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Father of the Bride

by Caroline Francke

April 14th - June 5th

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Mr. Banks learns that one of the young men he has seen occasionally about the house is about to become his son-in-law. Daughter Kay announces the engagement out of nowhere. Mrs. Banks and her son are happy, but Mr. Banks is in a dither. Buckley and Kay don’t want a “big” wedding—just a simple affair with a few friends! Then trouble really begins. The guest list grows larger each day, a caterer is called in, florists, furniture movers and dressmakers take over, and the Banks household is soon caught in turmoil—not to mention growing debt.

The performance runs 2 hours and ten minutes including intermission.

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Detailed Description:

Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Banks request the honor of your presence at the upcoming production of Father of the Bride, the tender romantic comedy by Caroline Francke. This happy celebration of love and marriage begins on April 14th and runs through June 5th at the Oil Lamp Theater, 1723 Glenview Road in Glenview. Cake will be served!

Stanley Banks is a happy suburban husband and father of two. One Sunday morning, his 21 year old daughter Kay announces to the family that she’s getting married – and Stanley’s world is turned upside down. He realizes that he is no longer just a husband and a father… he has become something that has instilled fear into the hearts of brave men since the beginning of time: He is now the Father of the Bride! 

Everything starts out well when Kay and her fiancé say they want to keep things as simple — a wedding with “no fuss or feathers.”  They agree to limit the guest count to no more than fifty. But somehow, the invitation list soon balloons to over three hundred. How did that happen? But it gets worse. The Banks family has forgotten that the groom’s family will want to invite guests as well!  Soon, the entire Banks family is careening pell-mell toward their daughter’s special day, with misunderstandings, misadventures, and delightful confusion along the way. As these all-too-fallible characters try to cope with one of life’s milestones, Oil Lamp audiences will recognize many timeless truths about love, marriage and the bonds of family that hold us together.

Caroline Francke wrote this stage play in 1951 based on the 1949 novel by Edward Streeter, Father of the Bride. The story has delighted audiences for generations with its warm insights and wit. This tale has twice been made into a movie, first in 1950 with Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor, and again in 1991 with Steve Martin, Diane Keaton and Martin Short. Both of these films were followed up by sequels (Father’s Little Dividend and Father of the Bride, Part II), a television sitcom in the early 1960s, and various other adaptations. This story continues to touch the hearts of new generations of fathers, daughters and families as we carry on with the age-old challenges of coming to terms with love and marriage.

In a recent conversation about this play, Director Keith Gerth noted that Father of the Bride is the second in a trilogy of 2016 Oil Lamp productions that explore relationships between fathers and daughters. “This show was preceded on our stage by Proof, a powerful drama about a daughter’s attempts to define her own identity while caring for her father, a mathematical genius on the edge of madness. It will be followed in mid-June by On Golden Pond, another powerful family drama that takes on the challenges faced by a married couple in their twilight years and their daughter’s efforts to reconnect with her father. Each of these shows helps us look at the relationships between fathers and daughters through its own lens, and allows us to see new dimensions in those relationships that we might not have considered before.”

”One of the joys of Father of the Bride is how it reveals so many basic truths about families… all families, really… and how we deal with life transitions like weddings. We always seem to start out with the best intentions, but things almost never go the way we thought. And somewhere, in the midst of all the planning, the celebrating and the chaos, we discover what’s really important to us… and that can be a revelation.” Gerth added, with a twinkle in his eye, “By the way, we want our audiences to know that every performance of this show really will be a celebration, and everyone will be invited to participate — so wedding cake will be served at every performance. And don’t be surprised if there’s a bouquet toss, too. After all, it’s Kay’s wedding!”

The cast of Father of the Bride features Andy Clifton as Stanley Banks, Nicola Howard as Eleanor Banks, Katie Mancuso as Kay banks, Evan Cullinan as Tommy Banks. Grant Niezgodski as Buckley Dunstan, Nick Hodge as Joe, Michael Dalberg as Massoula, Anna Cline as Delilah, June Miller as Miss Bellamy, Gus Schlanbusch as Red and Michael Ermel as Pete.

Keith Gerth (Artistic Director and Director) founded Oil Lamp Theater in 2005. Prior to establishing the Theater, which was located in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago, Keith held a number of positions with wide-ranging skills. After high school, Keith was a carpenter for eight years with Murray Countertops in Streator, Illinois. Keith left that position in 1989 to obtain a degree in Financial Accounting from Illinois State University. Keith graduated with honors and began working for the global professional services firm of Deloitte in 1991 and became a Certified Public Accountant. He worked at Deloitte for fifteen years in the Audit and Assurance practice, which he retired from in 2005 at the level of Director. Keith was professionally trained in acting at Act One Studios in Chicago, Illinois. Keith has been actively involved in the community through Chicago Cares and has served as a board officer for The Illinois Fatherhood Initiative and the Glenview Art League. Keith has also served on the board of Factory Theater in Chicago. Keith is married to Carole Flamm. They live in Northbrook.

Performances of Father of the Bride are Thursdays through Sundays, with evening performances at 8:00pm and Sunday matinees at 3:00pm. Tickets are $35 and include complimentary cookies, soft drinks and, for this production, wedding cake. Oil Lamp Theater is BYOB with complimentary corkage and glasses. Tickets are available at 847-834-0738 or online at oillamptheater.org. Group rates are available.

Cast and Crew:

Director- Keith Gerth
Assistant Director- Marisa Lerman
Stage Manager- Becca Holloway

Mr. Banks

portrayed by

Andy Clifton

Mrs. Banks

portrayed by

Nicola Howard

Kay Banks

portrayed by

Katie Mancuso

Buckley Dunstan

portrayed by

Grant Niezgodski

Tommy Banks

portrayed by

Evan Cullinan


portrayed by

Anna Cline

Miss Bellamy

portrayed by

June Miller

Mr. Massoula

portrayed by

Michael Dalberg


portrayed by

Nicholas Hodge


portrayed by

Gus Schlanbusch


portrayed by

Michael Ermel