The Lebanese/Redneck Wedding continues at Peoria Cabaret Theatre this weekend, however both performances are sold out.  The show will run during the month of July - dates are to be announced.  For more information call 309-494-9100 or visit www.peoriacabarettheatre.com

 
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