The Wedding Singer: A Theatrical Review
Time warp back to 1985 and join the amazing cast of The Wedding Singer at the Carpenter Theatre in Musical Theatre West’s current run of this fun and dynamic production.
Ciaria’n McCarthy leads an amazing cast as Robbie Hart, a simple wedding singer going nowhere who learns that life is more than the moment, and he needs to get his act together, starting first with marrying the woman of his dreams, Ren©e Brna portraying Julia Sullivan, who in her own right is an amazing young performer. Ciaria’n McCarthy gives a far better performance than Adam Sandler could have ever hoped to have provided in the movie with the same name, which this production was actually based off of.
Based around the idea of mocking all the folly of the 1980’s iconic imagery, this production is actually, like most successful productions today, a love story. Mary Jo Catlett, who plays Rosie, and is better known as Pearl the maid in the 1980’s popular sitcom “Different Strokes”, brings a joy and exuberance to the production that only someone of her caliber could provide. However, as there is no performer who was lacking, it is hard to place the spotlight on any one performer. Derek Keeling, portraying Glen Guglia shows his true inner John Stamos in his performance of “It’s All About The Green.” And Ciaria’n McCarthy and Ren©e Brna both excel in their duet of “If I Told You.”
This production offers simplistic but beautiful sets, and amazing orchestra/band, exceptional dance routines, fabulous lighting and special effects, right on costuming, and in a truly fabulous theatrical venue. The Carpenter Theatre is similar to the Ahmanson in Los Angeles, with the added convenience of not being in a highly congested traffic pattern. The audience, who were overwhelmingly appreciative of every moment of this production, gave the true heart of the production, as they became the forth wall of characters that every performer successfully fed off of to give a production of stupendous success.
The Wedding Singer opened on Broadway in 2006 and ran for 285 performances at the Al Hirschfield Theatre. Critics praised Bergueln and Skair’s clever and often hilarious score and The Wedding Singer’s original screenwriter Herlihy on board as co-author, audiences who fell in love with the original film, were ecstatic with its faithful musical adaptation. In this critic’s opinion, the stage production is ten times what the movie ever hoped to be, and the amazing cast that is currently set to provide performances of this show Thursdays and Fridays at 8PM, Saturdays at 2PM and 8PM, and Sundays at 2PM, with one special performance on July 17th at 7PM, were expertly chosen.
The Carpenter Theatre, and thus The Wedding Singer by Musical Theatre West, is located at 6200 E. Atherton Street in Long Beach, CA 90815, and tickets can be reserved by contacting Musical Theatre West at 562-856-1999×4, logging onto the internet at www.musical.org, or visiting the box office which is located at 4350 E. 7th Street in Long Beach, CA 90804 from 12-6PM Monday through Friday.
This is not a production you want to miss. You will laugh your heart out while the nostalgia of the mid 1980’s gives both humor and joy. Enjoy!
The California Theatre Critic