Mary's Wedding

Braden Moran and Robin Abramson
Mary's Wedding, by Stephen Massicotte, is a story of love and war. The setting is Western Canada in 1920, on the eve of Mary's wedding, but the majority of the play is spent in flashbacks depicted as a dream Mary has of her earlier life, in particular the meeting and falling in love with Charlie, and how the two endured his time of service on the Western Front during the Great War.

Massicotte has stated in interviews that he set out to write a play about WWI and politics, but he fell in love at the start of the writing, and the relationship ended as he wrote the the play's ending. The love story part of Mary's Wedding grew, and the play took on a different tone. The two young characters have to grow up fast, as teenagers did in those days, and, more than an anti-war influence, Mary's Wedding seems to be more about fulfilling your responsibilities and surviving as long as you can in a dire situation. Finally, it is about how a survivor must move on.

Taking on the roles of the young lovers, Robin Abramson and Braden Moran do a fine job under the challenges of flashbacks without costume/prop changes on a single set, including evoking the presence of other characters. Abramson also plays the historical figure Lt. Gordon Flowerdew, who led a charge at the Battle of Moreuil Wood, in which the fictional Charlie rode. Abramson is adept at the transitions between the characters, though it's a bit jarring at first to see a swaggering lieutenant in a nightgown. There are many switches back and forth in time, but director Stuart Carden guides his performers well, and there is little confusion.

Tony Ferrieri presents an amazing set of rolling hills, with winding bare paths and wild grasses. The sky he and Lighting Designer Andrew David Ostrowski have created is a work of art as it changes in atmosphere, and embraces, overhead, two sides of audience seating.

Mary's Wedding continues through April 5 on the City's mainstage theatre. For performance and ticket information, call 412.431.CITY (2489) or visit

Photo: Suellen Fitzsimmons

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