Monday, June 25, 2018


Emily Ridge (Julia Sullivan) and Dave Smith (Robbie Hart) in "The Wedding Singer" 

Music by Matthew Sklar - Book and Lyrics by Tim Herlihy and Chad Beguelin
Directed by Amy Dunham and Sarah Hull - Musical Direction by Jenna Hinton

Choreography by Emma Nicholls - Costumes by  Laura Jurkiewicz

Set design by Stenita -  Presented by Queanbeyan Players Inc.
The Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre 22nd June to 1st July, 2018

Reviewed by Bill Stephens.

What’s not to like in a musical in which a fake Billy Idol (Joe McGrail-Bateup) and Cyndi Lauper  (Kathryn Jones) reveal the pathway to true love to mullet-coifed wedding singer, Robbie Hart (Dave Smith) and winsome waitress Julia Sullivan ( Emily Ridge).  Robbie has formed a band with his best mates, likeable lout, Sammy (Tim Stiles) and Boy George clone, George (David Santolin). They specialise in wedding gigs.

Michael Jordan (Glen Guglia) - Emily Ridge (Julia Sullivan) - Josie Dunham (Holly) - Dave Smith (Robbie Hart) -David Santolin (George) in "The Wedding Singer" 
When Robbie’s horrendous fiancée , Linda (Emma White) unceremoniously dumps him at his own wedding, his life decends into a downward spiral from which not even his sex-absorbed grandmother, Rosie (Lauren Nihill) can distract him.

With the help of an energectic,  likeable cast, a hot band, and an endless parade of truly atrocious eighties costumes, directors, Amy Dunham and Sarah Hull, have transformed this unlikely scenario into a disarmingly silly and enjoyable entertainment.

It helps that the score is riddled with catchy songs, even though Robbie’s forte is writing ditties that are so bad they’re good and Emma Nicholls has devised a series of clever dance routines to differentiate the various wedding receptions featured  in the plot.  Dunham and Hull have provided the large cast  with endless opportunities to create a lexicon of outrageous wedding guests, and they grasp those opportunities with infectious gusto.  

Polished performances from Dave Smith, Emily Ridge, Tim Stiles, David Santolin, along with  Josie Dunham, as Julie’s air-head friend Holly, and Michael Jordan as her philandering fiancée, Glen Guglia,  anchor the show. Among the large ensemble, eye-catching cameos from Mitchell France, Shennia Spillane, Bill Lord, Emma Nikolic, Kym Starr, and Kara Sellers among the large ensemble, add to the fun.

Tim Stiles (Sammy) - Dave Smith (Robbie Hart) - David Santolin (George) 
and members of the ensemble of "The Wedding Singer"
Queanbeyan Players have come up with a winner with this delightful concoction but if you want to see it you’ll have to be quick. The season only runs until next Saturday July 1st.
                                                    Photos by Moore Photography

 This review first published in the digital edition of CITY NEWS on 23rd June 2018