It has been about 12 years since Richey Suncoast Theatre presented the Ray Cooney- John Chapman comedy There Goes the Bride, but longtime RST fans still remember the big belly laughs they enjoyed during that show.
So does Charlie Skelton, who now is president of the theater board and played the father of the bride in that 1999 show. He liked the play so much, in fact, he has made his character's name part of his e-mail address.
"That was a great show, a wonderful show," Skelton said. "It was so much fun."
And not just for the actors. Theater patrons showed their appreciation by showing up in droves.
Previous patrons as well as those who missed There Goes the Bride the first time will get a second chance to see the lively, sexy show Thursday and weekends through Nov. 6.
Triple Tommy winner Jim Poe (including Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof) plays the lead role of Timothy Westerby, the father of the bride who is dividing his attention between the upcoming nuptials and a big assignment from his boss at an advertising agency. The assignment: Come up with a catchy campaign for a new line of brassieres a client is going to launch. Timothy thinks up an ad campaign based on flapper girls.
His mind wandering, Timothy accidentally bumps his head and is knocked out. When he wakes up, lo and behold, he's facing the flapper girl of his imaginary campaign, perky Polly Perkins (Yve Cedrez, in her Richey Suncoast debut). No one else can see Polly, so when Timothy carries on conversations with her, they think he's either nuts or talking to them, which leads to all kinds of misunderstandings and mixups.
Among the most discombobulating are his communications with the mother of the bride, Ursula Westerby (Vicki Knapp); the bride's grandmother, the rather stuffy Daphne Drimmond (Ginny Frabel); the groom's father, Charles Babcock (Rick Giordande); and the bride's grandfather, Dr. Gerald Drimmond, played by triple Tommy winner Bill Schommer (handyman in My Husband's Wild Desires, Tito in Lend Me a Tenor, Henry in Funny Money).
Gramps is further hindered by being hard of hearing, thus misunderstanding almost every word spoken and reacting accordingly.
As with other Cooney shows, the script is filled with double entendres, musings on sexual conduct, jokes about underwear and wedding nights, none of it too offensive but clever and funny for anyone 13 or older.
Allison Iskowicz plays the rather minor role of the bride, Judy, and Nate Sakovich rounds out the cast as Bill Shorter, Timothy's pal and business partner.
Jim Laird makes his directorial debut.
"I think people will like this show," Laird said.