by Lorie Lewis Ham
Special discount on tickets to see The Wedding Singer for KRL readers only–details at the end of this article.
This past weekend my daughter and I went to see The Wedding Singer at Roger Rocka’s in Fresno. If you are a child of the 80’s like myself, or just love the 80’s like my daughter, you will enjoy being transported back in time by the music and the many 80’s references and song titles used in dialogue. But even if you aren’t, you will still enjoy the fun romantic comedy storyline and great music of this show.
I have to say first off that I love anything that Peter Allwine is in—he is always awesome and his voice is beautiful whether he’s singing 80’s tunes or songs from an older musical like Bye Bye Birdie. (check out our profile of Peter here on KRL) So the fact that Peter is playing Robbie Hart (the part played by Adam Sandler in the movie version) means to me that it will be an enjoyable show no matter what the rest of the cast or the storyline is like. However, The Wedding Singer was a good and fun show all the way around.If you are familiar with the movie version, the storyline is pretty close to the same just more music. Robbie Hart is a wedding singer who ends up being burned by love, but in the end falls for a beautiful waitress he meets working the same weddings, named Julia (Sonya Venugopal). Unfortunately, she is already engaged to an egotistical Wall Street jerk. The fun and sorrow that ensues along the way is pretty typical of a romantic comedy.
Julia’s best friend, Holly (Ali Larsen), really stood out to me. She is not only an excellent singer but a great dancer–I look forward to hopefully seeing more from her in the future. Julia’s fiancé, Glen, was very funny and an over the top character well played by Daniel Hernandez. Taylor Babcock as George was a riot. Robbie’s friend, Sammy (Tyler Branco), surprised the audience with an incredible voice when he had his solo later on in the show. Camille Gaston, as Robbie’s ex Linda, really blasted out the rock songs, and Sonya as Julia sang beautifully. The entire cast did a quality job.
Good Company Players jumped right on the chance to produce this show as soon as it became available. The Wedding Singer is a show that has been on our list for a while now, ever since it went to Broadway in 2006,” said GCP publications coordinator Brandi Martin. “It has an appeal to a younger audiences as well as anyone who was fortunate enough to remember the 80s firsthand. The music is hip and fresh, not a lot of our audiences have had a chance to see it before.”
“I wanted to direct the musical after listening to the Broadway Score,” stated Wedding Singer director Elizabeth Fiester. “I thought the score did a very good job of imitating several distinctive 80 styles and that interested me.
“I think The Wedding Singer can be a kind of fun look back to the 80’s, the way the musical GREASE does looking back at the 50’s. It has song after song, that makes you think of that dance you went to, or that boy/girl you once dated, and the way we used to dress.”
If you enjoy fun, romantic musicals, go see The Wedding Singer presented by Good Company Players at Roger Rocka’s Dinner Theater in Fresno until March 20. Check out their theatre page here on KRL for more details. Learn more about what went into the set of this show by checking out our article on GCP set designer David Pierce.