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BWW Review: THE FIANCEE Charms Edmonton


The Fiancée runs at the Citadel Theatre until November 28.

BWW Review: THE FIANCEE Charms Edmonton

Lucy believed every soldier should have someone to come home to after World War II. Compelled by her compassion, she accepts three different marriage proposals from three different men only for all of them to show up at her apartment on the day they return home. She must make up her mind about who and what she wants while simultaneously evading her formidable new landlady, lamenting her sister/roommate Rose's job loss, and enduring poorly-timed product pitches from a bumbling door-to-door salesman.

Set in post-war Edmonton, The Fiancée is a fast-paced romantic comedy written by Holly Lewis and directed by Daryl Cloran. From the moment the curtain rises on Lucy and Rose's pink-walled apartment, the audience is effortlessly immersed in the sisters' world. Helen Belay is endlessly entertaining as Lucy, earning big laughs as she scrambles around in a panic, sending one suitor out on fake errands and locking another in the bathroom to keep the men from crossing paths. Tangled up in this fiasco is Rose (Patricia Cerra), who only learns of her sister's engagements upon seeing the soldiers' telegrams. Though the most level-headed of the two, Rose finds herself swept up in Lucy's antics, even going so far as to wrench the towel rack from the bathroom wall, demand that a suitor fix it, and lock him away from sight. Together, Belay and Cerra share such believable sisterly chemistry that it's hard to believe they are not related in real life.

The rest of the cast is equally memorable. As Lucy's first suitor, Dick, Tenaj Williams oozes charm and nonchalance, cool as a cucumber despite the plot's mounting hilarity. Farren Timoteo is laugh-out-loud hilarious as second fiancé, Manny, his clumsy antics and puppy-like agreeability enjoyable to watch. Rounding out the trio of homecoming soldiers is Clark, a stoic but kind-hearted captain played by Sheldon Elter. Further complicating Lucy's precarious situation are formidable and glamorous new landlady Ms. Crotch (Lora Brovold) and overwrought vacuum salesman (also played by Sheldon Elter).

All of the fast-paced drama unfolds in Lucy and Rose's apartment, a spacious and thoughtfully-decorated set designed by Whittyn Jason. Details such as retro kitchen appliances, a working sink, and a blush pink rotary telephone help create a beautifully homey atmosphere for the two sisters. Leona Brausen's costumes add further nuance to the 1945 setting while Daniela Fernandez's sound design includes whimsical strains of old-time melodies. Paired with the cast's stellar performances, the production's overall effect is playful, unique, and wonderfully escapist.

The Fiancée runs at the Citadel Theatre until November 28. Proof of vaccination and mandatory masking are required for all audience members.

Photo by Nanc Price for the Citadel Theatre, The Fiancée, 2021

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