A glittering, lustrous, flashy atmosphere set the stage for this ’80s-inspired musical based on the 1998 film starring Adam Sandler. Last Friday, Hart House Theatre opened the final leg of the season with The Wedding Singer, a musical production directed by Luke Brown.
The lead singer of a wedding band, Robbie Hart (Isaac Bell) captures hearts on the dancefloor and most evidently, that of Julia Sullivan (Ashley Gibson). Julia, engaged to Mr. Glen Guglia (Howard Davis) is a young waitress who dreams of the moment she meets her perfect prince, and most importantly, stability. As Robbie battles the playing field of romance and his fiancée Linda (Sarah Horsman), he searches for the meaning of true love.
The set was radiant and rich with bright colours, glitter, and glam which gave off a flashy feeling fit for this production. The use of shadows and subtle hints of ’80s glamour sparked the audience’s attention. The dim lighting, ’80s tunes, and costumes that questioned the sanity of that decade filled the stage with excitement.
The ensemble perfectly complimented the lead characters in the lively, upbeat musical accompaniment packed with tributes to ’80s pop culture. The duration of the songs minimalized the acting in the production, but the swoon-inducing musical portions made up for it. The song list includes both satirical and comical references which was a great touch to the overall atmosphere.
The use of the characters’ individual personalities complimented the theme of blind love in The Wedding Singer. Characters include Robbie Hart, Linda, Julia, Holly (Romina Cortina), and particularly George (Scott Farley), provides a chuckling comedic relief. The chemistry between the characters was impressive, which could be attributed to the credentials of the cast.
The production questions the meaning of true love, whether it is materialistic, or something with a significantly deeper meaning. Through displaying the fun, careless ’80s, the underlying theme of blind love was an unexpected twist to the comedy. Altogether, the musical direction, design, and cast came together to put together a production that managed to meet the expectations one would have for a Hart House production.