What is it about a happily single person that makes people determined to find her a mate? Arena Dinner Theater has an entire evening devoted to that question, with Getting Sara Married.
I think it helps if all the people involved are cheerful, well-intentioned and nice.
Let's visualize a moment: In New York City, a young woman is an attorney. She's good at her job, even though her clients do not tend to be nuns and clergymen. She's working on a case which will go to court, well, one of these days. Everything is in hand and moving right along, until the phone rings.
Gloria Minnich plays Sara, the gentlest, most even-tempered litigator on the face of the earth. Most lawyers of my acquaintance are driven, stress-fueled workaholics. Not Sara. She's a really nice woman who likes to come home to her charming apartment and who even has time to chat on the phone with her kooky aunt Martha. She has her head on straight.
(Not all attorneys do, you know. One lawyer I know once absently signed a romantic anniversary card to his wife: H. Randall Partington.)
But Sara is busy and comfortable, by all accounts living a full life. Clearly, she needs a husband.
One phone call from her auntie, and Sara's life begins to change.
Rebecca Larue Karcher embodies the self-appointed matchmaker with a lot of verve. And, as it turns out, she makes good picks. Our intrepid Aunt Martha arranges for Sara to meet Brandon Cates (Greg Sitcler), a sweetheart of a fellow - in real estate, or insurance, or estate planning. Something. He can't quite remember.
But don't get the wrong idea: Brandon isn't organically addled. He just keeps bumping into a very genial hoodlum, Noogie Malone, hired by, who else? Aunt Martha. Duke Roth was born to play this upwardly mobile thug.
These people are all so pleasant, though, you'll fall in love with all of them. And love, after all, is the axle upon which the wheel of this comedy turns. Watch for Kevin Boner as the silent but hunky chiropractor and Casey Knuth as Joan - no, Heather! - Brandon's long-suffering fiancee. She's certainly a lot more understanding than most women.
This is a charming little romantic comedy, directed by first-timer Kevin Knuth, and the story is full of giggles, groans and full-out guffaws. There's really no danger that I'll give away too much of the story because there are just too many twists and turns. You know what Shakespeare said: The course of true love never did run smooth.
The a single-set story, which suggests a cozy New York apartment perfect for this perfectly happy single woman, has a sweet musical soundtrack to fill in the corners. The production staff of Jen Rothenbush and Clarence Tennis III move the show along flawlessly.
Getting Sara Married may be a bit fluffy, but anybody who's ever been set up with someone "you'll just love" is going to laugh pretty much beginning to end.
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