THE WEDDING SINGER THE MUSICAL COMEDY
Director: Paul Wilson
Choreographer: Amy Walker
Musical Director: Paul Lawton
This show is another successful film being made into a stage musical. I believe the storyline is all the more entertaining for its musical content. The film/musical is a throwback to the 1980s complete with ”Big Hair” and big “Shoulder Pads”. In fact, you would think you were coming to see another jukebox show. This, however, is not the case as there is a clever score which pays homage to the era.
The staging was simple which allowed the drama and music to take centre stage. The lighting created the mood for the in-love-with-love story. The sound design recreated the 1980s disco sound creating a big dose of nostalgia.
The director gave the strong cast free rein in order to allow the musical interpretation to be at the forefront of the drama. This music led comedy had all the original film’s charm and every crochet and quaver was crisply delivered. All the dance sequences added to the overall feel-good picture.
Ensemble work is so important to the success of the presentation. Everybody involved in Robbie’s journey was a different character illustrating each episode of his emotionally filled life.
The wedding singer’s bandmates, Sammy and George, are great friends with singer Robbie. Liam Bunka, with Rod Stewart locks, as Sammy, and John Dean as George found the comedy complete with Boy George hat and braids, created fun characters, with each individually having their moments.
Robbie has the best of landlords, his unconventional Grandma, Rosie. Kat Bond, as the geriatric who refuses to act her age, had bags of comic timing. Uninhibited Holly, loosely based on early Madonna, was effectively performed by Bethany Heywood. Bethany really knows her way around a script – she is a natural comic.
Enter the villain, the self-obsessed Glen Gugli. Sam Maurice was thoroughly believable as the wealthy city slicker as he extracted everything out of the script. Glen would have been more suited to Robbie’s trashy fiancée, Linda, who had jilted him at the altar. Annabelle Taylor made Linda more than just a cameo role.
Sweet natured waitress, Julia, won the affections of Robbie in the “will they, won’t they” plot of finding love. Kate Shaw was utterly charming as Julia, and Nick Ward, with his powerful vocals as Robbie, soon had the audience rooting for them to get together. This was a great pairing of talent.
The production had all the elements to making it a cracking show, so that a good time was had by all.