Director Garrick Smith is absolutely right to say that The Wedding Singer is not Shakespeare, but whatever it’s not, it is a lot of fun.
It is possible that opening night nerves got to the cast when I saw it; the first half hour or so was laboured and difficult to relate to, but then one of those great moments in theatre occurred, and the tenor lifted. It is a sign of a strong and talented cast when you see such a strong injection of energy in the middle of the first act. Before long I was tapping away and having a ball.
For those who don’t know, the musical version of The Wedding Singer is substantially different from the film of the same name. In this, it is the musical numbers that drive the emotional essence of the plot, and the most poignant of these are delivered beautifully by the magnificently talented heroine, played by Rebecca Franks, and her equally talented offsider played by Amy Dunham.
The musical is also funnier than the film, as I remember it, and Tim Sekuless’ timing is excellent. In my humble opinion, though, the best moment is when Boy George wannabe, George (played by Jeffrey van de Zandt) bursts into a rendition of an 80s pop song in perfect Hebrew. Gold.
No, it’s definitely not Shakespeare, but it’s a great night out.