The Wedding Singer
The Wedding Singer
River City Community Players
The River City Community Players offer a fun romp through the 1980s with "The Wedding Singer".
Robbie Hart (Brian Shortess), a once-aspiring rock star, finds his "fifteen minutes of fame" singing at local weddings, backed up by friends Sammy (Jeff Adams) and George (Nikcoma Mahkewa). His drive to croon newlyweds on their way to happiness abruptly snaps when his own bride, Linda (Nicole Theno), leaves him at the altar. When his bitterness ruins his next appearance at a wedding reception, the sympathy of a catering waitress, Julia (Vanessa Harper), sets him on a path that takes him through despair, confusion, friendship and, maybe, true love.
Directed by Eric Van Horn, with music direction by Lauren Wilson and choreography by Kristin Seefeldt, this is an energetic show with a spirited cast and lots of nice nods to the 80s. Brian Shortess and Vanessa Harper display a fun chemistry as Robbie and Julia move from friends to something more, exhibited through the songs "Awesome", "Come Out of the Dumpster", "Not That Kind of Thing", and "Grow Old with You." They have great support with the rest of the cast. A second romantic story of Sammy and Julia's friend, Holly (Jessica L. Knecht), provides good comic moments. Bradley J. Thomas shines as Julia's wealthy, high-power fiance, Glen, and has a great salute to the 1980s "me decade" with "All About the Green", backed up by an ensemble of Wall Street staffers. Tracy McClung as Rosie, Robbie's saucy, supportive grandmother, and Betty Welch, as Angie, Julia's ambitious mother, add to the fun.
Van Horn's set makes good use of the theater's beautiful stage, and an upper-level panel that opens to reveal characters (such as Linda, singing her jilting letter or Julia, aboard a plane with clouds drifting by) is a nice touch.
Jason Coats, Guy Garner, Rachel Asbury, Sarah DaMetz, and Stephen Walker appear in cameos too wonderful to give away in a review.
The show runs February 26, March 4, 5, 11 and 12 at 8 p.m. and a March 6 matinee at 2 p.m..
read the review at KC Stage