MusicalNorth WestReview

The Wedding Singer – Opera House, Manchester

Book: Chad Beguelin and Tim Herlihy

Music: Matthew Sklar

Lyrics: Chad Beguelin

Director: Nick Winston

Reviewer: Donna Kelly

Based on the 1998 hit movie starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, The Wedding Singer tells the story of Robbie Hart, a wannabe rock-star stuck as a singer on the wedding band circuit. When his fiancée dumps him at the altar, it’s down to the sweet-natured Julia and her best friend Holly to lure Robbie out of the dumpster and bring back into the limelight. But will Robbie find the heart to tell Julia how he feels or will he end up watching the new love of his life walk down the aisle with her slimy Wall Street bad boy fiancé Glen?

Energetic, enjoyable and highly entertaining, The Wedding Singer is a full-on, unashamed musical celebration of the 1980s. From the retro film trailer montage as the audience enter the auditorium, to the bright neon sets, huge hair and ’80s pop lookalikes, every inch of this production cashes in on our nostalgia for the decade that taste forgot. Even Matthew Sklar’s retro pop score sounds like an amalgam of 80s hits from the likes of Boy George, Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper and Tina Turner.

West End star Jon Robyns shines as title character Robbie, delivering a performance full of wit and vulnerability and his chemistry with partner Cassie Compton as the heroine Julia is both sweet and believable. X Factor runner-up Ray Quinn shines as the villain of the piece, the cockily confident love rat Glen, while Hi-de-Hi’s Ruth Madoc puts in a wonderful comic turn as Robbie’s grandmother.

Those who have seen the film will know that the “will-they-won’t-they” plot is a little thin, cheesy and predictable at times and many of the characters are two-dimensional. That said, there are enough cheeky one-liners to keep you entertained and Nick Winston’s 80’s inspired choreography, particularly his Thriller-themed Casualty of Love, is full of comedic touches that are sure to bring a smile to your face.

The Wedding Singer may not hit the heights of other some other musicals but its light-hearted, feel-good nature will leave you smiling and singing along nevertheless.

Runs until 20 May 2017 | Image: Contributed

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The North West team is under the editorship of John McRoberts. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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