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Catholic groom, Jewish bride take center stage

Leslie Law as Judy Steinberg (far left), Mara Solar as Rebecca Steinberg (second from left), John Dewar as Murray Steinberg, and Kat Ramsburg as Jenny Steinberg.   - Photo by Erinn Hale
Leslie Law as Judy Steinberg (far left), Mara Solar as Rebecca Steinberg (second from left), John Dewar as Murray Steinberg, and Kat Ramsburg as Jenny Steinberg.
— image credit: Photo by Erinn Hale

On stage, an actor and actress can appear perfectly in love during their duet or dance number. Yet, after the curtain goes down, they can’t stand each other’s guts.

This happens more often than you think.

That’s why both Mara Solar and Timothy Wilson, who respectively play a bride and groom in Village Theatre’s newest original show, “It Shoulda Been You” were relieved when, on the first day of rehearsal, they had to do a kissing scene and, lo and behold – it wasn’t too painful.

“It was like, ‘Oh hey, I don’t know you, here I come,’” said Wilson, an actor returning to the professional stage with the Issaquah theater after several years of managing a clothing store in New York City.

Of course, the two actors are used to hugging, smooching and even crying on command whenever the script calls for it. But it certainly helps when you have develop a friendship with your costars, said Solar, who’s previously appeared in “Saving Aimee” at 5th Avenue Theatre before landing her first professional leading role, one of a handful of main characters, in “It Shoulda Been You.”

Described as a “Mazel tov with a twist,” the musical depicts the story of a Jewish bride (portrayed by Solar) and a Catholic groom (portrayed by Wilson) on their wedding day – in addition to the antics of their wacky, fearsome mothers.

When the bride’s ex-boyfriend crashes the party, the wedding starts to unravel. Plots are hatched, pacts are made, secrets are exposed – and the sister of the bride is left to turn a tangled mess into happily ever-after.

Based on a book, the musical was developed in the Village Original’s program before making its mainstay debut this year. Solar described the show as a sitcom for the stage. While it includes musical theater’s singing, the big dance numbers have been left behind in place of characters that are funny, but have more depth than you might find in classic musical theatre, Solar said.

Working closely with both a director and writer/lyrycist Brian Hargrove among others, the two were constantly given the challenge of staying on top of script and song changes.

With a new musical that hasn’t been tested out with full costumes, lights and mainstage-size audience, the writers are constantly testing out their material in the rehearsal room where they can then change a joke if it’s not funny, or the arrangement of who sings a song to be more true to the characters’ objectives.

It won’t be until opening night that the show is “locked in.”

“She still tells me when I need to pick her up and twirl her in one of our dance numbers,” Wilson said.

If you go

What: ‘It Shoulda Been You

When: March 14-April 22

Where: 303 Front St. N, Issaquah.

Tickets: www.villagetheatre.org or 425-392-2202

 

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