Zoey’s Perfect Wedding – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

If you’re planning a party, a wedding eclipses all other events. It does not for a moment compare to a mere birthday brunch or anniversary barbecue. The expectations for top flight and over the top arrangements are clearly in the mind of the bride, while the groom feels showing up in a tuxedo with the proper colored tie is his primary responsibility. If you’ve dreamed of this day ever since the minute you reached puberty, then you are ready to meet the current lady of the hour who is anticipating “Zoey’s Perfect Wedding” at TheaterWorks Hartford by Matthew Lopez until Sunday, June 5.

Anticipating problems and solving them before they reach crisis stage is not even on the horizon Everything should be thoroughly examined and evaluated weeks if not months in advance. Color schemes, flower arrangements, tasting menu and cake sessions completed, listening to band selections for the best playlist, and, of course, the all-important wedding invitations and venue locations have all been scrutinized and dissected, Gowns for bride and bridesmaids and formal attire have been altered and fitted, coiffures have been styled, shoes have been tested at least a half dozen times, dance lessons have been practiced and the honeymoon reserved and paid for. Guest gift favors have been selected and wrapped and the countdown is getting alarmingly close.

What could go wrong? Practically everything it seems…but to hilarious results. Come meet Zoey, a hopeful Rachel B. Joyce, who has such high expectations her Jewish family will engage with her new husband’s Southern clan who don’t know a hora from a kreplach (a dance from a dumpling).

She has entrusted all the wedding’s thousand intricate details to her novice wedding planner, her cousin Missy, a sincerely trying to please Hallie Eliza Friedman. If money hadn’t been an issue, she would have asked her best friend from college Rachel, an outspoken Blair Lewin, an actual wedding planner, to do the honors. Rachel is busy with her own set of problems, trying to comprehend the sexual practices of her old friend Sam, a free thinking and acting Hunter Ryan Herdlicka, and the estrangement evident with her husband Charlie, a conflicted Daniel Jose Molina (at this performance Stephen Stocking). Meanwhile back at the turntable, DJ, an unconcerned Esteban Carmona, plays only the tunes he likes to hear.

Being seated at the worse table becomes palatable when the guests discover it is near a bar no one else knows exists. After a few dozen tequila shots, no one cares any more that “situations” exist, that no food is being served, and that no one has the power to “keep chaos at bay.” You will not be bored and the action moves quickly along as do the many laughs, under the spontaneous direction of Rob Ruggiero.

For tickets ($25 and up), call TheaterWorks Hartford, 233 Pearl Street, Hartford at 860- 527-7838 or online at twhartford.org. Performances are Tuesday to Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m.. Saturday at 2:30 p.m. on some days and 8 p.m. on all dates and Sunday at either 2:30 p.m. or 7:30 on May 15. Check online for the theater’s vaccination and masking protocol.

No need to bring a present as Zoey and Patrick McCallister will be delighted to save you a seat of honor, front and center, at their nuptials.