It’s 1985. Hair is huge, greed is good. In reality, it’s 2017 but this week I sat excitedly in the theatre waiting to watch The Wedding Singer, ready to be transported back in time. I’d never seen it on stage before, but I had performed in the show with my theatre group before I left for university. That was a long time ago now but I still vividly remember all the fun I had, so I couldn’t wait to watch! For those of you who don’t know, The Wedding Singer, based off the film of the same name, is about a wedding singer (of course) who is trying to find love in the chaotic ’80s. Rock music and the growing business collide in spectacular song and dance. If I loved being in this show, I adored watching just as much.
The best thing about The Wedding Singer is the music. Sometimes you go to a musical for the first time and it takes a while to get used to the songs. This isn’t the case here. The songs are so upbeat you feel like you’ve known them forever and before you know it you’re grooving along in your seat! The music really packs a punch, too, with hoards of electric guitars that blow you out of your seat. This is a loud musical but that really fits in with the fun ’80s vibe. Littered with more pop culture references than you remember (it’s hard being a ’90s baby, okay?), the songs make this show. Cute love ballads are contrasted with rude and raunchy numbers and self-deprecating jokes. ‘Somebody Kill Me’, as originally sung by Adam Sandler in the film, had the whole audience laughing out loud!
Good music is nothing without a good dance, and The Wedding Singer delivers on that front, too. Every dance number is a spectacle, whether it’s the huge and dramatic or simple and stylish. I love the modern feel to the big numbers that make me want to join in. It’s exciting and fresh and makes this musical so exciting. The ensemble cast was pretty small, especially those who were the featured dancers, but they certainly weren’t weak. The 6 talented dancers filled the whole stage with incredible lifts and fast-paced moves. I was slightly jealous at how much fun they were having (and how good they were!). My favourite had to be ‘Single’, though. This is sang by all the men in the cast and, set in a bar, you can just imagine what the song is about. The choreography was simple but effective, relying on foot sequences beneath the bar. The style and precision reminded me of Jersey Boys, which created a wonderful picture.
You can’t go to a musical without falling in love with some of the cast members. I was lucky enough to know someone in the cast, which was super exciting. I was so jumping for joy when Ray Quinn was announced as Glen after falling in love with him on X-Factor and Dancing on Ice. He really transformed ‘All About the Green’, which was a really sexy number. Of course his dancing was showed off, and I don’t blame them because he was phenomenal, but it didn’t become the ‘Ray show’ because he played the character so well. I also really loved Stephanie Clift, who played Holly, and Tara Verloop, who played Linda. Their voices were so powerful and had that ’80s rock edge.
If you’re looking for an entertaining night full of loud music, vibrant colours, and countless pop culture references then this is the show for you. You can’t help but grow to love all of the characters in this crazy story. The Wedding Singer is fun and loveable as well as sexy and raunchy in all the right places. Everyone should try and catch this show if the tour is at their local theatre. I guarantee you’ll be singing the songs for days!