The Wedding Singer (musical)

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The Wedding Singer
The Wedding Singer 2006 Original Broadway Cast.jpg
Original Cast Recording
MusicMatthew Sklar
LyricsChad Beguelin
BookChad Beguelin
Tim Herlihy
Basis1998 film The Wedding Singer
Productions2006 Broadway
2007, 2009 US Tours
2008 UK Tour
2008 Japan
2009 Gold Coast, Australia
2010 Philippines
2012 Waldbühne Kloster Oesede, Germany
 
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The Wedding Singer
The Wedding Singer 2006 Original Broadway Cast.jpg
Original Cast Recording
MusicMatthew Sklar
LyricsChad Beguelin
BookChad Beguelin
Tim Herlihy
Basis1998 film The Wedding Singer
Productions2006 Broadway
2007, 2009 US Tours
2008 UK Tour
2008 Japan
2009 Gold Coast, Australia
2010 Philippines
2012 Waldbühne Kloster Oesede, Germany

The Wedding Singer is a musical with music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Chad Beguelin, and a book by Beguelin and Tim Herlihy. It is based on the 1998 film The Wedding Singer.

Synopsis[edit]

Act 1

Robbie Hart, a Wedding singer, lives with his Grandma Rosie in Ridgefield, New Jersey. He and his band play a great wedding gig ("It’s Your Wedding Day"). During his usual "warm-up-the-crowd routine," Robbie proudly announces that he will be married to his beloved fiancée Linda the next day. At the wedding gig, Robbie meets a waitress named Julia Sullivan, who can't wait to get married ("Someday"). Afterward, Robbie tries to write a sweet (eventually corny) love song to Linda, with help from Julia, whom he had just met during the previous wedding ("Awesome"). The following day, however, Linda dumps Robbie at the altar, with only a note claiming that she wants to be the wife of a rock star and not just a wedding singer ("A Note from Linda"). Meanwhile, an anxious Julia goes out to dinner with her Wall Street banker boyfriend, Glen Guglia, hoping he will pop the question, which he does ("Pop!").

Robbie falls into a deep depression ("Somebody Kill Me Please"), but is urged by his bandmates Sammy and George, and even his grandmother ("A Note from Grandma"), to use that intense emotion to get back on his feet. However, the angry Robbie does nothing but enrage the guests at the next wedding gig ("Casualty of Love"), and he is soon thrown into the dumpster by the bridal party. With some convincing from his friend Julia, Robbie does "Come Out of the Dumpster", but changes his singing gigs strictly to bar mitzvahs ("Today You Are a Man"). After the Shapiro bar mitzvah ("George’s Prayer"), Julia convinces Robbie to help her register for her wedding, as her fiancé Glen is, as usual, busy with business-related affairs ("Not That Kind of Thing").

While at the mall, Robbie and Julia meet up with Julia's cousin and best friend Holly, who convinces the "faux duo" that Julia needs to practice her wedding kiss. Robbie and Julia awkwardly–and lovingly– kiss, only to be interrupted by the reality that Julia is marrying Glen. After seeing the kiss, Holly decides that she should go out with Robbie. Julia, still shocked by the kiss, hastily agrees with Holly. Much later that night, Robbie, Holly, Julia, Glen, Sammy, and George go to a club in New York City ("Saturday Night in the City"). Here Robbie finally realizes that Glen is a cheater and that he, Robbie, loves Julia. Holly realizes this too and tells Robbie that Julia is marrying Glen because of his money and security. Upon hearing this, Robbie exclaims, "Maybe I could change!"

Act 2

The next morning, Robbie visits Glen at his Wall Street office to get a job and learn how to be like him in order to secretly impress Julia ("All About the Green"). Later, Julia and Holly recall the events of the night before and Julia begins to question if rich men are truly better people ("Someday"(Reprise)). Sammy arrives and tries to woo Holly, but is given the cold shoulder, but Holly can't help but feel that despite his flaws, there is no other man who could replace Sammy ("Right in front of your Eyes").Later in the evening, a "Glenified" Robbie finds Julia at his doorstep and tries to woo her. When that doesn’t work, he accuses her of marrying Glen for his material possessions. Julia is stung and walks away from Robbie, throwing a present in his face: personalized blank sheet music. After all, Julia truly cares about Robbie and wants him to sing at weddings again, especially her wedding.

