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Joyce Endee

Community theater at work: M&D Productions, all the trimmings of a wedding, on and off stage

The cast of 5 Women Wearing the Same Dress. The show stars Hannah Gaschott as Tricia, Natasha Repass as Frances, Eric Jordan as Tripp, Kelly Karuzis as Georgeanne, Bethany Taylor as Meredith and Jodie Mullin as Mindy. (Lisa DuFault Photo) (click for larger version)
April 07, 2011
Most weddings are all about the bride. This one is all about the bridesmaids and is the plot of Alan Ball's 1993 play, "5 Women Wearing the Same Dress," performed by M&D Productions, opening on April 14 at Your Theater in Willow Common in North Conway. The show will run April 14 through 16, April 21 through 23 and April 28 through 30.

The bridesmaids talk about their life experiences, why they are at the wedding and their contentious relationship to the bride, explains Mark DeLancey, managing director of M&D Productions. "The play is hilarious, definitely adult humor and adult language," says DeLancey. "You never see the bride," he adds.

There is one bride that will be seen. M&D Productions takes the play one step further and brings it into the community. You see there is a real wedding taking place at Your Theater on April 9.

"Tracy Ludwig and Ryan Orlando, who are theater people, Tracy performed in California Suite and Ryan helps with concessions, approached us about getting married at the theater," says DeLancey. Coincidentally, the real bride and the stage bride have the same first name, says DeLancey. DeLancey agreed to Orlando and Ludwig's wedding as long as he could tie the wedding into a show.

Perfect: a real wedding on the 9th and a stage wedding on the 14th. The action of the play takes place in the bedroom of the sister of the bride. The real couple is thinking about getting married on the four-poster bed on the set, says DeLancey.

Speaking of the bed, DeLancey shows his true dedication to theater as he points to the bed. "This is my untiring love for theater, that's my bed. I am sleeping on the floor on an air mattress," says DeLancey.

Seriously now, DeLancey does have a huge dedication to theater and works to collaborate with local businesses to promote theater. He tells of the other local events associated with this particular play.

Wine Thyme Restaurant and Wine Bar hosts a "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Night," the first Tuesday of the month to benefit a local non-profit. This past Tuesday, M&D Productions was the beneficiary. Three of the five actors in the play came down to the evening's festivities to talk about the show.

On April 12th at Your Theater, not only will there be a sneak preview for the theater's Promoters Club, local hotels and the press, but a 6 p.m. reception with complimentary hors d'oeuvres, beverages and the icing on the cake: real wedding cakes for the guests to taste and to judge.

Wedding Cake Wars

The cakes are part of the Wedding Cake Wars contest. The contest is open to all. The grand prize will be $100 and four season tickets to M&D Productions. There will be only one grand prize. Everyone is encouraged to enter.

Here are the rules of the contest.

1.All cakes are should not exceed 12 inches in height or nine inches around.

2.Cakes must be made of at least 80 percent cake.

3.All cakes must have no more than four tiers.

4.Cakes must have ingredients listed for those with allergies.

5.All cakes will be sampled and judged on appearance and taste by those who attend the sneak preview.

6.All cakes must be set up and ready for display by 5:30 p.m. on April 12.

7.All cakes will become property of M&D Productions after the event.

Those who wish to enter must do so by April 10 by calling 733-5275.

Dinner and Theater

There's more. On April 17, Rafferty's Restaurant will host a sneak peak with a dinner theater wedding theme. Guests are invited to dine at Rafferty's, see a play excerpt, enjoy a complimentary glass of wine with dinner, glass of spiced apple granati during the play with dessert afterwards. Guests are encouraged to come dressed for a wedding, if they like.

Rafferty's is one of the restaurants that participate in M&D Production's dinner and a play. Other participating restaurants include Wine Thyme Restaurant and Wine Bar and Bellini's Ristorante Italiano. M&D Productions is planning movie nights, too. Dates will be announced for the showing of "Butterfield 8," in honor of Elizabeth Taylor and for which she won an Academy Award.

Big plans for the community theater are being staged.

DeLancey works with local lodging properties to offer play and stay packages. The Red Jacket Mountain View Resort and The Residence Inn by Marriott have been the first to join. DeLancey says he has three groups of senior citizens coming to see "5 Women Wearing the Same Dress," has plans with the Gibson Center, Red Hat Society, the youth Street Team all to help promote theater in the community. Of course there is the Culture Café, located at the theater, which is nearing completion. Stay tuned for details on all accounts.

"We are always looking for inventive ways to collaborate with the community. We enjoy making relationships, concepts and working together. This is what we know how to do and what we love to do," says DeLancey.

For more information visit: http://www.yourtheatre.com or call the box office at 662-7591.

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