Sunday, January 20, 2008

Wedded Blitz

Last evening, my lovely wife Christine and I attended the long-awaited and much-anticipated wedding of our dear friends, "Beat the Geeks" star/music producer Andy Zax and his intended, the enchanting actress/photographer/designer Lisa Jane Persky, both of whom we've mentioned here often before. To say the wedding was spectacular would be an understatement. The bride was resplendent in a white gown she herself designed. The groom was his usual droll, articulate self. Both sets of parent were beaming. And the room was riddled with celebrities too numerous to name, though I ought to name a few.

Sitting at our table were old friends J. Keith van Straaten and Jim Newman, host and director respectively of the mightily-missed What's My Line - Live on Stage. J. Keith also served as Master of Ceremonies for the evening and did his usual splendid job of it. At the next table over was my beloved buddy Harlan Ellison and his sainted wife Susan, and across the room I noticed Beat the Geeks movie expert Marc Edward Heuck. The ceremony itself was presided over by Chief Justice of California and longtime Zax family friend, the Honorable (and I have no reason to believe otherwise) Ronald M. George.

But it really wasn't the celebrities that made the evening special. It was the wonderful sense of humor which pervaded the entire affair.

When we first arrived at the reception and ordered a refreshment from the bar, we noticed the silver embossed cocktail napkins which read:

"Andy's Mom asked us
if we wanted
customized cocktail napkins
and we said "Okay."


When we sat for the ceremony, there was a carefully folded program card on each seat. On the first page, under an illustration of two fingers locked together in those old Chinese handcuffs we played with as children and the words MATRIMONIAL BOND was the name, date and location of the wedding. On the second page, printed over an illustration of two wedding bands, was the Cast of Characters (in order of appearance), which proceeded to list the musicians (who, btw, were The Moog Cookbook, in their first public performance since 1997) and the aforementioned officiant. On the third page, printed over an illustration of a large wood screw was the following warning:
Not here at all:
(Lisa and Andy apologize in advance for any disappointment)
No maid of honor. No best man. No flower girl. No ring bearer. No bridesmaids. No bridesmaids' dresses. No Groomsmen. No ushers. No children's choir. No marching band. No dramatic reading. No laser light show. No doves erupting from a box.
And especially:
No special guest appearance by Durward Kirby.

On the fourth page, printed over an illustration of a pair of Groucho glasses, was a list of the people walking down the aisle.

When we arrived at the dinner table, the neatly-folded million-thread-count satin napkin at each place setting was wrapped in a piece of natural tree bark that enclosed a sprig of lavender and a kazoo. Beneath it was one of Lisa's marvelous Iris Blue Hand Fans, designed specifically for the occasion, and a printed menu which included a footnote that stated: "The happy couple freely admit that, were it not for the demands and expectations of the occasion as well as their great feelings of empathy and compassion towards their assembled friends and family, they would have been just as happy to serve up several thousand pigs-in-blankets and then skip directly to dessert." Instead, the menu consisted of an appetizer, a salad, a choice or either Filet Mignon or some sort of fish or this completely fictional third option:

Partkargens Havlevat on Rinastered Toasts Points,
Fescue-Infused Agar-Agar,
Larks' Tongues in Aspic (Part 2), and Canned Vole
(which, another footnote warned us, might contain nuts).

The wonderful wedding cake was topped, let's just call it an armored-dillo as was depicted on some old Emerson, Lake & Palmer album near and dear to Lisa's heart.

The after-dinner entertainment was led by a young man whose name at the moment sadly escapes me, who played accordion and as near as I can tell attempted to lead the audience in a singalong of old Polish drinking songs (though I could be wrong about that last part; when the accordion appeared, I fled the room).

In the back of the room, there was one of those old-fashioned photo booths that produce a four-shot strip of film. Guests were encouraged to have their pictures taken, which could then be pasted into a book of memories for Lisa and Andy. We, of course, happily complied.

As each guest left for the evening, they were given a bag of bagels and cream cheese to help get them through Sunday morning and a copy of today's New York Times that includes an announcement of the wedding, and which strikes me as pretty impressive. When Christine and I were married 16 years ago, I think the event might have rated a mention in the local Pennysaver.

And that, it appears, concludes my first report from the social front, which leaves me with just this to say:

Lisa and Andy, may your days together give you both as much joy and love as you have always given us. Let's do lunch when you get back from the honeymoon, okay? We miss ya, you crazy kids.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Best wishes to Andy (whom Carmela and I remember fondly from his days in Ithaca) and Lisa Jane!

May they know true happiness until the end of time and then some.

When you see them next, please pass along our congratulations.

--Roger Stern & Carmela Merlo