REVIEW: The Wedding Singer

The best way to spend an evening in Southampton without a quad vod

Last night I checked out the latest offering from Showstoppers, the musical theatre arm of SUSU’s Performing Arts army, and I have to say I was blown away. The show SOLD OUT the Annex Theatre, with customers even trying to share seats just to get a chance to observe the spectacle.

The Wedding Singer is a musical based on a book and Adam Sandler film of the same name. A brief synopsis: In 1980s New Jersey, Wedding Singer Robbie Hart is jilted at the altar and falls for waitress Julia Sullivan who is also engaged, but to confirmed douchebag, yuppie Glen Gulia. The two fall in love but have to deal with their friends and troublesome fiancees. Not to give too much away, all is well that ends well!

The opening scene. Note the amazing 80s costumes

From the outset things looked promising, The Wedding Singer opens with the ensemble cast partying away, with the two protagonists meeting early on. The chemistry between the two is obvious from the start; Toby Hasler-Winter gives a much more charismatic performance than Sandler and Daniella Gambier is brilliant as the love-struck and slightly awkward Julia.

From the ensemble cast, a few characters shine. Everyone’s favourite SUSU receptionist, Chinonye Iroegbulem, is fantastic as Robbie’s grandmother – late in the second act she even treats us to a rap with the other audience fave, George, the camp keyboardist in the wedding band. David Allwright, playing it so camp as George provides many comedic gems throughout the show. Sammy, the band’s bassist and Robbie’s best friend, has got the best hair I have ever seen, apparently it takes half an hour to create before each show. The casts’ lightning fast set piece and costume changes are astounding, especially managing to dry off Liberty Buckland (playing Julia’s best friend Holly) in the interval.

The final bow, well done to all!

Stand out songs for me were the hilarious George’s Prayer, sung in Hebrew at a Bar Mitzvah. Saturday Night in the City rounds off Act One and is so catchy I caught myself humming the tune for the rest of the evening. Heartfelt pieces such as Right In Front Of Your Eyes, If I Told You and the wonderful Grow Old With You show off the leading couple’s singing talents.

With most of the main cast being freshers, the show is all the more remarkable and it is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the Showstoppers team that it has been such a success. The American accents are, on the whole, flawless. The musical direction and choreography are astounding too. Speaking with the directors, Jeremy McCabe and Sophie Owen after the show, they told The Tab that the cast have been rehearsing three times a week since OCTOBER and it shows! The slick and professional performance that is The Wedding Singer is not to be missed

If you’ve never seen a PAU show, check out The Wedding Singer before it’s too late, it will sell out AGAIN! There is another show tonight and a double matinee performance on Saturday. The next muscial from the Showstoppers is Spring Awakening, premiering next term.