WEDDING BELL blahs: What could be more boring than listening to someone else's wedding stories? Listening to three people's nuptial tales. That's the dubious opportunity afforded by "Something Blue," a dishwater-dull drama at New Playwrights' Theater.
Nebraska playwright Peg Sheldrick's prissy play is little more than a catalogue of matrimonial foibles and flaws, as Sheldrick plods through the dreary lives and drearier marriages of three midwestern high school chums.
We first meet Flossie, Mary and Beth in 1975, giggling in the church pew at a friend's wedding; then at Beth's union with a balding computer programmer; then at Mary's ill-starred pairing with a musician; and finally, in 1983, at Flossie's spontaneous marriage at her parent's home.
Though eight years (and a corresponding parade of polyester pastel bridesmaid gowns) ostensibly pass, these women actually seem to regress and become more juvenile in their attitudes -- 30-year-old Flossie isn't even allowed to sit on the furniture in her mother's living room.
Sheldrick depicts marriage as something to be desperately strived for, but it's hard to see why: All three of her women make rotten choices, and their joyless unions make matrimony seem stultifying.
The six inert little scenes in this three-act play are padded with tedious bits about broken curling irons, phone calls from mother, tardy, undependable bridegrooms, and toasts of champagne and orange juice in paper cups. Sheldrick timidly inserts a naughty word now and then to show she's "with it," and wraps it all up with a round of pat self-congratulation among these three "survivors."
Director Ron Ross hasn't a clue as to how real women behave, and the actresses don't help him out much with their faked girlishness.
Connie Geis plays always-a-bridesmaid Flossie as a grating caricature of Martha Raye -- she's so perpetually artificial and sour it's a wonder she's invited to stand up at so many weddings. Mary R. Woods plays pinched and prim Mary with a cloying pursed-lips demeanor. Only Carolyn Swift's Beth is remotely appealing, but the character is nebulous at best, and Swift has a tendency toward shrillness. All three women are made to double as stagehands, clumsily and time-consumingly shifting the set and props between scenes.
SOMETHING BLUE -- At New Playwrights' Theater through June 1.