Q. Tell us about A Catered Affair.
Rachel: A Catered Affair is a modern musical by Harvey Fierstein and John Bucchino, based on the 1956 dramatic film starring Bette Davis, Debbie Reynolds, and Ernest Borgnine. It is the story of a young woman who wants to have a quick and simple wedding in front of a City Clerk, but her mother insists on giving her a large wedding with a fancy reception, which the blue-collar family can barely afford.
Q. What role do you play?
Rachel: I play Agnes Hurley, the mother-of-the-bride.
Q. What's your favorite song in the show?
Rachel: Robert Hutchens, who plays Uncle Winston, has a herculean number called "Immediate Family,” which ranges in emotion from bitingly funny to devastatingly honest. He does a tremendous job with a piece that is so challenging. Other favorite songs of mine are "I Stayed" (which is performed by James Holley) and "I'll Never Stop Saying I Love You" (performed by Abby Manis and Chad Arthur).
Q. What's been the most challenging aspect about the show?
Rachel: Aggie is a very emotionally challenging role, tackling issues like regret, grief, and bitterness. Aggie wants this wedding so desperately as a mother who wants to provide for her child and a woman who wishes her own life had been more fulfilling. I think people will find her story very relatable, however, which makes the challenge worth trying.
Q. What makes this show fun for you?
Rachel: It's set in Brooklyn, and I adore using that accent. It makes little-old-midwestern me feel stronger as a person.
Q. Why would you recommend this show to our readers?
Rachel: This show is likely to be a new experience for most audience members as neither the musical nor the film it is based on is very well known. While I also like going to more familiar shows like Phantom of the Opera or Oklahoma!, I think it's great going to something that will keep me on the edge of my seat as I discover something new.
Q: Thanks, Rachel!
A Catered Affair - ARTS presents the musical on Aug. 11, 12, 17, 18 and 19 at the Renaissance Theatre Ballroom at 900 8th Street in Huntington. General Admission is $15 show only and $30 for dinner and show. You must reserve reservations for dinner by calling 304-733-2787. The dinner menu for this show is: fresh kale lemon salad, baked steak with mushroom gravy, rice pilaf, apricot glazed carrots, and three tier wedding cake for dessert.