Fringe review: Along for the Bride

Along for the Bride
Directed by Grace Fitzgerald; Staged; Thomas Bennett Room at the Varscona Hotel; until Sat., Aug. 24.
Our Score
Along for the Bride

Along for the Bride opens with Alex Sahli, who plays himself, waking up on stage and finding that he’s part of a play he knows nothing about. The other people he meets on stage keep calling him Mathew and ignore his demands to know what’s going on, until he is forced to go along and make his way to the end of the performance. 

Joining him on stage are Mathew’s mother Carol (Elise Leske), his sister Samantha (Avery Ryan), and her fiance Benjamin (Teio Suyal). Alex’s ultimate goal, as Mathew, is to make sure Sam and Ben make it down the aisle on their wedding day, despite the oh-so-obviously villainous best man Andrew (Nick van Herwaarden), and the unexpected attendance of estranged father Robert (Cai Walters) and his girlfriend Angel (Thomas Moore).

Many of this comedy’s jokes centre on Alex breaking the fourth wall, but the other characters offer some humour as well. The scene change gags get a little stale, but Sahli’s charm and personality help to balance that out, and some of his best one-liners are thrown out while the lights are down. Suyal also stands out as Benjamin, leaning into the character’s eccentricities like his florid style of speech, his penchant for quoting famous people way out of context, and his habit of leaping into Mathew’s arms.

Leske and Ryan bolster the show’s musical number with their strong voices, but unfortunately, not all of the cast seem as musically talented. Overall, the performances were not as polished as they could have been, and in some places, the script needed to be tightened.

But(!) all of that being said, director and playwright Grace Fitzgerald is only 16 years old, and this play does a lot of interesting things, and has some great jokes and a charming cast (which all make it worth a watch). If this is what Fitzgerald is capable of before she’s even finished high school, we should expect to see great things from her. 

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