The way Matt May and Jennifer Sierra-Grobbelaar finish each other’s sentences, you’d think they were an old married couple.
May, a longtime fixture in South Florida’s theater community, and Sierra-Grobbelaar, the director of marketing at the Broward Center, are only good friends — more like Will and Grace, May emphasized — but they do enjoy weddings.
Four years ago, the duo created “Diego & Drew Say I Do,” an interactive theatrical experience that welcomed audiences to the wedding festivities of two young gay men from very different backgrounds.
Guests witnessed the ceremony, enjoyed a Latin/Southern fusion feast, danced the night away and even got to sample the wedding cake.
While it may be easy to draw comparisons with other popular audience-participation shows like “Tony & Tina’s Wedding,” May and Sierra-Grobbelaar delivered a unique experience: celebrating love with two handsome grooms, their two eccentric families, an uptight wedding planner, an ex-boy band crooner and a diva in drag, all the essential components for a fabulous gay wedding.
Local LGBT audiences embraced the show and some unexpected opportunities the occasion presented. During opening night, this writer proposed to his longtime boyfriend and at a subsequent show during the second weekend, an actual marriage was conducted.
“During dinner, our wedding planner character, Chauncey, goes from table to table to share any special occasions, like birthdays and anniversaries,” explained Sierra-Grobbelaar, noting the lucky couple even brought their own officiant.
May and Sierra-Grobbelaar are expecting more romantic moments as they prepare for a new production opening Feb. 6, again in the center’s Abdo New River Room. And, because February is the “month of love” thanks to Valentine’s Day, she said the timing is “kismet.”
“There will always be surprises,” added May.
About half of the original cast are reprising their roles, and the original wedding rings handcrafted four years ago by Matthew’s Custom Jewelers will be returning.
“We thought they were going to be melted down, but they instead displayed them at their Plantation store,” Sierra-Grobbelaar said. “The rings themselves are almost a character [in the show], so we’re happy to have them back, too.”
The producers also noted the enthusiastic support of Georgie’s Alibi, Men’s Wearhouse and Cabaret Barber Shop.
“The community is really rallying around us,” Sierra-Grobbelaar said of the revival. “It’s wonderful to have everyone be a part of the family. It’s not about just selling tickets, but also about that sense of family and community.”
Proceeds from the dollar dance at each performance will be donated to a new nonprofit partner, the World AIDS Museum and Educational Center in Wilton Manors.
Verve Central Productions and the Broward Center present “Diego & Drew Say I Do,” Feb. 6 – 16 in the Abdo New River Room at the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale. Tickets are $65 at BrowardCenter.org.