Sep 17

Lunchbox Theatre’s ‘Shopaholic Wedding Bells’ is drama and comedy amongst white dresses

by Jenna Shummoogum · 0 comments

Glenda Stirling, the new artistic director of Lunchbox Theatre has written a trilogy of plays that centres around a shopoholic protagonist named Abby. In the first installment, Abby was getting over her shopping ways, and then she was looking for love. Now Abby is getting married, and we’re along for the ride.

A month before she says her vows, Abby (Esther Purves Smith) is in a bit of a mess. Her mother in law wants a big church wedding for her and her mother wants a wedding on a golf course (all played by Karen Johnson Diamond). Abby’s fiance, awkwardly referred to as ‘himself’ (Ryan Luhning) doesn’t know that she has two venues booked and hasn’t made any decisions about their ceremony or reception. On the flip side, she didn’t know he was Anglican and wants to get married in a church. Her best friend Joy is mad at her for not involving her, as Abby didn’t want her to ‘project manage’ her wedding.

It is absolutely not necessary to have seen the other plays in the series to understand the story of Shopaholic Wedding Bells. Abby explains it all in an overview at the beginning of the play. As the story unfolds, and it gets more chaotic for Abby, you can’t help but feel for her. She’s not assertive enough to tell her mothers that she doesn’t want their dream weddings but not completely sure of what she actually wants and both her mothers are far too manipulative and self involved to realize that it’s not about them. It’s a nightmare of a wedding for Abby and her fiance.

Purves Smith is lovable as Abby and blends comedy and drama nicely. Luhning and Johnson Diamond sink into their familiar roles and embody their characters. Set design by Julia Wasilewski finds the stage filled with white wedding dresses, and all the actors do multiple costume changes.

Shopaholic Wedding Bells offers a bit of commentary of the costs and the stress of planning, or not planning a wedding with Abby at the center of all the drama. It leaves you glad that you’re not having her wedding and wishing that she could have the wedding she wants.

Lunchbox Theatre’s Shopaholic Wedding Bells runs until October 12th. Tickets and more information is available online.

Photo Credit: Benjamin Laird

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