The stage musical version of the Adam Sandler film, The Wedding Singer took to the stage of Newport’s Dolman Theatre on Thursday evening.
As far as musicals go, The Wedding Singer makes several demands on its cast. Larger than life characters, strong vocal performances, big ensemble choreography sequences and a constant undercurrent of comedy all form part of the shows formula.
However, the newly formed company, Glass Ceiling Theatre, under the guidance of director and choreographer Emily John and musical director Vicci Bryant have risen to the challenge and produced over two hours of fantabulous musical fun set in the 1980s.
The Wedding Singer’s New Jersey background depends largely on the strong characterisations projected by the ensemble cast from the script, while there are 80s refences aplenty from song titles to stylised dance routines.
Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin’s musical doesn’t mess about with setting the scene. The leading man Rob Kelly as wedding singer Robbie Hart is immediately thrown into the centre of a wedding party accompanied by his band cohorts Owen Lloyd Hughes as Sammy and Ben Donovan as the camp but comical George.
Robbie gets jilted at the alter by Katie Sharp’s feisty Linda, but not before he befriends the sweet and dependable Julia played by Savannah Mountain. The course of true love isn’t set to run smooth, but the storyline remains absorbing as it intricately weaves itself in and around impressive song and dance sequences.
Each dance sequence is entertaining with both the musical arrangements and choreography complimenting each other. Casualty of Love reflects Robbie’s unhappiness and how he sees a wedding party as a group of loves unwanted rejects. A wedding riot transforms into a dance routine tribute to Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
By contrast, another strong ensemble piece is All About the Green, a nod to all things Wall Street, allowing the dancers to ooze with cool and sophistication while giving Tom Carron as Julia’s cheating boyfriend Glen, centre stage as a singer and dancer.
Glass Ceiling;s presentation of The Wedding Singer isn’t short on plenty of enjoyable song performances to savour . Leads, Rob Kelly and Savannah Mountain shine with two very different duets, the comedic Come Out of The Dumpster and the ballad, If I told you. Both Rob and Savannah’s harmonising is a particular joy to hear.
Elsewhere in the show, Katie Sharp rocks out to perfection with A Note from Linda, while Alys Shore as Holly and Owen Lloyd Hughes as Sammy showcase their vocal and dancing talents with Right in Front of Your Eyes.
Adding extra comedy gold to The Wedding Singer is Zoe Southcott as Robbie’s “in your face” cool but slightly embarassing grandmother, Rosie. Carrying an air of youthfulness about her, Zoe’s high point is undoubtedly her duet with Ben Donovan’s George, Move That Thing in which she gets to bust a few moves much to the enjoyment and appreciation of the audience.
Bright, fun and absorbing, The Wedding Singer shows promise of even greater things to come from Glass Ceiling Theatre Company, Don’t miss the opportunity to see some young talent that is destined to shine even brighter in the future!
- The Wedding Singer runs at The Dolman Theatre until Saturday December 2. Visit dolmantheatre.co.uk for booking details.