As someone who grew up in the 1980’s, I desperate try to forget my penchant for crimped hair, huge bangs and shoulder pads. Cockpit in Court’s production of The Wedding Singer, however, manages to bring back the 80’s in such a way that makes me proud to be an 80’s kid!
Based on the 1998 film starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, The Wedding Singer is set in 1980’s New Jersey and tells the story of Robbie Hart, the hopeless romantic leader of the area’s most popular wedding band. When Robbie gets left at the altar, waitress Julia Sullivan helps him out of his funk and leads him back to the music that he loves. Along the way, Robbie also finds another thing that he loves: Julia. While show creators Chad Beguelin, Tim Herlihy, and Matthew Sklar incorporated many new musical numbers into the show, they still kept two of my favorites from the original movie: “Grow Old with You” and “Somebody Kill Me.”
Andrew Worthington plays a genuinely romantic Robbie, and his musical talents are apparent from the first notes of “It’s Your Wedding Day.” Katie Tyler’s Julia is spunky and sweet, and she is able to show off her vibrant voice during songs like “Someday” and “Come Out of the Dumpster.” The pair share an undeniable chemistry, and they gave me chills during “Grow Old with You.”
The leads are backed up by a bevy of talented supporting characters. Jake Stuart’s Sammy is a goofily jolly Jerseyian who does a mean moonwalk.
Matthew Demetrides’ George is chock-full of 80’s style and displays his vocal abilities during “George’s Prayer.”
Lacy Comstock (Holly) is clearly a ‘triple threat’—in addition to playing her role well and singing her heart out, that girl can dance!
Marge Ricci’s Rosie and Lennean Kulacki’s Angie bring sweet (though often unwanted) advice to the younger characters. Jim Baxter’s smarmy and suave Glen Guglia may be a villain in the show, but he beautifully croons “All About the Green.”
Special mention and applause should go to Allie Dreskin, who plays Robbie’s ex-fiancee Linda. Dreskin puts the “power” in power ballad, and she commanded the stage during “Linda’s Note” and “Let Me Come Home.”
Director Gregory Dorsey was clearly a great leader to this cast, making sure they kept up with the fast-paced show. He also worked in extra 1980’s moments, to the delight of the audience, including the use of The Clapper and an homage to the water bucket scene from Flashdance.
Musical Director and Conductor Nathan Christopher Scavilla and his fine musicians bring an upbeat 80’s feeling to every song.
Set Designer G. Maurice “Moe” Conn created a simple but easily movable set, which is very important for a show with so many scene changes. Jackie Kappus provided spirited choreography for the ensemble, and Costume Designer Laura Amlie brought back the joy of 80’s bridesmaid dresses, either poofy and peach or skintight and sultry. There were some sound problems and some missed lines, but I am confident that will be corrected quickly.
A fun night at the theatre is “Right in Front of Your Eyes”! Get to The Wedding Singer at Cockpit in Court!
Running Time: Approximately 2 hours, with a 15-minute intermission.
The Wedding Singer plays through June 28, 2015 at Cockpit in Court at the Community College of Baltimore County – 7201 Rossville Boulevard, in Rosedale, MD. For tickets, call the Box Office at 443-840-ARTS, or purchase them online.ffice at 443-840-ARTS, or purchase them online.