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Wedding wackiness

February 9, 2015

Photo of a weddingLove and relationships in the tumultuous late 1960s is the focus of the next NIU theater production, opening Thursday, Feb. 12, and running through Sunday, Feb. 15.

The School of Theatre and Dance will present “Lovers and Other Strangers” by Renee Taylor and Joseph Bologna and guest directed by NIU alumna Kerry Perrella.

“Both playwrights are New Yorkers. They have a very sharp wit,” Perrella said. “This is a very funny look at how these major ideas and huge cultural shifts translated into everyday relationships.”

The play chronicles an impending marriage between two young lovers, and through a series of five vignettes, their relationship trials and tribulations as well as those of several of their relatives and friends.

As the wedding day progresses, so do the conflicts. The father of the bride is in love with his wife’s best friend. The groom’s brother comes to realize he wants a divorce, which sets up another vignette, where the groom’s parents relentlessly attempt to talk him out of it.

One scene depicts one of the cousins being pursued by a playboy usher. In a bit of role reversal, it is she who manages to be the pursuer, on her own terms. Then there is the bride’s sister, who desperately wants her husband’s attention, but he wants nothing but television and sleep.

“(This play is a) great comedic look at what happens when women can have a voice, finally, and how the men have to deal with this new situation,” Perrella said.

The play was first published in 1968 and made into a hit movie in 1970 that was nominated for three Academy Awards.

“Lovers and Other Strangers” will stage in the Diversions Lounge of the Holmes Student Center. Curtain times are 7:30 p.m. weekdays and Saturday with 2 p.m. matinées Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $6. For tickets and more information, contact the SoTD box office at (815) 753-1600 or [email protected].