The Wedding Singer, now on at the State Theatre, is a musical based on the 1998 movie by Adam Sandler. It is a joyous celebration of the 80s – of shoulder pads and hair-do’s that would block out the sun. It was an extraordinary decade and this musical embraces everything from David Bowie to mullets, Cindy Lauper to chunky cell phones. This stage production folds it all together to make one hell of a show.
The true magic of this musical is the ensemble cast. The narratives told just outside the spotlight are beautiful. They construct a passionate and effervescent world to truly immerse you in the show.
Nadia Komazec is the epitome of all that is glorious about this show. She has sass, heart and a killer voice. As Holly, she helps her friend Julia navigate the complexities of relationships. Her chemistry with Sammy, her some-time beau, played by Hayden Hawkins, was palpable. It turns out that the two are engaged in real life so it is no surprise that their stage energy was so electric.
Kirby Burgess as Linda is a talent not to be messed with. She rocked not only the sequin bodysuit but raised the roof as Robbie Hart's ex, trying to win him back. As she belted out the song ‘Let Me Come Home’ she is sliding down banisters and jumping off walls and channeling all the power and funk that the 80s had to offer.
Teagan Wouters plays Julia, a big hearted romantic dating the wrong kind of man. Wouters held her own sweetness and sensibility on a loud stage. Christian Charisiou played Robbie Hart and it was an epic role which saw him having to endure a very physically demanding performance as well as a character arc that had some huge ups and downs.
Ed Degano as George the third band member of Simply Wed and Susan-ann Walker as Rosie, Robbie's grandmother contribute to the success of this cast with their humour and ability to give the role their all.
Michael Ralph’s choreography of the opening scene sets the bar high. And the cast’s energy burns throughout. The costumes, designed by Kim Bishop, are magnificent. There is colour, texture and copious amounts of material that took on a life of their own. Bishop’s costume choices are woven seamlessly into the story of the Wedding Singer. He knows when sequins need to be subtle and when they need to shout.
Drew-Elizabeth Johnstone who was in charge of Hair and Make-up Design crafted so many extraordinary mullets. They were big and formidable, they were sleek and controlled and they were curly and wild. The hair and makeup design added to the spark that made this production so much fun.
Everyone involved in this production has managed to bring joy and delight to a world that is in turmoil. The 80s weren’t perfect but The Wedding Singer is definitely an antidote to the world we are currently living in. Director Alister Smith has given us heart, humour and enough hairspray to get us through.
David Venn Enterprises presents
The Wedding Singer
music Matthew Sklar | lyrics Chad Beguelin | book Beguelin and Tim Herlihy
Director Alister Smith
Venue: State Theatre | Sydney NSW
Dates: 15 – 30 January 2022