Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Theatre: The Wedding Singer
Tonight, I saw the national touring production of The Wedding Singer. It was opening night in Dallas, and I didn't have great seats, but the place was only sold to about 2/3 capacity, so just before the show started, we stole some seats on the front of the first balcony.
I loved the Adam Sandler movie that this show was based on, but didn't have high expectations. They don't sing any of the great 80's songs that made the original so great. They don't have Adam Sandler or Drew Barrymore, who are clearly integral to the success of that movie.
Having said that, here are my quick thoughts. I didn't feel like the stage show was able to have the character development or the emotional attachments it needed. Robbie (Merritt David Janes) was good, but didn't have the likability I wanted for the character. Also, I felt the like the songs he was given to sing really couldn't showcase his vocal abilities. There were a couple of times his voice sounded great, but most of it was rock-y and hard to hear his talent. The women were the shining stars of the show. Julia (Erin Elizabeth Coors) was great, and her voice was pure and innocent, just like her character. Linda (Andrea Andert) was hilarious and trashy with a sexy sultry voice.
As far as the actual songs, I enjoyed the ensemble songs the best, with loud singing and 80's dancing. There were a couple of slower solos and duets I liked (Someday, Coming Out of the Dumpster, If I Told You), but this was more just a silly show to laugh out loud (some) and I didn't find myself looking at my watch. During the song All About the Green, all I could think of was Neil and Sabra's courtroom brawl last summer during SYTYCD!
An odd tidbit was that I noticed one member of the ensemble (Ashley Anderson) was a contestant on Grease, You're the One That I Want last year (as Emotional Sandy), which, sadly, I watched in its entirety. However, she must have gotten eliminated early on because I don't really remember her. She might have been the one that was not asked to be on the show originally, but that was a big hit with the viewers and was brought on anyway (only to be eliminated quickly). In that case, good for her for being in this show.
I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it. Maybe it will pick up some steam here in Dallas over the next couple of weeks. We'll see.