Review: The musical game hits all the right notes
A scene from The Wedding Singer. Photo / Ken Morrison.
What: The wedding singer
Or: HB Theater
When: November 4-20, 7:30 p.m.
Tickets on iTicket.co.nz
Critical: Keith russell
Drew Barrymore-Adam Sandler’s 1998 film The Wedding Singer was a romantic story set in the 1980s, recalling the fashions, hair, and innocence of the era. He just cried out to be turned into a musical, not least because he’s a singer, but also like a sweet center chocolate, the story is “sweeter” sung than told.
Josh Folkers as Robbie Hart the wedding singer never let go of his opening number, projecting not only his excellent voice but an expressive presence, which allowed him to telegraph all of his character’s emotions.
He received great support from his band members Jack Garvey and Elijah Moore, who paid great attention to detail with excellent character set, which produced some of the series’ defining moments. Laughton Maitai responded to the challenge as Robbie’s rival, perfectly describing the ethics of a “rat in love”, while also showing that he has a most pleasing singing voice.
Julia’s female lead role was played by Shelby Rowlett-Dark, who sang with a clear, controlled voice.
Everyone needs a best friend and Julia was Holly played by Lane Badenhorst, who almost stole the show. She had no trouble showing that she was having fun on stage with an outstanding performance in the last issue of Act 1, which masked the fact that the main cast left the stage mid-performance.
Robbie’s original girlfriend Kristin Hart was underused as a singer. She was given minimal stage time, but what she had she used well.
It was great to see Wendy Beauchamp bring a professional performance to her role as Grandma Rosie’s “rapper”, while Averill Wills, as Julia’s mother, Angie, provided the rock for Rowlett-Dark to bounce back. .
Director Kayleigh Purvis, as a professional stylist, had no problem with big hair, but more importantly, no difficulty injecting a big “heart” into the show.
Assisted by vocal director and choreographer Teish Heywood, they produced a highly rated performance, full of skillfully presented dance moves. The set has been well thought out, with good lighting and a good wardrobe, although the sound levels require some attention.
With the wedding in the title, it’s no surprise that the story ends, but as in life, the journey is what anticipates the pleasures to come and this show won’t disappoint.
Please note that this performance is performed according to Covid-19 indoor site protocols, mask wearing, social distancing and contact tracing are required.