REVIEW | The Wedding Singer

 

The Wedding Singer has finally Hit the Stage in Spectacular Form

Sydney’s State Theatre

Reviewed by Yvette Guldur

After unforeseen delays the incredible musical, The Wedding Singer has finally hit the stage in spectacular form in Sydney’s majestic State Theatre.

The Wedding Singer has been brought to the stage by David Venn Enterprises which has received resounding critical acclaim across the country.

The Australian tour of the Tony Award nominated Broadway musical is certainly ‘Sydney’s Summer Musical’, must see and bringing back much needed life and laughter into an industry hit so hard over the past couple of years.
Directed by multi Green Room Award nominated director Alister Smith, with a soundtrack brought to life by Musical Director Daniel Puckey. Choreographer Michael Ralph has created dance routines that have captured the iconic ‘80s vibe perfectly, and most certainly brought the ‘80’s party to the iconic and beyond majestic State Theatre in Sydney, taking me back to that exact era in time and the feel good, yet almost over the top cheesy party atmosphere of the ‘80’s. The infectious high energy and ridiculousness of it all echoed through the entire show in true ‘80’s form.

This 2006 Broadway revision of the blockbuster 1998 Adam Sandler movie, includes all the classic one-liners and the story line of the film.

The entire cast is absolutely excellent in bringing the show to life from beginning to end. Christian Charisiou as “Robbie Hart” led the cast perfectly with his vocal, comedic and story telling talents shown throughout,  as the mullet-of-all-mullet wearing wedding singer, abandoned at the altar and left heartbroken by his vampy provocative ex fiancé “Linda” (Kirby Burgess) in one of the scene-stealing highlights of the show. Kelly Burgess was phenomenal in her portrayal of “Linda” bringing the house down every time she was on stage with a really incredible voice and a huge character to match, she was an unpleasant character that you can’t help but absolutely fall in love with everything about her.

The heartbroken wedding singer “Robbie”(Christian Charisiou) goes on to fall in love with “Julia” (Teagan Wouters), a sweet beautiful waitress with an heart of gold, a voice of an angel, full of moral’s and an unwavering hungry and search for true love, who was perfect for Robbie from the first time they met, sharing some undeniable pure chemistry in the scenes they are in together, eventually saving her from her high roller sleaze-bag chauvinistic fiancé Glen played absolutely brilliantly by Stephen Mahy.

The supporting cast are excellent and perfectly cast. Nadia Komazec as Julia’s bestie “Holly” was an absolute highlight of the show. She was phenomenal in her portrayal of Holly and had the entire audience erupt in laughter throughout the entire show with her stellar performance. She was brilliant from beginning to end.

Robbie’s rapping grandmother “Rosie” (Susan-Ann Walker) was absolutely magnificent.

Robbie’s hilarious, high energy and upbeat bandmates, “Sammy” (Haydan Hawkins) think Aerosmith and “George” (Ed Deganos) think Boy George, were the unexpected perfect band mate combination, completely opposite’s but yet perfect in every way. They brought endless humour to the show and were definitely crowd pleaser’s,  keeping it always fun through to the end. Both such great characters.

The set designs were so effective in really transporting you back in time to the the 80s, supporting and enhancing the narrative. With multiple stage changes, you knew the exact atmosphere and precisely where they were in every scene. The very effective changes such as   the “Simply Wed” neon sign would lower from the ceiling, the flexibility of a single staircase was so versatile and impressive in a variety of scenes and there was a basement bedroom transformation in seconds amongst many others just as impressive.

There was always an abundance of riveting choreography and iconic dance moves, engaging music direction, brilliant singing performances and perfectly imperfect costume design with big massive hair, huge shoulder pads and every ridiculous and comical vivid trend of the ‘80’s in every single scene captured so precisely,  that spanned the entire stage so regardless of where you looked or were seated you had something exciting and new to take in.

The Wedding Singer is ‘80’s nostalgia at it’s best with an abundance of sensational, over the top performances from the entire cast from beginning to end, loaded with constant humour along the way meshed with a sweet love story that proves love beats material things in the end.

It is brilliant to see the theatre industry back on stage bringing live entertainment and happiness to so many and performers doing what they were born to do.

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