Deerly beloved, Neptune’s Stag & Doe delivers on laughs

No shortage of material in wedding quests for a “perfect day.”

Maria Dinn as Mandy and Charlotte Gowdy as Dee in Stag and Doe. - TIMOTHY RICHARD
Timothy Richard
Maria Dinn as Mandy and Charlotte Gowdy as Dee in Stag and Doe.

Weddings are meant to be a celebration of love, but all too often this sentiment gets hijacked by the pressures of delivering a "perfect day." Neptune Theatre's winter comedy Stag & Doe explores in a humorous and affectionate way the perils of losing focus on what really matters.  

The play opens in a community hall kitchen where Brad (Jeffrey Wetsch), Bonnie (Samantha Cade) and Bonnie's best friend Dee (Charlotte Gowdy) are preparing for their stag and doe. (For those not in the know, a stag and doe is a party with games of chance and a cash bar, thrown by an engaged couple to raise money for their wedding.) Complications arise when a spoiled bride-to-be named Mandy (Maria Dinn) and her weaselly groom Rob (Daniel Gervais) demand the use of the hall to stage their hastily-relocated reception.

Brad and Bonnie are stable and down-to-earth, and both Wetsch and Cade give believable, relatable performances. Mandy and Rob are more cartoonesque, and while Gervais manages to humanize Rob, Dinn's Bridezilla act could use more nuance.

The emotional heart of the play is the unlucky-in-love Dee, and Gowdy does a terrific job of making her tough and vulnerable. Her budding romance with the adorable caterer (Tyrone Savage) is a great reminder of why people consider spending their lives together in the first place.

There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments in Stag & Doe. But the play also pops the big question: Are weddings really about a single day, or a lifetime?

Stag & Doe
Through February 7
Neptune Theatre, 1593 Argyle Street

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