The Wedding Singer the musical opened in Melbourne on Saturday 1st May to a packed house paying tribute to the 1998 film of the same name that starred Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore.
The contemporary musical that has been adapted for the stage takes us back in time with high-energy dance sequences with choreography inspired by the most iconic music videos and dance films of the 80s. The scene is set from the beginning with big hair, mullets, and huge shoulder pads along with the soundtrack that delivers the essence and mood of this nostalgic era.
Musical Director Daniel Puckey was formerly the Music Director for the Australian tour of Muriel’s Wedding the Musical, in addition to being the Associate Musical Director and Conductor on The Book of Mormon, The Wizard of Oz, The Bodyguard Musical, and The Lion King.
“The Wedding Singer musical will be an 80’s dream; a neon fantasy that remembers everything we loved about the 1980s. We’ve got the most fantastic original score, with a couple of favourite tunes from the movie mixed in,” says Daniel.
Triple threat actress Kirby Burgess (Barnum, Dirty Dancing) has been cast in the role of Robbie’s ex-girlfriend Linda, joined by dynamite talent Hollie James (Shrek the Musical, Rocky Horror Show) as Angie, and Haydan Hawkins (Miss Saigon, Into the Woods) as Sammy.
They join the previously announced lead cast including Christian Charisiou in the title role of Robbie Hart, Christian showed the audience his range of talents from singing, dancing, guitar playing, while also delivering lines.
Teagan Wouters plays Julia, Stephen Mahy as Glen, Nadia Komazec as Holly, Ed Deganos as George, and celebrated character performer Susan-ann Walker as Robbie’s naughty Grandma, Rosie (played by Betty White in the film).
Grandma is a standout as a lively and downright hilarious character that delivers with every line.
Robbie Hart is New Jersey’s number one wedding singer and the life of the party. That is until his own fiancée strands him at the altar. Bitter and broken, Robbie begins to make every wedding as disastrous as his own until a warm-hearted waitress named Julia intervenes. Only trouble is, Julia’s about to be–you guessed it–married! Can Robbie pull off the performance of the decade and win the girl of his dreams?
The Wedding Singer is one of the most enjoyable and uplifting musicals I’ve seen in a long time!
The Athenaeum Theatre Melbourne Friday 30 April – Saturday 5 June
By Melinda Sullivan
Photography Sam Tabone