Robbie realizes what he's done and drinks his sorrows away at a local bar ("All About the Green" (Reprise)). Sammy and George go to the bar and try to convince Robbie that staying "Single" is the right thing to do. Inadvertently, Sammy and George end up persuading Robbie into going to Julia's house to tell her how he really feels. Meanwhile, at Julia's house, Julia is with her mother trying on her wedding dress, but is having doubts about marrying Glen because of recent events with her and Robbie. Julia's mother reassures her that Glen really is "Mr Right" and questions why Julia would leave him for a wedding singer. But Julia still has doubts. Robbie looks into Julia's window and sees her trying on her wedding dress and smiling at her reflection. He thinks it's because she's marrying Glen, but Julia is smiling only because she's imagining being Mrs. Robbie Hart ("If I Told You"). Robbie goes home drunk and dazed only to find Linda in his bed, wanting him back ("Let Me Come Home"). Before she can fully apologize Robbie falls into a deep slumber.

The next day Julia goes to Robbie's house to tell him how she really feels, only to find Linda instead. This scares Julia into eloping with Glen to Las Vegas. Meanwhile, Robbie wakes up and promptly kicks Linda (the "psycho") out. At his Grandma Rosie's 50th anniversary party, Robbie finds out from Holly what happened to Julia. Only then do Robbie and Julia realize that they may never see each other again, and they may never get to tell each other what’s on their minds ("If I Told You" (Reprise)).

With urging from his grandmother and Sammy, Robbie goes to the airport and gets on the next plane to Vegas ("Move That Thang"). With the help of a group of Vegas impersonators (Billy Idol, Ronald Reagan, Tina Turner, Mr. T and many others), Robbie crashes Julia's and Glen's wedding at the Little White House Chapel and sings his new song to Julia ("Grow Old With You"). Glen is outraged that Robbie and Julia still have feelings for each other and blurts out that he cheated on Julia with hundreds of women. Upon hearing this, the impersonators beat Glen up, and Robbie proposes to Julia. She says yes, on one condition: "Will you sing at my wedding?" The answer is a resounding "Yes!" Later, Mr. and Mrs. Robbie Hart are wed ("It’s Your Wedding Day" (Finale)).

Productions[edit]

The musical opened on Broadway at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre on April 27, 2006 and closed on December 31, 2006 after 284 performances. It was directed by John Rando, with choreography by Rob Ashford, and featured Stephen Lynch as Robbie.

Tours

The First National Tour had a preview performance on August 31, 2007 at the Phillips Center in Gainesville, FL, and officially opened September 4th, at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex in Birmingham, AL. After playing 31 cities, the tour closed at Harrah's in Atlantic City, NJ on August 31st, 2008. Paul Stancato directed the tour based on the original Broadway direction by John Rando and Chris Bailey provided choreography, which was based on Rob Ashford's Broadway work. The creative team also included John Mezzio (musical supervisor/coordinator/conductor), Scott Pask (scenic designer), Brian MacDevitt (lighting designer), Gregory Gale (costume designer) and Lucas J. Corrubia, Jr. (sound designer).[1]

A different touring production of the show opened on September 28, 2009 in Fayetteville, Arkansas at the Walton Arts Center. It continued until March 28, 2010, ending in New Haven, Connecticut at the Shubert Theatre, having traveled throughout the US and Canada. This production was produced by Prather Entertainment Group and directed by Seth Reines, with choreography by Amy McCleary.[2][3]

International

El Rey de Bodas, the Spanish-language version (which translates as "The King of Weddings"), opened in Madrid on November 14, 2007, starring Naim Thomas as Robbie, María Virumbrales as Julia and María Adamuz as Holly.[4]

A UK tour opened at the Manchester Palace Theatre in February 2008 starring Jonathan Wilkes and Natalie Casey, and toured the UK through July 2008.[5]

The Japanese version opened in Tokyo at the Nissay Theatre on February 6, 2008,[6] and other foreign productions are scheduled for Finland, Germany, Australia, South Korea and the Philippines.

The South Australian premiere was on July 9, 2008 at the Arts Theatre, Adelaide, presented by Matt Byrne Media.[7] The Queensland, Australia, premiere was on February 13, 2009 (after Previews), at the Spotlight Theatre, Gold Coast.[8] Directed by Priscilla Scott, the show stars Marc Lister and Kirby Lunn, with Stewart Reeve, Steven Dorrington and Shirley King. The four-week season closed March 14, 2009.

