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STAGES St. Louis’ 30th anniversary season kicks off with a ‘wedding from hell’

From left: Jeff Sears (Brian Howard), Kari Ely (Georgette Howard), Edward Juvier (Albert), Zoe Vonder Haar (Judy Steinberg), and Stacie Bono (Rebecca Steinberg) in STAGES’ 2016 production of "It Shoulda Been You."
Peter Wochniak ProPhotoStl.com
From left: Jeff Sears (Brian Howard), Kari Ely (Georgette Howard), Edward Juvier (Albert), Zoe Vonder Haar (Judy Steinberg), and Stacie Bono (Rebecca Steinberg) in STAGES’ 2016 production of "It Shoulda Been You."";

Picture the “perfect” wedding day: the sun is shining, no one spills anything on dresses or tuxedos, and there is no family discord about who is walking who down the aisle.

Weddings like these are rarely spotted in reality, a fact capitalized on in local theater company STAGES St. Louis’ 30th season opener: “It Shoulda Been You,” running June 3 through July 3. The musical follows a wedding day and the hijinks that ensue around it — complete with uninvited guests, family secrets and typical mother-in-law drama.

The musical moves at a fast clip at only an hour and a half with no intermission.

“This show just hits the ground running and never lets up,” said John Flack, who plays the role of Uncle Morty in the production.  “It has that same kind of energy through the entire production.”

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, Flack and three other local actors involved with the musical joined contributor Steve Potter to discuss both STAGES’ anniversary and share their experiences.

Credit Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio
Steve Isom and Zoe Vonder Haar.

Combined, the actors have over 100 years of experience with STAGES.  Zoe Vonder Haar, playing the role of Judy Steiner in “It Shoulda Been You,” has performed with STAGES ever since the second season. This is her 64th production with the troupe.

“I was actually supposed to be in the first year, but then got pregnant,” said Vonder Haar. “But that’s how I remember how old my daughter is. I remember how old STAGES is and then I can figure her out.”

Kari Ely, who plays the role of Georgette Howard, has performed with STAGES for 24 seasons. Steve Isom, who plays the role of Walt, has been with STAGES for 22 seasons.

Flack had his first performance with STAGES in 1991, when he played the title role of Snoopy in the musical “Snoopy.

“The very first production I was ever in in my life was Snoopy,” he said.

In addition to these four actors, there are five other local actors and eight performers from New York.

The show centers on a big, fancy, expensive wedding and the actors in it say that there is something to relate to in it for everyone.

“This spoofs just about every situation you can think of in a wedding,” said Ely.

Credit Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio
Kari Ely and John Flack.

“Just about everything you think can go wrong, does,” said VonderHaar.

Ely continued: “It’s the wedding from hell. Can I say that on the radio?”

In addition to the typical wedding complaints, Ely also said the performance is about “people finding themselves in that hour and a half on stage — deciding who they are and what they want, what they’re going to go after.”

Vonder Haar hopes the audience will come away with a few lessons learned.

“A lot of people want a perfect wedding,” Vonder Haar said. “It has to be a storybook, perfect wedding. But there’s no such thing.”

As for her own personal feelings about weddings? Vonder Haar likes them.

“As long as they are not my own,” she continued.

Related Event

What: STAGES St. Louis Presents "It Shoulda Been You"
When: June 3 - July 3, 2016
Where: Robert G. Reim Theatre at the Kirkwood Civic Center, 111 South Geyer Road, St. Louis, MO 63122
More information.

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary Edwards, Alex Heuer and Kelly Moffitt give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region. 

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Kelly Moffitt joined St. Louis Public Radio in 2015 as an online producer for St. Louis Public Radio's talk shows St. Louis on the Air.

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