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Volume 34
Issue 07
 
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The Wedding Singer is a perfect musical for dates and everyone else
The Wedding Singer is a perfect musical for dates and everyone else
by Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid - SGN A&E Writer

The Wedding Singer

Directed by John Rando

Choreographed by Rob Ashford

Starring: Stephen Lynch, Laura Benanti, Richard H. Blake

Kevin Cahoon, Felicia Finley, Tina Maddigan, Matthew Saldivar

Amy Spanger and Rita Gardner

January 31-February 19th

The songs are zippy and memorable. The musical numbers (especially the cherished 'All About the Green' and 'Saturday Night in the City') are good enough to eat for lunch and dinner. The cast is cherished and last week, after the show, The Wedding Singer (yes, the very same one that was a film with Adam Sandler, that I didn't see) we stood with the rest of the audience on opening night and gave the pre-Broadway musical a standing ovation. And if you haven't seen it yet, and you didn't have the greatest Valentine's Day, do go and see what has to be one of the best shows this reviewer has seen this year.

The plot's fairly simple and fluffy. Boy, Robby Hart (Stephen Lynch) and his band of wedding singers make a living singing at cheesy wedding receptions, but all of them desire something better. Robby (Lynch), also yearns to be the groom at his own wedding some day, with the girl of his dreams, Linda (Felicia Finley). The waitress who serves at these catered affairs, Julia (Laura Benanti), hopes to be a bride in her own wedding. Also, the two other wedding singers (Matthew Saldivar and Kevin Cahoon) have dreams of their own, mostly to do better than having gigs at low rent receptions for small town New Jersey's newly wedded.

Along the way Linda (Finley) dumps poor, starry-eyed Rob, Julia hooks up with a typical eighties (did I mention all of this takes place in 1985) wheeler-and-dealer (Richard H. Blake), only to discover that he's a complete cad. And oh, Linda returns, after Rob and Julia start to realize what they're friends have noticed, that they've fallen madly in love with each other. That dance numbers has to be one of the hottest things I've seen on any stage, and is also funny as hell too. The amazing thing is that Felicia Finley, doing her best eighties trailer trash girlfriend imitation, looks so much like some of my favorite drag queens it's frightening, in a good way.

Bottom line, The Wedding Singer is a certifiable hit and even though there were a few audience members for whom the sparkle, camp and eighties references failed to move, I loved it and so did the rest of the living bodies who cheered and laughed last week. Go see it, and if you actually lived through all of that horrid hair, wearing those evil, body-hugging leg warmers (did anyone really look good in those?), and the other stupid fashions, you'll enjoy it that much more. If you didn't, indulge anyway, and let your mind be open to the fun that is The Wedding Singer, now playing at the 5th Avenue Theatre.

For ticket information, call 292-ARTS (2787), or go online to www.ticketmaster.com.

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