The Wedding Singer Review
In the world of showbiz entertainment, many a successful Broadway stage show has been adapted into a hit movie - The Sound of Music, Cabaret, Evita et al. With The Wedding Singer it's the reverse order.
Following the cult 1998 comedy film starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, the writer Tim Herlihy adapted the script into a stage musical, collaborating with lyricist Chad Beguelin and composer Matthew Sklar. The Wedding Singer premiered on Broadway in 2006, was nominated for numerous Tony awards and toured the US. The musical has taken off bigtime, with productions in Spain, Japan, Australia, Germany and Finland. And now it's come to Scotland as part of a pre West End UK tour.
So if you missed the original movie, what's it all about?
Set in 1985, Ridgefield, New Jersey, the teenage girls dream of finding Mr Right and plan a wedding day; the guys want to work hard, play hard, find a girl and settle down. For wannabe rock star Robbie, the only work in town is singing with two crazy friends in a band at wedding receptions. Marriage seems to be infectious in Ridgefield. Robbie is engaged to Linda, but is seriously attracted to Julia, a pretty blonde waitress who is engaged to Glen - this is a your typical sugar sweet, Grease and Happy Days-style romantic comedy.
The cheesy songs, costumes, storyline and characters are all a clever pastiche of the pop culture and "boy meets girl" social manners of the time. Picture the scene: disco dancing, Affro- perm hairdos, short skirts, satin jackets, tight jeans, the bar's open and it's party time.
For a touring production, the ambitious set, costume and scene changes are neatly executed, taking us from lavish wedding reception to department store, from Carousel restaurant with revolving tables to a first class aircraft cabin. Jonathan Wilkes and Natalie Casey as Robbie and Julia not only dance and sing with sheer pizzazz, they show dramatic, emotional heart in their romantic encounter. When they first kiss, there was a united "Aw" from the stalls.
The show is a true musical comedy with some fun, farcical character roles including Nick Hayes as camp lookalike Boy George and Jodie Jacobs as the vivacious Holly. The ensemble performs the slick choreography with exuberant energy in this feel-good, romantic movie, live on stage.
Show times: Edinburgh Playhouse - 19 - 24 May, 2008