Review – The Wedding Singer – presented by Playback Productions

What better way to spend a balmy Melbourne evening than to head into the lovely St Kilda for some theatre. When I heard that Adam Sandler’s The Wedding Singer had been adapted into a musical I couldn’t help but get excited and start singing ‘You spin me right round baby, right round.’ The movie brings back so many fun memories for me and I was intrigued to see how the live musical would be transformed. I am happy to say that it did not disappoint!

The Wedding Singer is currently playing at Theatre Works in the eccentric suburb of St Kilda. The musical, which is a variation of the movie is presented by Playback Productions, produced by Connor Absolum and is led by director by Monica Cioccia.

The production, which runs for 2 hours (including interval) takes us back to a time of satin bridesmaid dresses, puffy shoulders, crimped hair dos, and, legwarmers.

Set in 1985 the story follows rock-star wedding singer Robbie Hart as he dances and sings upon the stage, he’s the wedding singer everyone wants to have and he loves weddings! That is until, his fiancé, Linda, leaves him at the altar. Robbie is simply heart broken and can no longer find happiness in others weddings. He then befriends Julia, a waitress at the reception centre, who is about to be married to Glen, a Miami Vice wannabe and all round jerk-off! As Robbie and Julia become fast friends and soon it leads to more, but can Robbie get the happy ending that he deserves, or will it be too late!

The storyline does take a slight twist when compared to the movie version, but the cleverly worded lyrics to the new songs are hilarious and work very well with this story. I was completely engaged throughout and felt for Robbie as he fell into his spiral of despair.

The stage is simple with a few sets and props but the costumes are what I loved! The cast wear an array of brightly coloured truly 80’s outfits such as parachute pants, shiny tracksuits, Madonna lace outfits, and, piano key neck ties! The music choice is fantastic and the band is excellent, they had me dancing and bopping along in my seat. The lead roles of Robbie Hart (Leighton Irwin), and Julia Sullivan (Katlin O’Keene) have remarkable voices and create beautiful harmonies together, and their chemistry on stage came through to the audience. The supporting roles of Holly (Grace Maddern) Sammy (Dion Kaliviotis) and Glen Guglia (Tim Haughton) also offer both comedic relief and fantastic singing and dancing. Grace Maddern also choreographed the production and features in an upbeat club dance scene number called Saturday Night in the City. The dialogue and scripting was really funny and while it did contain some of the memorable lines of the film it also had it own unique twist. The Wedding Singer does have drug references and adult themes, so I wouldn’t recommend it for young children. But if you are a child of the 80’s or just love the scene, or are a fan of the movie, then I would definitely recommend head to St Kilda to see this show before it finishes on October 23rd!

Production Details: Dates: 14 Oct 2016 – 23 Oct 2016 Time: Thu to Sat 7.30pm & Sat/Sun 1pm Where: Theatre Works 14 Acland Street, St Kilda VIC 3182 Website: Price: $38 full / $36 conc. / $34 group 10+ [plus booking fee]

CAST Robbie Hart: Leighton Irwin Sammy: Dion Kaliviotis George: Danny Nercessian Julia Sullivan: Katlin O’Keene Holly: Grace Maddern Glen Guglia: Tim Haughton Rosie: Cathy Phillips Linda: Rosie Alexander Ange: Emma Watts