The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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‘Wedding Singer’ travels from NY to Fair Park

?This week the Dallas Summer Musicals kicked off its 2008 season with “The Wedding Singer” at the Music Hall at Fair Park, and they could not have picked a more fun show to do it with. ?

Many people are familiar with Adam Sandler’s portrayal of Robbie Hart, the wedding singer in the 1998 film version by the same name, which co-starred Drew Barrymore, but the musical version is different – in a good way. ?

Although there are some major differences, the musical, which closed on Broadway in late 2006, stays true to the setting of the movie, which takes place in 1985 and has all the big hair, leg warmers and MTV to go along with it. ?

The story also remains mostly the same. Robbie’s fiancee dumps him on their wedding day and Robbie, the wedding singer, falls for his co-worker Julia, who happens to be engaged to a rich but unfaithful Wall Street man.

Throughout the show the audience knows that Robbie and Julia are perfect for each other, but it isn’t until the last 10 minutes of the show that the couple finally gets together.

The actor and actress who currently star as Robbie and Julia in the Fair Park show are as endearing as the film couple, and both have fantastic voices. Some of the co-stars, including Julia’s friend Holly and Robbie’s bandmates Sammy and George, are also very talented and elicit many laughs from the audience.

Matthew Sklar and Chad Begulin wrote music and lyrics for the show, which also features several original songs by Sandler. Unfortunately, however, the singers’ talents cannot save the mediocre score. Several songs do stand out, including the lead couple’s romantic duet, but overall, the best songs in the show were those written by Sandler and not the authors.

The sets and props, on the other hand, are fantastic and truly transport the audience back into the ’80s with a massive cell phone and ancient computers. The costumes fail to elicit the same effect, as some in the audience were bound to wonder where the outfits worn by the cast members were during their ’80s experience.

In the end, aside from the score, the show is a well-produced, old-fashioned, song-and-dance musical.

Several memorable moments include a rap performed by Robbie’s grandmother and Robbie’s cross-dressing bandmate at her 50th wedding anniversary. And Robbie’s acoustic performance of “Somebody Kill Me Please,” a song Sandler wrote for the film, is not to be missed.

Overall, the performance is highly entertaining and comes highly recommended. Audience members will be humming the songs when leaving the theater, and you cannot help but smile when Robbie rescues Julia from a mismatched marriage at a Las Vegas wedding chapel with a fake Tina Turner and fake Mr. T.

“The Wedding Singer” will play today through April 27 at Fair Park and will be followed by “Rain: The Beatles Experience,” which opens April 29. Now in its 68th season of bringing Broadway musicals to Dallas, the 2008 season of the Dallas Summer Musicals includes some wonderful shows including the Tony-award winning “Drowsy Chaperone” and “Jersey Boys.”

These touring shows are a great opportunity for Dallasites to see quality musical theater productions without having to travel to Broadway itself. And while it will never be quite the same as Times Square, the musicals this summer present a unique opportunity which should not be missed by any theater lover.

For more information on performances of “The Wedding Singer” and other musicals, visit dallassummermusicals.com

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