LAKE GEORGE - The Lake George Dinner Theatre has established a reputation as a showcase for feel-good drama, clever mysteries and light comedy.
This year, it may have taken its offerings to a new level with a cohesive combination of seasoned cast, a smart script and tight direction in "Our Son's Wedding."
The Theatre's production for 2010 follows a couple - a plumber from the Bronx and his strong-willed wife - preparing to attend the nuptials of their son - to another man.
Veteran actor Paul D'Amato, famous as the character "Dr. Hook" in the hit movie Slapshot, plays Angelo Lo Presto, a plumber with traditional values who's wrestling with the concept of his son's homosexuality and its consequences.
His wife Mary Lo Presto, is portrayed by Marina Re, who's equally accomplished as an actress.
While early on, Angelo obsesses over the wedding plans sparking arguments with Mary over one aspect or another of the nuptials. Through the play, the emotional tension builds as they examine their own relationships with their son, explore aspects of their own bond, and the nature of their expectations for others.
Angelo's bullish side recedes, and his latent sensibilities emerge as he faces his own vulnerability, through a process in which details emerge about his own marriage to Mary.
The result is that through exploring the contemporary subject of conflicting attitudes toward gay marriage, the play presents a compelling venue for the audience to look at both comedic and poignant universal aspects of human nature.
And Our Son's Wedding takes its audience through this emotion-charged territory very successfully, without lapsing into easy or condescending stereotypes. Kudos also go to Theatre owner Terry Rabine, who produced and directed the show, for keeping the dialogue and stage action electric yet natural.
The acting is as superb as D'Amato's and Re's credentials promise, and their onstage banter is particularly spirited and spontaneous - perhaps because they're partners in real life. The script is loaded with comic quips that couples relate intimately to - the lively comments about the characters amongst diners during the intermission at nearby tables, and their shared laughter, provided proof of it.
The Lake George Dinner Theatre's food has always been good - the theatre is located in the recently upgraded Lake George Holiday Inn Resort - and this year is no exception.
Reputed to be the smallest professional dinner theater in the nation with 145 seats, it provides an intimate atmosphere where the audience experiences emotion viscerally, and actors feed off the energy and response of the audience.
This is particularly true with Our Son's Wedding, which offers a stimulating and enjoyable evening, and continues a recent tradition with Terry Rabine and his dinner theater, of exploring new dramatic territory.
Performances are offered Wednesday through Saturday nights with dinner seating beginning at 6:30. Matinees are scheduled every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with special Saturday matinee luncheons on Aug. 21, Sept.18 & 25 and October 9.
Reservations are requested 24 hours in advance and may be made by calling the box office at (518) 668-5762 ext. 411 Discount packages are available for groups and show-only tickets are also available on the day of the show after 4 p.m. For details, see: lakegeorgedinnertheatre.com.