Comic ‘Wedding’ earns respectful reception Dinner-theater musical in Escondido, is tuneful, occasionally awkward

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By James Hebert7:59 A.M.AUG. 27, 2013
Cast members of the dinner-theater musical "Once Upon a Wedding."
Cast members of the dinner-theater musical “Once Upon a Wedding.” — (Laughing Tree Productions)
Weddings might be a lot more entertaining if all those battling in-laws, sulking bridesmaids and feuding groomsmen were forced to resolve their conflicts via pop song.

Probably more painful, too, because chances are the average wedding-party member would be a lot less musically adept than the performers in the sweetly funny dinner-theater production “Once Upon a Wedding.”

The show, running through Saturday at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido, has nine characters who are all grappling with matrimonial disaster (or at least disappointment) of one kind or another.

Actually, the story casts a wider net than that, if you count all the playgoers who are coaxed and cajoled to participate. (Take that as either a promise or a warning.)

The talented singer Lisa Laughbaum, head of Laughing Tree Productions (and the show’s chief writer), plays the wedding entertainer Liza, who is lamenting her own lack of marital luck. She’s in a long-term but lackluster relationship with the musician Bill (real-life husband Michael Laughbaum).

The lucky couple at the ceremony’s center have their own woes: Daisy Dudley (Lindsey Pino, an appealing actress with a powerful voice) is getting cold feet while her parents, Robert and Zina (Eric Olson and Debbie David), bicker. That leaves the groom, a bit too cutely named Davis Do-Wright (Mitchell McCollum), to cool his own heels on the sidelines.

Zina also is near fisticuffs with the loopy bridesmaid Debbie (an amusing Anna Suzette), while young Chris Crost (Ian Laughbaum) is freaking out over taking over as wedding coordinator from his dad, who’s stuck in Mexico with the rest of the wedding party. Meantime, the serial groom Uncle Julie (likable Harold MacPherson Jr.) is trolling for his next bride.

It all proves a lot to take in. (And one heartwarming moment in which longtime couples in the audience are asked the secrets of marriage runs awkwardly into a bit about infidelity).

But the setting is attractive, and there are gentle laughs on the menu, along with a satisfying dinner, plus champagne and cake. And at least in this tuneful vision of (eventual) wedded bliss, there’s nothing that can’t be solved with a nice round of “All You Need Is Love.”

DETAILS

“Once Upon a Wedding”

When: 7 p.m. Friday; 7 p.m. Saturday.

Where: California Center for the Arts, 340 N. Escondido Blvd., Escondido.

Tickets: General admission $69; VIP $99. (Dinner is included; discounts for children and seniors.)

Phone: (760) 591-3113

Online: onceuponaweddingthemusical.com

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James Hebert

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Once Upon a Wedding

Save 50% off VIP tickets this opening weekend!  

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Once Upon A Wedding
A Hilarious Musical Comedy
Dinner Theater Experience

Friday, August 16, 2013 & Saturday, August 17, 2013
From 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM

“ONCE UPON A WEDDING” AT CALIFORNIA CENTER FOR THE ARTS, ESCONDIDO!

The funniest dinner theater show to hit San Diego in years, “Once Upon A Wedding” is a complete evening with great food, favorite music, dancing, and a hilarious show full of interactive entertainment.  This family friendly musical comedy features hit songs from the fifties to today making it the perfect treat for your entire clan!

You’ll feel like a part of the family as the cast of “Once Upon A Wedding” welcomes you to a rip-roaringly funny evening of music and comedy like no other. This unique, one of a kind, all ages experience, held at the beautiful, California Center For The Arts, Escondido, includes a gourmet dinner, wedding cake, coffee service, champagne toast, and interactive entertainment from the moment you arrive.

Your Experience includes:

  •     Our Hilarious Musical Comedy Wedding
  •     Dinner Salad and Gourmet Meal (choice of chicken or vegetarian)
  •     Wedding Cake
  •     Coffee Service
  •     Champagne Toast
  •     Reception with Dancing
  •     Full Cash Bar
  •     V.I.P. includes Priority Seating, Corsage/Boutonniere, and Commemorative Photo

“Once Upon A Wedding” follows Daisy Dudley and Davis Do-Wright as they celebrate their love in front of family and friends on their wedding day. But what should be the happiest day of their lives quickly turns into mayhem with mishaps of epic proportions. When the wedding coordinator, minister, and wedding party go missing, Daisy decides she can’t continue, and it’s up to the wedding coordinator in training and the wedding singer to keep the day from becoming a complete disaster. The shenanigans of Daisy’s less than happy parents, her great Uncle Julie, and Davis’ free-spirited sister, Debbie, make for a hilarious laugh-out-loud good time.

Join us for “Once Upon A Wedding” and experience all the joy of attending a real wedding without the pressure of buying that perfect gift! After all, every wedding needs its crashers!

SHOW DATES: August 16, 17, 23, 24, 30, and 31

 

SHOW TIMES: Evening shows begin at 7PM.

 

TICKET INFORMATION: Tickets from $49-$99. Ticket sales close the day before each showing. Purchase tickets at https://onceuponawedding.eventbrite.com or call 760.591.3113. YOU MUST HAVE A RESERVATION. NO SAME DAY SALES!

 

MORE QUESTIONS? 

CALL THE ONCE UPON A WEDDING HOTLINE! 760.591.3113

SAVE 50% ON VIP TICKETS!
Valid for Friday 8/16 & Saturday 8/17 only

THAT’S A VIP TICKET FOR JUST $49.95!

VIP Admission includes a boutonniere or corsage, a souvenir photo and priority seating. Price includes all taxes and gratuities.

Simply click on or enter the discount code VIP
It’s that easy!

California Center For The Arts, Escondido

340 North Escondido Boulevard

Escondido, CA 92025

Purchase Your
Tickets Today!

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