In Part 3 of a series of interviews with the cast of The Wedding Singer, meet Tim Kurtzberg & Cam Sammartano who play Robbie Hart’s bandmates Sammy and George in Damascus Theatre Company’s production of The Wedding Singer at the Arts Barn.
Please introduce yourselves and tell our readers where they may have seen you perform before on our local stages. Where did you get your training?
Tim: I’m Tim Kurtzberg and I am playing the role of Sammy. This is my second show since moving down to Maryland, having just played the roles of Dr. Madden and Dr. Fine in RMT’s production of Next To Normal at the Gaithersburg Arts Barn. I have been performing in musicals and plays since 8th grade, and went on to study Music and perform in as many mediums as possible in preparation for a career as a Music Educator.
Cam: My name is Cam Sammartano and I am playing George. I just finished playing Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors at Laurel Mill Playhouse, and as soon as The Wedding Singer closes, I move on to play Moritz in Spring Awakening. I have been performing since I was a little boy, so I grew up around the arts and theatre. After I graduated high school, I started working in regional theatre productions, and continued to perform in at least six shows a year.
Why did you want to be part of this production?
Tim: I am hoping to become a familiar face in the Maryland Theater scene. It has been nice to see some cross over from the last show as well as meeting a great new group of people. The more opportunities I have to work with talented cast and crew members, the more involved I will hopefully feel.
Cam: Wigs. This show calls for incredible wigs. Also, I’ve done the show before and it’s just so much fun!
Have you ever appeared in a production of The Wedding Singer before and who did you play? What makes this production so special?
Tim: I was once offered the same role (Sammy) while living in New York, but had to turn it down once I was accepted into Graduate School. This production gives me a chance to finally play the role, and hone my skills even further.
Cam: I played George in a production of The Wedding Singer in New Jersey back in 2001.
How would you describe the score that Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin have written?
Tim: Plain Old Fun. I am a huge music nerd, and when it comes to decades in music history, few hold a candle to the 1980’s. The culture of the 80’s is one completely unique: a clash of music, fashion, MTV, and giant hair.
Cam: The score is memorable. You can’t walk out of the theatre without humming a particular song. Also, this isn’t your Grandma’s musical!
Who do you play in The Wedding Singer and how do you relate to your character? Do you share any similar traits? Which character is so much like you and why and how?
Tim: My character is Sammy, the bass player in Robbie’s band and his best friend. Sammy is a guy who much deeper than he seems, a man focused on his career as a musician but who sometimes comes across as selfish and womanizing. On the inside, Sammy just wants to be important in the life of his friends and his crush, Holly (the wonderful Megan Mostow). That’s where we are most similar: I would do anything in the world to help the people I care about, and I live and breathe music.
Cam: I play George. Besides the fact that we both like boys, George and I are unapologetic in being unique and unafraid to stand out from the crowd. However, I’d say I’m more like Holly. I’m like everyone’s Fairy Godmother, only slutty.
Tell me about your big solos and what do we learn about your character as you are singing the songs?
Tim: Sammy’s big numbers are “It’s Your Wedding Day,” a song Robbie wrote that helped the band become a successful wedding band, “Today You Are A Man,” a fun look at the band’s attempt to perform at different functions than weddings, and his biggest song “Single,” an ode to flying solo but really wanting someone to love him.
Cam: George’s solo numbers and duets are comedic. If I don’t hear any laughter in the audience, I’m not doing the character and songs justice. These aren’t big belty numbers, so I’ve got to rely on humor.
What did you know about the 80s coming in and what have you learned from doing the show?
Tim: I love the 80s, and all this show did was remind me how much. As a cast, we have tried to embrace all the decade is. The colors, the sounds, the fads. I mean, I’m shaving my beard to give Sammy a more authentic look, and I have to walk around for a month with that on my face everywhere I go. As actors, we try to commit to the fullest to make an audience be transported to a different time or place.
Cam: I know that I was conceived in the 80s, and Hollywood didn’t create one bad movie in the 80s. Although I’m a child of the 90s my parents raised me right. I listened to 80s music, watched the movies, the cartoons, and the TV shows. I SHOULD have been born in the 80s.
What are some of the themes of the show that today’s audiences can relate to?
Tim: “Love will always find you.” No matter what happens in life, don’t give up on yourself, your dreams, and the people you care about.
Cam: Every audience can relate to love stories because everyone’s been in love. They are timeless.
What do you want audiences to take with them after seeing DTC’s The Wedding Singer?
Tim: I love when an audience is affected by a show. After Next To Normal, the cast was constantly told how much the story touched them. I am hoping this show entertains our audiences and leaves them singing and smiling on their way out of the Arts Barn. I want to give them a flashback to a decade with big hair and bigger music. But mostly, I want them to remember to love fully, and embrace what is important in their life.
Cam: Please take any trash that you may have left under your seat.
Meet the Cast of Damascus Theatre Company’s ‘The Wedding Singer’: Part 1: Taylor Campbell.
Meet the Cast of Damascus Theatre Company’s ‘The Wedding Singer’: Part 2: Gabriel T. Potter.
Paul Bessel and Barbara Braswell’s review of The Wedding Singer.