"Quite possibly Foster's best play to date." - The Guelph Mercury

Kathleen Egan Veinotte and John Weir in the Upper Canada Playhouse production of Maggie's Getting Married. 2002.

 



  MAGGIE'S GETTING MARRIED takes place the night before the wedding of Maggie Duncan and Russell MacMillan. The setting is the Duncan family kitchen. In the next room, there is a small gathering of friends and relatives who have just come from the wedding rehearsal. In the following scene, Maggie's father, Tom, is trying to find a subtle way to question his daughter about her choice of a mate. A choice he is not completely in agreement with.
   
   
TOM: Maggie? Got a minute?
MAGGIE: Sure. What is it, Dad?
TOM: Oh, nothing much. I just want a moment alone with my princess, that's all.
MAGGIE: Oh, Dad. Are you feeling mushy?
(Maggie gives Tom a hug.)
TOM: Of course I am. This is one of those times in a father's life when he's supposed to feel sentimental. I'm just doing my duty.
MAGGIE: Uh-huh. And what are the other times when you're supposed to feel sentimental?
TOM: When you call me Daddy for the first time, and when you call me Daddy for the last time.
MAGGIE: I was thirteen years old when I stopped.
TOM: Twelve.
MAGGIE: You remember?
TOM: It's branded onto my heart.
MAGGIE: Want me to start again?
TOM: No. It's not the same if I have to ask for it. (Beat.) Maggie...
MAGGIE: Dad, can I ask you something?
TOM: Sure.
MAGGIE: Are you and Mom going to be all right?
TOM: What do you mean?
MAGGIE: After I move out. I mean, do you two still have enough in common to hold a relationship together?
TOM: Maggie, your mother and I have been married for so long, there's nothing we don't have in common.
MAGGIE: Really?
TOM: I think we're even sharing a liver.
MAGGIE: I'm serious, Dad. I'm worried about you two.
TOM: Well, don't be. We're going to be just fine without you here. Better maybe. In fact, just last night your mother was saying how she can't wait for you to move out so that her and I can start doing yoga in the nude.
MAGGIE: Well, let me just thank you for holding off on that until I do move out.
TOM: Hey, we're going to be just fine. Don't worry. Now, what about you? That's what I want to talk about. Are you all set for the big day?
MAGGIE: I think so.
TOM: Are you excited?
MAGGIE: Uh-huh.
TOM: Anxious?
MAGGIE: Yeah, that too.
TOM: Nervous maybe?
MAGGIE: Yeah.
TOM: Unsure?
MAGGIE: Unsure? Why would I be unsure?
TOM: Oh, uh...I don't know. I'm just assuming. I mean, this is a big step in a young woman's life. I thought maybe some doubts would creep in at this time.
MAGGIE: Doubts about what?
TOM: Anything. Anything at all. Like, have you chosen the right flowers, is the limo gassed up, did you pick the right man?
MAGGIE: Dad?!
TOM: Well, you don't want to run out of gas on the way to the church.
MAGGIE: What do you mean did I pick the right man?
TOM: Maggie, I want you to be sure, that's all. The thing I want more than anything in this world, is for my daughters to be happy.
MAGGIE: And you don't think I'll be happy with Russell?
TOM: I don't know if you will be. I don't know. All I'm saying is, if for any reason, any reason at all, you think that maybe you're rushing into this after only knowing the man for seven months when you usually take an hour to decide whether to have pink grapefruit or regular grapefruit for breakfast because you're so picky, if you have any doubts like that, then I'm here to give you an out.
MAGGIE: An out?
TOM: Yes.
MAGGIE: I don't want an out.
TOM: Good.
MAGGIE: I don't need an out.
TOM: That's great. All I'm saying is that planning a wedding is like..like building a house. You want your nice big front door for the entrance, and then you want to have a back door handy in case you have to get out in a hurry. I'm just roughing out that back door for you.
MAGGIE: And how are you doing that?
TOM: Well, by telling you that you can call the wedding off right now if you like, and I'll absorb the costs.
MAGGIE: What?
TOM: You won't have to give it a second thought.
MAGGIE: Dad, why are you doing this now? Why are you doing this on the night before I'm supposed to get married?
TOM: You think it's too late in the game?
MAGGIE: No, I just think that if you had these thoughts in the first place, you would have brought them to my attention when I got engaged.
TOM: Well, I didn't want to spoil your engagement day.
MAGGIE: Oh, good, so instead you'll just put these doubts in my head hours before my wedding day.
TOM: No, I didn't mean to do that...
MAGGIE: So, what don't you like about him?
TOM: What?
MAGGIE: Russell. What don't you like about him?
TOM: I didn't say I didn't like him. I'm sure he's fine, but....
MAGGIE: But what?
TOM: But, is he the best one for you? Is he the one man in the universe whose destiny it is to share your life and your heart?
MAGGIE: Well, I didn't check the entire universe. I know there was nobody who caught my fancy on Jupiter.
TOM: So, you're sure he's the one for you then?
MAGGIE: Well, I thought I was sure.
TOM: But, you're not now?
MAGGIE: I don't know now.
TOM: I'm sorry, was it something I said?
MAGGIE: It was everything you said! Geez, I'm insecure enough as it is. You know that. And now you come to me the night before the most important day of my life and you question the biggest decision I'll ever make. What kind of a father are you?
TOM: A typical one. One who wants his favourite daughter to have the best possible life she can have.
MAGGIE: Favourite daughter?
TOM: Uh-huh.
MAGGIE: I'm your favourite?
TOM: Of course you are.
MAGGIE: Dad, you're not supposed to have a favourite. Don't you think Wanda would be hurt if she heard you say that?
TOM: Ahhh, I tell Wanda she's my favourite too. Now, come on, let's go say good-bye to Aunt Doris.
Copyright 2000 Norm Foster

 

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