Sunday, September 1

Theater Review: Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre: Father of the Bride

Ermel and Stockberger
Jeff Stockberger tears up the stage in "Father of the Bride," currently playing on Indianapolis' north side Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre. Stockberger portrays perfectly the exasperated, doting father attempting to keep a cork in his piggy bank while giving his only daughter her dream wedding ~ a role that easily could have been written exclusively for the comedic master.

Made famous with the 1950 film starring Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor film of the same name, the comical look at what a father goes through when giving away his daughter at a wedding is based on the New York Times bestseller book by Edward Streeter. A remake 1991 film was made starring Steve Martin.

So how does it play out in live theater? does. The set remains the same throughout ~ the home of the Banks family. With Stockberger as the May pole to which all other characters circled, the play flows easily.
Stockberger and Wims
Kristin Lennox portrays convincingly Stanley's wife, keeping his feathers from being ruffled and soothing her daughter as needed. Deb Wims plays OCD secretary, Ms. Bellamy, with great energy and Lisa Ermel is easily believable as Kay, the daughter in love with love and Buckley Dunstan, portrayed by Ben Tebbe.

Stockberger's uptight, tight-fisted character loosens up sweetly to his adoring Kay's wishes and hugs. Ermel's modern day take on the Elizabeth Taylor role could not have been better as the in-love and optimistic 20-something.

McKay and Stockberger
Wedding planner, Mr. Massoula, was given the over-the-top homosexual treatment by Ivory McKay, which always brings laughter from the audience.

Although I would have liked to see the film's drunk-dinner scene left in (and portrayed by Stockberger) and the use of cell phones ~ as other modern terms were used to bring it up-to-date, the remaining changes enhanced the material, including references to Indianapolis' metro area.

Bottom Line: Beef and Boards' Father of the Bride gives Stockberger the chance to shine ~ and shine he truly does. Bring're going to need them.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at and and catch her as Indy’s Personal Lifestyle Adviser on (CBS) Channel 8 WISH TV. Gotta Go is published on,, and in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

1 comment:

JgAbaba said...

I just love to be in theaters cos I love music so much. I want to act, dance and sing.