About Shotgun Wedding
‘Shotgun Wedding’ is a musical theatre play by Leonard Cervantes with original music by Kierscey Rand. The play is about making the right choices, even when they seem wrong… and vice-versa. It incorporates 90s R&B music, spoken word and movement – all wrapped up in a nostalgia that challenges us all to reflect on who we’ve become. At the risk of sounding cliché, this is a coming-of-age piece.
Set within the snapshot of very “paisley and rayon” 1990s Mississauga, the play revolves around Edsel Catalig, a dutiful and responsible Filipino Canadian teenager who is the glue that binds his crew of ‘flips’ together. No one is a more bestowed recipient of his unwavering devotion than Veronica, the local beauty pageant queen — Edsel’s “best friend” and the not-so-secret object of his unrequited affection.
When Veronica announces that she is pregnant at 18th birthday debut cotillion, Edsel springs to the rescue, ready to take any and all responsibility for his damsel in distress. Commendable if not only for the fact that Veronica’s baby isn’t his, but Jerome’s, Veronica’s secret boyfriend – who also happens to be black. Edsel must juggle university, the possibility of marriage, impending surrogate fatherhood, a retail job at the mall, not to mention cultural baggage, parental pressure, Catholic guilt, honour and loyalty – all for a child that isn’t his and a girl who may not love him.
Edsel’s high school “crew” is along for the ride; Kate comes from a single-parent family and must work two retail jobs to save for her own 18th year birthday party, all the while secretly pining for Edsel. And then there are “The Boyz” - John Paul, Noel and Ferben – Edsel’s friends who address the hopelessness of the suburbs by acting out in irresponsible and sometimes violent way. They illustrate the reason for Edsel’s intense yearning to break out of the mold find his own path, without first questioning if his own choices.
Edsel comes to realize that despite misunderstanding, betrayal and heartbreak, friendship remains and the memories of youth last forever. Even our mistakes mold us into the adults that we become. They impact our principles, the way we govern ourselves, the way we treat others and the way we live our lives. In the end, Edsel realizes that being wrong is a part of finding the truth and that the right answer might just be to stay.
Either way, it ends with everyone doing ‘The Electric Slide’.
For more information, please email [email protected]