York’s Theatre Glendon begins 2006 with The Marriage of Bette and Boo, a raucous comedy authored by American playwright Christopher Durang. Directed and designed by fourth-year Glendon theatre student Mel Couture, the production features an elaborate set, numerous intricate costumes, captivating sound effects, nostalgic video projections and an ambitious lighting design.
The Marriage of Bette and Boo was first presented by the New York Shakespeare Festival at the Public Newman Theatre in New York City on May 16, 1985. Considered to be one of the best works created by Durang, The Marriage of Bette and Boo is based on Durang’s parents and their complex marriage. The play boasts an intriguing mixture of seriousness and comedy, and tells their story in 33 quick scenes.
Shortly after its 1985 opening, the play won a large number of Obie awards – for Durang for playwriting, the play’s director, its set design and an Ensemble Acting Obie for its cast. Later that year the play also won the prestigeous Dramatists Guild Hull Warriner Award for the best play of the year dealing with social, religious or political issues.
The play is narrated by the lead character Matt, who begins the play by telling the story of the wedding of his parents, the titular characters, Bette and Boo. As the play progresses, the audience is introduced to a host of entertaining family members, all with amusing afflictions and neuroses. It soon becomes easy to see that Bette and Boo’s parents have had a huge influence on how they disregard one another and neglect their only child through years of hostility. From cellos to alcohol and stillborns to bacon, this dark absurdist comedy is both serious and outrageously hilarious.
The play stars Glendon students Michael Molenaar, Gillian Nicholas, Matthew Clappison, Mark Nimeroski, Erica Harris, Eleni Alexandris, David Barclay, Aramenta Mileski, Brynn Laxton and Vick Sood.
The Marriage of Bette and Boo previews on Jan. 18 at 8pm with performances on Jan. 19 at 5:30pm and Jan. 20 and 21 at 8pm. Tickets are pay-what-you-can. For further information regarding this or other productions held at the theatre, visit the Theatre Glendon Web site.