The Philippine production opened at the Meralco Theater on October 23, 2010 and ran until November 17, 2010.[9] The show is led by television personalities Gian Magdangal of Party Pilipinas and Iya Villania of ASAP XV.[10]

The first production in the German language played at Theater im Neukloster in Wiener Neustadt, Austria from May 15, 2011, to June 5, 2011.[11] The first production in Germany played in Hanau in November/Dezember and will continue in April 2013. It was performed by a semi-professional cast, the Musical Family Hanau.[12]

Differences from the film[edit]

The musical largely follows the same storyline as the 1998 film of the same title which starred Adam Sandler opposite Drew Barrymore. However, some plot and character elements were indeed altered. For instance:

Songs[edit]

*The song "Pop!" was removed for the US national tour because the set pieces for the song were too big. With this plot change, Glen proposes to Julia over the phone instead of at the restaurant in "Pop!"

Casts of principal productions[edit]

Original Broadway cast[edit]

Major tours[edit]

First National Tour (US)[edit]

Original UK tour cast[edit]

2009-2010 US tour original cast[edit]

Original Canadian cast[edit]

Original Austrian cast[edit]

Original German cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

Ben Brantley, in his review for The New York Times, wrote "the show has at least a flutter of a hedonist's pulse. And if its formulaic catering to an established public appetite feels cynical, the cast members exude earnestness and good nature. They are a personable enough lot, which is not the same as saying that they have personality. For, as so often happens when good (or even not-so-good) films turn into stage shows, the first things to be jettisoned are sharp edges and authentically quirky characters." He further noted "wispy" plot, Mr. Sklar's "pastiche score", and that "Rob Ashford's choreography is replete with literal-minded tributes to 1980's music videos for era-defining songs like 'Thriller,' 'Material Girl' and 'Flashdance.'"[14]

The Variety reviewer wrote that "Forced as it is, this is a fizzy confection offering enough easy enjoyment to attract the outer boroughs and the tourist trade. It's also derivative by design, to some extent making a virtue of its inherent phoniness via winking acknowledgement. Where the 1998 film ended with a scene featuring '80s icon Billy Idol, the stage adaptation corrals not only an Idol impersonator but a fake Tina Turner, Imelda Marcos, Cyndi Lauper, Mr. T and Ronald Reagan. Retro overkill is a distinct risk here, but one mainstream auds are unlikely to mind."[15]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Original Broadway production[edit]

YearAward CeremonyCategoryNomineeResult
2006Tony AwardBest MusicalNominated
Best Book of a MusicalChad Beguelin and Tim HerlihyNominated
Best Original ScoreMatthew Sklar and Chad BeguelinNominated
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a MusicalStephen LynchNominated
Best ChoreographyRob AshfordNominated
Drama Desk AwardOutstanding MusicalNominated
Outstanding Actor in a MusicalStephen LynchNominated
Outstanding Featured Actress in a MusicalAmy SpangerNominated
Outstanding ChoreographyRob AshfordNominated
Outstanding LyricsChad BeguelinNominated
Outstanding MusicMatthew SklarNominated
Outstanding Set DesignScott PaskNominated
Outstanding Costume DesignGregory GaleNominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gans, Andrew."One Night Only: Wedding Singer Tour Begins Aug. 31", playbill.com, August 31, 2007
  2. ^ "The Wedding Singer tour (partial) weddingsingerontheroad.com, retrieved February 22, 2010
  3. ^ Ruggieri, Melissa."‘The Wedding Singer’ revisits the ‘80s and old-fashioned romance"Richmond Times-Dispatch, January 24, 2010
  4. ^ [1] elreydebodas.com
  5. ^ Geen, Michael."Jonathan Wilkes in The Wedding Singer at Manchester", chesterchronicle.co.uk, February 22, 2008
  6. ^ [2] tohostage.com
  7. ^ [3] mattbyrnemedia.com.au
  8. ^ [4] spotlighttheatre.com.au
  9. ^ [5] 9 Works Theatrical
  10. ^ [6] BroadwayWorld.com Philippines
  11. ^ [7] Theater im Neukloster
  12. ^ [8] Musical Family Hanau
  13. ^ Gans, Andrew and Hernandez, Ernio "You're The One That I Want" Contestant Anderson Joins Wedding Singer Tour, playbill.com, Sept. 28, 2007
  14. ^ Brantley, Ben."Something Borrowed, Something Renewed: The Return of the 80's in 'The Wedding Singer'" The New York Times, April 26, 2006
  15. ^ Rooney, David."Review, 'The Wedding Singer'" Variety, April 26, 2006

External links[edit]