The Wedding Singer
The Wedding Singer at the Opera House
Nine years ago, the Broadway transfer of The Wedding Singer arrived, destined for the West End. It starred Jonathan Wilkes and Natalie Casey. And, although it was a sweet natured show, it lacked that certain something, to take it to London.
It’s back now, and it is now a funny, fast paced, delightful show, thanks to a spirited cast, and a great ensemble. From the moment, you sit down, you are reminded that you have gone back to the 1980’s and who doesn’t love this decade. Oversized mobile phones, piano ties, and Spandau Ballet all feature in this gag fest.
Based on the Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore rom com, the musical version has the best moments from the film, with some of the supporting characters roles, expanded to suit the musical format.
Tara Verloop is a star in waiting, as Holly. In a traditional romantic comedy, she would be the wise cracking best friend. But, here she steals the show right from under the lead actresses’ nose. Uber-talented and setting the stage alight, whenever she steps onto it, she has powerhouse vocals and genuine presence and comic timing to burn.
Jon Robyns’ Robbie is delightful. This West End pro has the likes of Avenue Q, Spamalot and Memphis under his belt, and here he grabs the lead role with both hands and has the audience eating out of his hands. Cassie Compton has great vocal ability, but her accent wavers and she does not truly convince. She is heartfelt, when singing, and then flat when she is acting, something is missing.
Ray Quinn has a blast as Glen Gulia, as does Ruth Madoc as Grandma Rosie, rapping and causing chaos, whenever her character is on stage. Samuel Holmes’ George is also excellent, and a real scene stealer.
When I first saw, this show many years ago, it lacked oomph. On this tour directed with panache by Nick Winston, a completely different production has emerged. It is laugh a minute, has brilliant performances, and is a genuinely great night out. I do!
The Wedding Singer is at the Manchester Opera House until 20 May.